Sunday, June 24, 2018
News Roundup

Astronomy column: a look at what's happening in May

Start to look for Mercury low in the west-northwest at dusk about mid May. Our innermost planet reaches the greatest angular (elongation) distance from the sun on May 25.

Jupiter is easily the brightest planet or star in the evening (western) sky at nightfall. Our largest planet is joined by the moon the evenings of May 3, 4 and 31. A telescope will show light and dark bands across Jupiter's surface. At the same time, look for Jupiter's four largest moons orbiting the planet.

Mars is bright in the southeast after dark at the start of May. It will dim as we move deeper into the month. The moon is near Mars May 10-11.

Since Saturn is in opposition, it will rise with the setting sun and set with the rising sun. It will be highest in the south a little after midnight. In a telescope, the rings are tilted 22 degrees to our line of sight.

Jupiter, Mars and Saturn are all prominent in the evening sky in May. Check out the opportunities listed in the column to see them in a telescope. Saturn is my favorite.

Venus rises an hour before the sun around mid month and will be found below a thin crescent moon on May 25. Venus is the brightest of all the planets and about the size of Earth.

There is a possibility of a meteor shower the morning of May 24. It is at this time that Earth will move through the debris from a passing comet. When this debris burns up in our upper atmosphere, we have a meteor shower. One could see as many as 100 meteors an hour or very few. Keep watch between 1 and 5 a.m., and good luck!

At the planetariums

Science + Technology Education Innovation Center, 7701 22nd Ave. N, St. Petersburg: Sci-Fi and Sky Night starts at 6 p.m. May 3. For more information, call (727) 384-0027 or visit sciencecenter ofpinellas.com.

The St. Petersburg Astronomy Club meets at 8 p.m. May 23.

St. Petersburg College, 69th Street and Fifth Avenue N, St. Petersburg: Free planetarium shows begin at 7 and 8:15 p.m. Fridays. There will be no show May 16. Call (727) 341-4320 for details.

Museum of Science and Industry, 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa: Hidden Universe is being shown in the IMAX Dome. Call (813) 987-6100 or visit mosi.org for more events.

The astronomy club meets at 7 p.m. May 9 in the Science Works Theatre.

Daryl L. Schrader is professor emeritus at St. Petersburg College and teaches astronomy at the University of South Florida.

Comments
Rays beat Yankees in 12 innings on Jake Bauers homer

Rays beat Yankees in 12 innings on Jake Bauers homer

ST. PETERSBURG – Jake Bauers hit a walk-off home run in the 12th inning as the Rays defeated the Yankees 7-6 in front of 23,667 at Tropicana Field to complete a three-game sweep Sunday. It's the first time the Yankees have lost three straight t...
Updated: 7 minutes ago

A local hockey draftee? Mitchell grad Nathan Smith is just that

TAMPA — Every year during draft season, local players from the Tampa Bay area are selected in the NFL, MLB and even NBA drafts.But hockey?Sure enough, in the third round of Saturday's NHL draft, the Winnipeg Jets selected Nathan Smith, a forwar...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Suspect dead, 2 injured in St. Petersburg home invasion-turned-shooting

Suspect dead, 2 injured in St. Petersburg home invasion-turned-shooting

ST. PETERSBURGSuspect dead, 2 injured in home invasion, shootingThree people forced their way into a St. Petersburg house before dawn Sunday before gunfire broke out, killing a suspect and injuring two residents, police said.About 5:30 a.m., the peop...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Hit-and-run driver plows into New Tampa family on bike ride

Hit-and-run driver plows into New Tampa family on bike ride

A Tampa man suffered life-threatening injuries and his 3-year-old son is in serious condition after being struck by a hit-and-run driver as they went on a family bike ride Sunday afternoon."This is a family in a very tough situation," Tampa Police De...
Updated: 1 hour ago
A jogger accidentally crossed into the US from Canada and was detained for two weeks

A jogger accidentally crossed into the US from Canada and was detained for two weeks

The coast of White Rock, British Columbia, in western Canada looks to be an ideal place for a run, with its sweeping views of the Semiahmoo Bay to the west and scores of waterfront homes and seafood restaurants to the east. Thatís what 19-year-old Ce...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Office building demolition at Midtown Tampa site proves tougher than expected

Office building demolition at Midtown Tampa site proves tougher than expected

TAMPA ó Stripped to the girders, the old Bromley office building looked about as substantial as fish bones on a dinner plate.But the 5-story structure proved Sunday it still had a surprising amount of fight left in it.A demolition team had planned to...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Head-on crash kills Pasco teenager, injures three

Head-on crash kills Pasco teenager, injures three

NEW PORT RICHEY ó A 19-year-old driver died in a three-car crash on Moon Lake Road on Saturday afternoon, the Florida Highway Patrol reported.Jillian Faith Hitt, 19 and of New Port Richey, was driving north on the road in a 2008 Hyundai Accent, weari...
Updated: 5 hours ago
President Trumpís trade war threatens the US newspaper industry

President Trumpís trade war threatens the US newspaper industry

STERLING, Ill. - As a longtime editor of small-town newspapers, Jeff Rogers has seen his industry face the collapse of print advertising, the rise of the internet and more. Today, his 18 employees work in a newsroom here that puts out two daily newsp...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Police: St. Petersburg driver falls asleep at wheel after drinking, kills motorcyclist

Police: St. Petersburg driver falls asleep at wheel after drinking, kills motorcyclist

ST. PETERSBURG ó A 22-year-old driver fell asleep at the wheel after drinking and ran a red light, hitting and killing a motorcyclist Saturday night, police said.Just before midnight, Michael P. Majchrowski, 48, was riding a 2016 BMW motorcycle eastb...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Making the case for more drones

Making the case for more drones

BLACKSBURG, Va. - They considered how well everyone slept the night before. They considered the chances a military jet might scream by on a training mission. They considered the farmer in the field.Then they considered some more.After making it throu...
Updated: 9 hours ago