In the May 2018 issue of Sky & Telescope, explore mysteries of space. What is dark energy (will we find out in our own lifetime?) Visit (or revisit) some of the most showstopping objects to view through a telescope. Learn how to access NASA mission data from the Planetary Data System so that you can process stunning images from Cassini and more! Journey into the Australian interior to see the treasure trove of a truly dark Southern Hemisphere sky. In this issue, we also share our test report on Meade's 115-millimeter ED Triplet. Check out our observing picks for the month, and become an expert at spotting the Great Red Spot! Enjoy these and other stories in the May 2018 issue of Sky & Telescope.
The Dark Energy Enigma
Twenty years after they discovered cosmic expansion is accelerating, astronomers are still working hard to understand why it’s happening.
By Marcus Woo
Big, Bold, Bright, and Beautiful
Play celestial tourist and pick some low-hanging fruit tonight.
By Jerry Oltion
Dig into NASA’s Planetary Data System
A vast treasure trove of unseen planetary images awaits intrepid amateurs.
By Emily Lakdawalla
A Journey to the Dark Site of the Earth
A trip Down Under offered these observers their best views of some dramatic, deep-sky sights.
By Jurij Stare & Zbigniew Zembaty
Meade’s 115mm ED Triplet
This 4.5-inch apochromat packs a lot of bang for the buck.
By Rod Mollise
Beyond the Printed Page
Dark Energy Survey Releases First Three Years of Data
Results from the first data release of the Dark Energy Survey include eleven new stellar streams in the Milky Way galaxy.
Akatsuki’s Amazing Views of Venus
Almost everyone considered Japan's Venus-bound orbiter a lost cause, but Akatsuki survived, reached its objective, and is wowing scientists with results.
Solar Eclipse Made Bow Waves in Earth’s Atmosphere
New research shows that the supersonic motion of the Moon's shadow across the continental U.S. in August 2017 created bow waves in Earth's atmosphere.
Lunar Librations and Phases of the Moon
Librations and other lunar data for May 2018.
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE
In the Path of the Closest Comet
From Draco to Cancer a comet hurtled.
By Fred Schaaf
Jupiter, By Jove!
The solar system's greatest gas giant puts in a bold appearance this month.
By S. N. Johnson-Roehr
Spotting Jupiter's Spot
Timing is everything when it comes to glimpsing the iconic Great Red Spot. Steady seeing helps too.
By J. Kelly Beatty
The Star-Clad Maiden
Visit Virgo to find these exemplary galaxies of spring.
By Sue French
Table of Contents
See what else May's issue has to offer.