The spring 2023 It comes loaded with astronomical phenomena, some of which have not been noticed for a long time and/or will take decades to reappear. For example, him hybrid solar eclipse that it took place at the end of April -the 20th- and that this century will only happen seven times in total.

And the month of May is no exception. The so-called month of flowers will begin with a penumbral lunar eclipse, an event that will take place this Friday, the 5th, and will be seen in Asia, Oceania, Africa, and Europe. In Spain, its end can be seen in the Balearic Islands and on the Peninsula, except in the northwestern part.

lunar eclipses only happens during the full moonlike the solar eclipses occurs only the new moon, that is, during the absence of the moon or, rather, when the moon is not visible from Earth because does not reflect sunlight.

mayonnaise full moon

That is why the same day 5 of producing the full moon of mayalso known as flower moon or blooming moon. This moon is so called because May is the month of flowers. But it is also known as the corn planting moon -because of the flowering of the plants-, mother’s moon -considering a symbol of increased fertility- or milk moon -as a symbol of the end of late frosts-.

That same night, from the 5th to the 6th, according to the National Astronomical Observatorythe apogee of the third astronomical event of May will take place: the meteor shower peak most important in spring, the Eta Aquarids. And precisely the fact that it coincides with the full moon will tarnish the clear observation of the event.

fast meteors

This rain is known for its fast meteors They leave long, bright trails. The Aquarids are produced due to the passage of the Earth through an area of ​​the remains of Halley’s comet, whose next orbit around the Sun will be in 2061. They have an activity rate of between 40 and 85 meteors per hour in the northern hemisphere (in which Spain is located) and 100-120 in the southern hemisphere, and occurs from April 19 to May 28.

meteorites Eta Aquarids they can travel to 238,000 kilometers per hour into the atmosphere of the Landaccording to POT. One of the curiosities of this phenomenon is that the point from which it appears is the Aquarius constellation.

Alignment of five planets

To end the month, on the 29th there will be a great alignment of five planets: Uranus, Mercury, Jupiter, Neptune and Saturn in the morning. The five will align within a sector of 70 degrees in the sky and can be seen about an hour before sunrise. This is a rare chance to see five planets at once, but keep in mind that two of them (Neptune and Uranus) will be hard to spot.

Furthermore, it so happens that the planet Mercury will be most visible that night, coinciding with its largest western elongation. It must be taken into account that Mercury is, together with Venus, one of the most difficult planets to observe due to its proximity to the sun.

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The one that is easy to distinguish is Jupiter, because it will be the brightest celestial object in the morning sky until the sun rises. However, the other planets have much less intense light.

The next alignment will take place on June 17 and will also be in the morning and between these same planets -Mercury, Uranus, Jupiter, Neptune and Saturn-, which will align within a 95 degree sector of the sky.

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