May 2018 – 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 2018.

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 (including Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane).

4 May 2018 – Moon and Saturn in the mid-evening sky

Moon and Saturn finder chart. Look low above the Eastern horizon initially to find the Moon. Then look to the right of the Moon to find Saturn (which looks like a pale yellow star). Chart prepared for 9 pm AEST on Friday 4 May 2018 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.

6 May 2018 – Moon and Mars in the late evening sky

Moon and Mars finder chart. Look low above the Eastern horizon initially to find the Moon. Then look to the right of the Moon and above to find Mars (which looks like a pale reddish star). Chart prepared for 11 pm AEST on Sunday 6 May 2018 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.

14 May 2018 – Moon, Mercury and Uranus in the morning twilight sky

Moon, Mercury and Uranus finder chart. Look low above the Eastern horizon. A pair of binoculars or small telescope will be required to locate Uranus. Stars are show to magnitude 8 to assist you in ‘star hopping’ to Uranus. Chart prepared for 5.15 am AEST on Monday 14 May 2018 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.

18 May 2018 – Moon and Venus in the late evening twilight sky

Moon and Venus finder chart. Look low above the North Western horizon. Chart prepared for 6.30 pm AEST on Friday 18 May 2018 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.

27 May 2018 – Moon and Jupiter in the early evening sky

Moon and Jupiter finder chart. Look low above the Eastern horizon. Chart prepared for 6.30 pm AEST on Sunday 27 May 2018 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.

31 May 2018 – Moon and Saturn in the evening sky

Moon and Saturn finder chart. Look low above the Eastern horizon initially to find the Moon. Then look to the right of the Moon and below to find Saturn (which looks like a pale yellow star). Chart prepared for 7.30 pm AEST on Thursday 31 May 2018 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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