Tour May’s Sky! | April 15th, 2012

Saturn and Spica
Look east in the evening sky to find creamy-colored Saturn and the icy-white star Spica close together.
Sky & Telescope diagram
The good news is that we’re past the chilly nights that require a heavy coat, hat, and gloves just to enjoy the nighttime sky. But the bad news is that the season’s first waves of insects have arrived. You can also ward off most of those annoying critters by wearing lightweight long-sleeved clothing.

Low in the west you'll find brilliant Venus sandwiched between Betelgeuse to its lower left and Capella to its upper right. All three are slipping deeper into the twilight with each passing night.

Follow the imaginary line from the just-set Sun through Venus and sweep up to the left until you run into bright, ruddy Mars. Not far away is the bright star Regulus.

Keep following that line eastward until you run into Saturn over in the east. Just beneath it is the star Spica. Although nearly equal in brightness, Saturn is creamy colored while Spica is icy white.

To get a tour of "what's up" for the next few weeks, download May's audio sky tour. It's a 7-megabyte MP3 file that's 7¼ minutes long.

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