What to see in the sky in May: Lunar eclipse and meteor shower

Star trails and a lone shooting star from the Perseids meteor shower. It is one of the brightest an

There will be a meteor shower peaking at the start of the month

From meteor showers and the International Space Station to a total lunar eclipse, there is so much to see in our skies this month.

Here is everything you can see in the night sky in May 2022.

The moon

People on Primrose Hill watch as the moon rises over central London. The July full moon, otherwise k

People on Primrose Hill watch as the moon rises over central London - Credit: PA

Phases for March are as follows:

  • New moon - April 30
  • First quarter - May 8
  • Flower Moon - May 15
    • This moon gets its name from the abundance of flowers that bloom in May. Other names are the Leaf Budding Moon, the Frog Moon and the Planting Moon.
  • Total lunar eclipse - May 15
    • The earth will stand between the moon and the sun, casting a shadow over the moon and giving it a reddish hue. The phenomenon may be visible in parts of western Europe.
  • Last quarter - May 22
  • New moon - May 30

The stars and planets

In May, most of the brightest planets are visible in the morning sky - with Venus, Jupiter and Mars on display.

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Venus and Jupiter can be seen low to the east just before sunrise. Jupiter will then pull away to the west and rise earlier in the morning.

Mars will rise about half an hour before dawn as it has done throughout the year. By the middle of the month it will pass just south of Neptune.

Saturn will be seen to the southeast in the early hours of the morning.

Visible in the evening sky is Mercury, which can be seen to the northwest sky just after sunset. 

The planet will fade during the first week of the month and then vanish. It will next be visible in June's early morning sky.

Other

Star trails and a lone shooting star from the Perseids meteor shower. It is one of the brightest an

Star trails and a lone shooting star from the Perseids meteor shower. It is one of the brightest and most visible meteor showers in the UK which peaks around mid-August as seen from Salhouse looking north.Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Eta Aquariids meteor shower

Active between April 19 and May 28, this shower will peak on May 6.

This shower is associated with Halley's Comet.

There will be up to 55 meteors per hour with a velocity of 66km a second.

The shower is characterised by being low in the sky.

The International Space Station

The ISS will be visible from May 1 to May 12. 

It will appear between 12am and 4am for up to seven minutes moving from the southwest or the southeast to the east.