The cover of the May 2022 issue

Comet Leonard, Venus, and Springtime Galaxies

In the May 2022 issue of Sky & Telescope, we’re displaying some of the incredible images and sketches of Comet Leonard (C/2021 A1) sent to us by our readers. We also discuss a possible new meteor shower from the broken pieces of Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann. Plus, Venusian science is on the rise with three new missions heading to Earth’s sister planet in the next decade. So if you haven’t taken a look at the second planet from the Sun in some time, it’s time to break out those binoculars. We also have a fantastic selection of springtime binocular galaxies to enjoy while you wait for Venus to appear over the horizon alongside Jupiter a few hours before the Sun this month. Also in this issue, we present a cosmology conundrum for you to mull over: Why don’t the oldest stars have as much lithium as current estimates say they should?


Venus Renaissance

Three new missions will transform our understanding of Earth’s evil twin in the 2030s.

By Emily Lakdawalla

The Lithium Problem

Why do the oldest stars have only a third as much lithium as Big Bang predictions say they should?

By Ken Croswell

Springtime’s Neglected Binocular Galaxies

Crack out your binos and see how many distant island universes you can spot during mild May evenings.

By Scott Harrington

A New Meteor Shower?

A broken comet might produce a surprise display at the end of May.

By Joe Rao

Leonard’s Surprising Show

Comet C/2021 A1 closed out 2021 with a photographic bang.

By Sean Walker

Beyond the Printed Page:

Lunar Eclipse Activities

Help S&T editors and scientists measure the size of the Earth’s shadow during the total lunar eclipses in 2022.


Read AAVSO’s guide to getting started in spectroscopy.

A Solid-Glass Schmidt-Cassegrain

Learn more about the Schmidt-Cassegrain that Rik ter Horst made from a single piece of glass.

Life Beyond Earth

Check out the scale that leading astrobiology officials proposed to rank reports of possible alien life detection.


Close-Up on the Crow

Compact Corvus is striking spring constellation.

By Fred Schaaf

A Flower Moon Eclipse

This month offers the first total lunar eclipse in a year.

By Bob King

The Surprising Tale of Mercury’s Tail

The innermost planet sports a comet-like appendage.

By Thomas A. Dobbins

Beauty Beyond Boötes

The hunting hounds of the Herdsman chase a ball of stars named M3.

By Ken Hewitt-White

Table of Contents

See what else May’s issue has to offer.


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