Astronomy Guide May 2022

Dear Stargazer Friends,

I hope you have been well. With Astrophotography for Biodiversity I tried something new last month by offering my work for a good cause, namely supporting the Swiss Ornithological Institute. Thanks to all of you who have participated. We raised CHF 120.00 which will go to the Vogelwarte. You will receive the greeting cards you have ordered shortly. Thanks again!

May will again be an interesting month for astronomy. On 16 May, there will be a Total Lunar Eclipse which can be partially observed from Europe and Africa and fully observed from North and South America. But before that, the eta Lyrids Meteor Showers will peak on 8 May. And from 30-31 May, the Tau Heruclids will peak. There could be a short but intense meteor shower. Parent Comet is 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 that was fractured in 1995. End of May, the Earth will pass through a dense stream of icy particles this comet has left behind. 

Planets Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will be visible earlier and earlier this month with Saturn rising already at 02:46 CET on 15 May.

The “Spring Triangle” is visible well before midnight with the stars Arcturus, Spica and Regulus forming an imaginary triangle connecting the constellations of Boötes, Virgo, and Leo. The Constellation of Cygnus is rising earlier and can be observed between midnight and 4 a.m. 

Clears skies and best wishes,


Messier 104 – The Sombrero Galaxy

Moon phases May 2022

Times are local time for Bern, Switzerland

First Quarter09 May, 02:21
Full Moon16 May, 06:14 – Total Lunar Eclipse*
Third Quarter22 May, 20:43
New Moon (Black Moon*; second New Moon in single calendar month)30 May, 13:30
*Partially visible from Europe and Africa. Total phase of the eclipse visible from North and South America.

Timeline of the total lunar eclipse of 15-16 May 2022

EventUTC TimeTime in Switzerland*Visible in Switzerland
Penumbral Eclipse begins16. Mai, 01:32:0516. Mai, 03:32:05Yes
Partial Eclipse begins16. Mai, 02:27:5216. Mai, 04:27:52Yes
Full Eclipse begins16. Mai, 03:29:0316. Mai, 05:29:03Yes
Maximum Eclipse16. Mai, 04:11:2816. Mai, 06:11:28No
Full Eclipse ends16. Mai, 04:53:5516. Mai, 06:53:55No
Partial Eclipse ends16. Mai, 05:55:0716. Mai, 07:55:07No
Penumbral Eclipse ends16. Mai, 06:50:4916. Mai, 08:50:49No

Meteor Showers

eta Aquariids Best visible from the southern tropics15 April – 27 May 2022Peak 4-5 May. Moon will be 15% full.
eta Lyrids3 – 14 May 2022Peak 8 May 2022. Radiant between alpha Lyrae (Vega) and delta Cygni (Rukh). Parent Comet is C/1983 H1.
Tau Heruclids30-31 May 2022There could be an intense meteor shower from Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 (SW3). In 1995, astronomers observed how this Comet fractured. End of May, Earth passes through a dense stream of icy particles the comet left behind.
Sources: American Meteor Society, Meteor Shower Calendar 2021-2022 & Kosmos Himmels-Jahr 2022, Hans-Ulrich Keller.


Mercury will be observable in the first few days of May only – after sunset (W). On 2 May the waxing crescent Moon will be visible south of Mercury.

Venus visible at dawn (SE) and will rise earlier as the month progresses. On 15 May, it will rise at 04:22 h and on 31 May at 03:56 h CET. .

Mars will rise earlier too and will be easier to observe second part of the night. 1st of May it will rise at 04:17 h, 15 May at 03:42 h and on 31stMay at 03:01 h CET. It will appear close to Jupiter on 29 May and to the waning Moon on 25 May early morning. 

Jupiter is visible throughout May in the early morning before sunrise.

Saturn will become an object to be observed in the second part of the night. It rises at 03:39 CET on 1st May and at 02:46 on 15 May. On 31stof May it will rise at 01:44 h CET already.

Uranus will be unobservable in May.

Neptune is not visible in May.

Phenomena not to miss in May

Phenomena not to miss in May

The “Spring Triangle” is visible well before midnight with the stars Arcturus, Spica and Regulus forming an imaginary triangle connecting the constellations of Boötes, Virgo, and Leo. May is still somewhat “Galaxy” and Star clusters time, ideal to take observe or take pictures Messier 13 (Great star cluster in Hercules), Messier 3 & Messier 51 in Canes Venatici. But the Virgo Cluster (in Virgo) as well as the Coma Cluster (Abell 1656) in Coma Berencies can still be observed. The Constellation of Cygnus is rising earlier and can be observed between midnight and 4 a.m. Around that time, Andromeda Galaxy will be at approx. 20° above the horizon (NE).

01Venus and Jupiter appear very close at dawn
06Pollux 2.1°N of Moon at 23:56
08eta Lyrids
16Total Lunar Eclipse
17Antares 3.1°S of Moon at 03:48
22Saturn 4.5°N of Moon at 05:43
24Mars 2.8°N of Moon at 20:24
25Jupiter 3.3°N of Moon at 00:59
27Venus 0.2°N of Moon: Occn. at 03:52
29Mars 0.6°S of Jupiter at dawn
30-31Tau Heruclids
Messier 53 & NGC 5053 in Coma Berenices

Bright stars

NameMag.RiseTransitElev.SetAng. Size
Kaus Australis1.751h24m4h22m+8°46’45.12″7h20m

Messier Objects

M 328.0823h53m10h41m+84°00’53.48″21h29m
M 8 (Lagoon Nebula)6.0023h52m4h01m+18°43’22.25″8h10m
M 254.6023h52m4h29m+23°59’14.99″9h07m
M 20 (Trifid Nebula)6.3023h43m4h00m+20°07’29.38″8h17m
M 21 (Webb’s Cross)5.9023h42m4h02m+20°36’23.47″8h21m
M 31 (Andromeda Galaxy)3.4423h42m10h41m+84°25’00.00″21h40m
M 24 (Small Sagittarius Star Cloud)4.6023h34m4h14m+24°32’44.26″8h54m
M 18 (Black Swan Cluster)6.9023h30m4h17m+25°59’34.96″9h05m
M 62 (Flickering Globular Cluster)7.3923h27m2h58m+12°58’37.67″6h30m
M 17 (Omega Nebula)6.0023h26m4h18m+26°55’19.70″9h10m
M 1108.0723h26m10h39m+84°49’53.77″21h51m
M 268.0023h19m4h43m+33°42’58.63″10h06m
M 235.5023h16m3h54m+24°06’03.12″8h32m
M 16 (Eagle Nebula)6.0023h13m4h16m+29°16’58.93″9h19m
M 11 (Wild Duck Cluster)6.3023h11m4h48m+36°49’46.47″10h26m
M 197.4723h03m3h00m+16°48’23.09″6h57m
M 98.4222h36m3h16m+24°32’55.71″7h57m
M 4 (Crab Globular Cluster)5.9022h25m2h21m+16°31’47.65″6h16m
M 71 (Angelfish Cluster)6.1022h20m5h51m+61°53’45.19″13h22m
M 27 (Dumbbell Nebula)7.4022h05m5h57m+65°50’19.59″13h49m
M 807.8721h58m2h14m+20°03’59.07″6h30m
M 148.3221h44m3h35m+39°48’45.21″9h25m
M 107 (The Crucifix Cluster)8.8521h23m2h29m+29°58’47.96″7h36m
M 106.4021h08m2h54m+38°56’15.63″8h41m
M 12 (Gumball Globular Cluster)7.6820h48m2h44m+41°04’58.44″8h40m
M 568.4020h33m5h14m+73°16’39.98″13h54m
M 29 (Cooling Tower Cluster)6.6020h16m6h21m+81°38’35.81″16h26m
M 83 (Southern Pinwheel Galaxy)7.5420h01m23h34m+13°08’20.56″3h06m
M 57 (Ring Nebula)8.8019h47m4h51m+76°06’38.89″13h54m
M 5 (Rose Cluster)6.6519h02m1h15m+45°04’08.66″7h28m
M 687.3018h42m22h36m+16°14’21.90″2h29m
M 104 (Sombrero Galaxy)8.0017h23m22h36m+31°19’51.65″3h49m
M 13 (Great Star Cluster in Hercules)5.8017h01m2h38m+79°28’25.27″12h15m
M 61 (Swelling Spiral Galaxy)9.6515h55m22h18m+47°24’49.35″4h41m
M 498.3015h47m22h26m+50°56’19.37″5h05m
M 609.8015h45m22h40m+54°29’23.04″5h34m
M 5910.6015h43m22h38m+54°35’01.97″5h33m
M 537.7015h43m23h09m+61°06’16.93″6h36m
M 589.6615h38m22h34m+54°45’16.75″5h30m
M 899.7515h33m22h32m+55°29’31.46″5h31m
M 909.5415h31m22h33m+56°05’55.09″5h35m
M 87 (Virgo Galaxy)8.6315h29m22h27m+55°19’37.20″5h25m
M 86 (Faust V051)8.9015h21m22h22m+55°52’52.88″5h23m
M 84 (Markarian’s Chain)10.4915h20m22h21m+55°49’20.51″5h22m
M 36.2015h12m23h38m+71°18’42.78″8h05m
M 64 (Black Eye Galaxy)8.5215h08m22h53m+64°36’54.84″6h38m
M 99 (Virgo Cluster Pinwheel)9.8715h07m22h15m+57°21’03.18″5h23m
M 100 (Blowdryer Galaxy)9.3515h04m22h19m+58°45’22.00″5h34m
M 9810.1415h00m22h10m+57°50’04.38″5h20m
M 8510.0014h55m22h22m+61°07’24.96″5h48m
M 66 (Leo Triplet)8.9214h15m21h16m+55°55’45.57″4h18m
M 65 (Leo Triplet)10.2514h13m21h15m+56°01’49.26″4h17m
M 969.2513h47m20h43m+54°45’49.33″3h39m
M 959.7313h45m20h40m+54°38’52.71″3h35m
M 1059.7613h44m20h44m+55°31’29.29″3h43m
M 94 (Croc’s Eye Galaxy)8.2411h58m22h47m+84°01’40.83″9h36m
M 63 (Sunflower Galaxy)8.5911h56m23h12m+84°56’00.66″10h28m
M 67 (Golden-Eye Cluster)6.9011h51m18h47m+54°46’44.55″1h43m
M 44 (Beehive Cluster)3.1011h01m18h36m+62°38’49.38″2h11m
M 547.701h23m4h53m+12°40’16.85″8h22m
M 698.311h14m4h29m+10°48’09.11″7h44m
M 7 (Ptolemy’s Cluster)3.300h57m3h51m+8°21’35.39″6h45m
M 15 (Pegasus Cluster)6.300h29m7h28m+55°19’28.90″14h26m
M 6 (Butterfly Cluster)4.200h22m3h38m+10°52’11.88″6h53m
M 22 (Great Sagittarius Cluster)5.100h22m4h34m+19°12’43.91″8h45m
M 287.660h16m4h22m+18°14’36.49″8h28m
M 102 (Spindle Galaxy)9.891h03m+81°16’21.68″
M 926.403h14m+86°09’48.18″
M 394.607h29m+88°22’59.66″
M 52 (Cassiopeia Salt-and-Pepper Cluster)6.909h23m+75°14’00.67″
M 1037.4011h32m+76°10’49.95″
M 76 (Little Dumbbell Nebula)10.1011h41m+85°13’52.49″
M 34 (Spiral Cluster)5.2012h41m+85°51’26.42″
M 81 (Bode’s Galaxy)6.9419h52m+67°59’33.52″
M 82 (Cigar Galaxy)8.4119h52m+67°22’43.02″
M 108 (Surfboard Galaxy)10.7021h08m+81°23’14.52″
M 97 (Owl Nebula)9.9021h11m+82°02’29.55″
M 109 (Vacuum Cleaner Galaxy)10.6021h54m+83°40’57.20″
M 1068.4122h15m+89°27’12.38″
M 40 (Winnecke 4)9.6522h18m+78°58’55.26″
M 51 (Whirlpool Galaxy)8.1023h26m+89°25’24.35″
M 101 (Pinwheel Galaxy)7.8623h59m+82°41’13.32″


Ciel&espace magazine
Keller Hans-Ulrich, Kosmos Himmels-Jahr 2022

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