The Sky of Alexandria during the Month of May 2017
21 May 2017
Prepared by: Dr. Omar Fikry 

During the second month of Spring, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will glow in the sky and will be observable through out the month by the naked eye or through the telescope. During May, the sky becomes clear making astronomical observation easy. We only need to find a dark place away from the light pollution to see those planets. Mars is located in the west with its regular reddish color, Jupiter is the brightest these days, while Saturn appears after 11:00 pm every night. In addition to the observation of planets, we will—as usual—shed light on the most important, though few, astronomical phenomena and events that can be observed through the sky of Alexandria.

Saturday and Sunday nights, 6-7 May 2017

Meteor showers is an astronomical phenomena that can only be clearly seen in a completely dark place. During this night, we will spectacle a meteor shower coming from Aquarius constellation. Astrologers call this group "Eta Aquariids"; every hour about 30 meteors fall. However, the number increases in the Southern Hemisphere as every hour 60 meteors fall. There will be one thing that might disturb the observation, namely, the presence of Shaaban gibbous, making it dimmer. This meteor shower is a result of the passage of the famous Halley comet. Hally revolves around the sun once every 76 years. The next time it will be observed by the year 2061. 


Wednesday night, 17 May 2017

Mercury will reach its West great expedition, which means that it will reach its maximum height in the sky during night specifically before sun rise, amateurs can observe Mercury clearly if the sky is cloud free and if they wake up in the last part of the night and chose a suitable place for observation and photo shooting. Mercury will be at height of 25.8 degrees, which means that it will stay in the horizon for a longer time by the end of this night, then it will fade by the sun rise.  It can be observed by the naked eye or by a small telescope. Mercury will appear like this. Picture credit goes to stellarium software. It is known that Mercury never appears complete, neither does Venus because they are located between the Earth and the Sun.

*Photos credit: NASA's educational website ans stellarium. Photos have been edited and arabized.
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