Here’s a quick look at what’s going on in the sky during the month of May, 2012:
May 5— Full Moon, 11:35 p.m. The visible Moon is fully illuminated by direct sunlight. Though the Moon is only technically in this phase for a few seconds, it is considered “full” for the entire day of the event, and appears full for three days. May’s full Moon with be a “supermoon,” meaning it coincides with the Moon’s perigee, or closest point to the Earth, making it larger in appearance and causing exceptionally high tides.
May 6— Moon at perigee (its closest point to the Earth), 1 a.m.
May 12— Last Quarter Moon, 5:47 p.m. One-half of the Moon appears illuminated by direct sunlight while the illuminated part is decreasing.
May 19— Moon at apogee (its farthest point to the Earth), 12 p.m.
May 20— New Moon, 7:47 p.m. The Moon is not illuminated by direct sunlight.
May 20— Annular Solar Eclipse. Partial Eclipse Begins: 4:56 p.m.; Annular Eclipse Begins: 6:06 p.m.; Greatest Eclipse: 7:53 p.m.; Annular Eclipse Ends: 9:39 p.m.; Partial Eclipse Ends: 10:49 p.m.; Maximum Duration of Annularity: 5m 46.4s.
May 28— First Quarter Moon, 4:16 p.m. One-half of the Moon appears illuminated by direct sunlight while the illuminated part is increasing.