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Kevin M. Berg

Astronomy News

In the News May

Chang'e-6 Moon Mission is Exciting!
May 3rd,   China's 6th Chang'-e lunar mission successfully launched today!   This multi-level mission will deliver a lunar communication satellite, deliver an autonomous lunar module to core samples from the far side of the Aitkin basin, and will return the samples to Earth for analysis.   Not to mention the mission's collaboration with France, Sweden, Italy, and a Pakistan who have all provided science objectives on this mission. This is ambitious!   Learn more about this mission in the brief online article at

Human Cargo Aboard... Get it Right!
May 6th or so...   How long?   Since 2014, same as SpaceX!   That's how long Boeing has been working on perfecting their semi-reusable Starliner spacecraft, built to shuttle astronauts to and from the ISS.   Getting it right is no small task; soon NASA will have two options to fulfill future missions.   After replacing a faulty valve, the launch is currently scheduled for no sooner than May 17th.   For more information, see this brief news item in

Triangles in Triangles!
Of course there is a Spring Triangle!   Lacking the notoriety of the Summer and Winter Triangles which mark the beginning and end of the Milky Way, the Spring Triangle's claim to fame is that it is the welcome harbinger of warmer days.   So, which stars catch our eye in this "Rodney Dangerfield" of triangles?   The "official" triangle consists of these three first magnitude stars: Arcturus, Spica, and Regulus.   Within this acute triangle, some observers also note the smaller triangle of bright stars by substituting Denebola for Regulus.   Well, that is the beauty of asterisms, isn't it!   The shapes we see are ours to relish!   Want to learn another fun word?   Visit NASA's website to enjoy an explanation of pareidolia!!

May's Lunar Cycle:
The Last Quarter Moon occurs on the 1st, New Moon on the 7th, First Quarter on the 15th, Full Moon is on the 23rd and the cycle completes on the 30th with the second "last quarter" of this month.

On-Line Programs to enjoy on a cloudy night!
--Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Image of Aristarchus Crater released Dec 1st, 2022 LROC,.
--The McDonald Observatory Archive of livestreams can be found Here.
--The STSCI lecture series archives can be found Here.

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