May 2017 – Where to look for the planets

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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

Moon, Jupiter and Spica (the brightest star in the ancient Greek constellation Virgo 'The Virgin') finder chart. Chart prepared for 7 pm AEST ond Sunday 7 May 2017 for the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

Moon, Jupiter and Spica (the brightest star in the ancient Greek constellation Virgo ‘The Virgin’) finder chart. Chart prepared for 6.30 pm AEST on Sunday 7 May 2017 for the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

13 May 2017 – Moon, Saturn and Antares finder chart – Evening sky

Moon, Saturn and Antares (the brightest star in the ancient Greek constellation Scorpius 'The Scorpion') finder chart. Chart prepared for 8 pm AEST on Saturday 13 May 2017 for the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

Moon, Saturn and Antares (the brightest star in the ancient Greek constellation Scorpius ‘The Scorpion’) finder chart. Chart prepared for 8 pm AEST on Saturday 13 May 2017 for the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

23 May 2017 – Moon, Mercury, Venus and Uranus finder chart – Early morning sky

Moon, Mercury, Venus and Uranus finder chart. Chart prepared for 5 am AEST on Tuesday 23 May 2017 for the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

Moon, Mercury, Venus and Uranus finder chart. Chart prepared for 5 am AEST on Tuesday 23 May 2017 for the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

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