May 2017 – Where to look for the planets
Use the finder charts on this page to guide you to where to look for the planets in May 2017.
A few pointers:
- All planets visible to the unaided eye look like stars. Planets visible to the unaided eye include Mercury, Venus, Earth (look down!), Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
- In a telescope, Uranus and Neptune are visible as tiny discs. The dwarf planet Pluto remains looking like a star in even the largest amateur telescope.
- Stars are shown to magnitude 5 on the charts unless otherwise noted. This is a compromise between what you would see from the light polluted skies of a city (where you will see significantly less stars) and dark country skies (where you will see significantly more stars).
- Unless otherwise noted, the finder charts are prepared for the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. The charts will be useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia.
- Chart times are given in AEST or Australian Eastern Standard Time. Remember to change for ‘Summer Time’ if this is in force in your location.
7 May 2017 – Moon, Jupiter and Spica finder chart – Early evening sky
13 May 2017 – Moon, Saturn and Antares finder chart – Evening sky
23 May 2017 – Moon, Mercury, Venus and Uranus finder chart – Early morning sky