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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Looking Up: A Stargazer’s Guide to May 2014

Looking Up: A Stargazer’s Guide to May 2014

Here’s a quick look at what’s going on in the sky during the month of May, 2014:

May 6 — First Quarter Moon, 11:15 p.m. One-half of the Moon appears illuminated by direct sunlight while the illuminated part is increasing.

May 6 — Moon at apogee (its farthest point to the Earth), 6 a.m.

May 6 — Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower. A weak shower emanating from Aquarius. Viewing is best in the Southern U.S.

May 10 — Saturn at opposition. A body in space is at opposition when it sits 180° from the Sun in relationship to the Earth. This is the best time to view a superior planet – one beyond the Earth’s orbit.

May 14 — Full Moon, 3:16 9.m. The visible Moon is fully illuminated by direct sunlight. Though the Moon is only technically in this phase for a few seconds, it is considered “full” for the entire day of the event, and appears full for three days. May’s full Moon with be a “supermoon,” meaning it coincides with the Moon’s perigee, or closest point to the Earth, making it larger in appearance and causing exceptionally high tides.

May 18 — Moon at perigee (its closest point to the Earth), 8 a.m.

May 21 — Last Quarter Moon, 8:59 a.m. One-half of the Moon appears illuminated by direct sunlight while the illuminated part is decreasing.

May 25 — Mercury at greatest eastern elongation. A body in space is at elongation is when it reaches its farthest angle from the Sun, as viewed from Earth. This is the best time to view an inferior planet – one inside of the Earth’s orbit.

May 28 — New Moon, 2:40 p.m. The Moon is not illuminated by direct sunlight.

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If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.