May is the fifth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars a month of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. It is named after the Greek goddess, Maia or Roman goddess of fertility, Bona Dea. Old English – Maius, Latin name – Maius mensis – Month of Maia, Old French – Mai. Maia was one of the Pleiades and the mother of Hermes. Maia is the daughter of Atlas and Pleione the Oceanid and is the oldest of the seven Pleiades. Because they were daughters of Atlas, they were also called the Atlantides. For the Romans, it embodied the concept of growth and as her name was thought to be related to the comparative adjective maius, maior “larger, greater”. Convallaria majalis, the Lily of the Valley, is named after it and it is the flower of May in Europe.
The stars around Sirius make up the constellation of Canis Major which has some really nice open clusters to view through binoculars or a telescope.
Today at 2:35 was the last Supermoon for 2020 but the Moon will not rise until tonight so it will be passed the phase of Full Moon when it does. If you get a chance, go outside and have a look. If you miss it, don’t worry, it’ll be back next year.
Tonight is the last Supermoon for 2019 so if you get a chance, go outside and have a look. But if you miss it, don’t worry, it’ll be back next year.
Unfortunately we will miss the Lunar Eclipse this Monday night/Tuesday morning and the programme for the next couple of years for eclipses is very light for this part of the world.
Recently published research has demonstrated that the expansion of the universe and black holes may be linked.
Stardate South Island was held 17-19 Feb 2023 at Staveley, near Christchurch. It was a fantastic weekend and you can read all about it here.
Venus doesn’t capture a lot of press time as it’s often overshadowed by the more hospitable Mars and the more photogenic planets of Saturn and Jupiter. It’s not all quiet around Venus, as JAXA has Akatsuki orbiting Earth’s twin and sending back some great images and building our understanding of Venus.
We got AI to describe Einstein’s theory of general relativity, and the results are pretty good. We also got some AI images created.