Satellite spotting

By Mario Carr

English: A rock from outer space at Ontario Sc...

English: A rock from outer space at Ontario Science Centre. Its not a meteorite. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The wonders of the night sky are not only always confined to natural objects. We have left our footprint up there, which can be seen almost every clear night.

Besides space junk that orbits the Earth, you can spot satellites crossing the night sky like the International Space Station. Some of the most impressive are the Iridium satellites that momentarily flare up as they reflect sunlight back to stargazers.

To find out when and where satellites will be overhead your area click

Here are May stargazer events. Most are listed in the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers calendar.

Planet watching

Mercury can’t be seen until May 18, Mercury and Venus can be seen low in the western evening twilight sky. Jupiter is low in the north western evening twilight sky and vanishes by the end of the month.

Saturn can be seen for most of the night sky during May. Uranus is low in the eastern dawn sky. Neptune can be seen in the eastern morning sky.

May 5 — The Eta Aquarids meteor shower peaks after midnight. As far as meteor showers go this is a minor one. From a dark location you could see up to 10 meteors per hour. Some can be seen May 4 -7.

May 10 – Hamilton Amateur Astronomers meeting 7:30-9:30 p.m., Spectator building, 44 Frid St., Hamilton.. Free admission with door prizes and everyone is welcome. An optional food bank donation of non-perishable goods will be collected.

Guest speaker will be Ontario Science Centre Educator Phil Mozel, who will discuss The stars of 1812. Phil is also a War of 1812 re-enactment enthusiast. Other speakers will be John Gauvreau, who will discuss The sky this month and Kevin Salwach, who will discuss This date in astronomy.

May 12 – The crescent moon pairs with Jupiter low in the western evening twilight sky. From our vantage, the two objects will appear to be only three degrees apart from even though they are millions of kilometres distant.

May 13 – Moon at apogee or furthest from Earth at 405,825 km.

May 18 – First quarter moon. Public Stargazing Night, Niagara Gateway Tourism Centre, 424 South Service Rd, Grimsby, 8-11 p.m.

May 23 – Saturn pairs with the moon and will be four degrees apart.

May 25 – This month’s full moon is called the Hare Moon.

May 25-27 – Mercury, Jupiter and Venus group low in the north western evening twilight sky. This could be fantastic through binoculars. It will be the best planetary conjunction of the year.

May 31 – Last quarter moon.

For more information, please see the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers web site at or call (905) 627-4323.

Mario Carr is the club’s director of public education and appears on CHCH-TV to talk about the night sky. He can be reached at


About Mario Carr

Mario Carr has a Physics degree from McMaster University and hosts this blog. He is the director of publicity for the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers and has helped to raise the profile of the group. He writes an astronomy column and appeared on CHCH-TV to talk about the night sky. Mario is the founder of the Carr Marketing Group in Burlington, Ontario and can help with your marketing, communications, publicity and public relations needs. He can be reached at or
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One Response to Satellite spotting

  1. Pingback: Our diminishing night sky | The sky this month

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