May is the month when Jupiter is on the opposite side of the Earth compared to the Sun. This opposition occurs on 9th May and means Jupiter is at its biggest and brightest this year. The larger angular size of the planet mean it appears bigger in telescopes and binoculars and features such as the bands or the Great Red Spot are easier to see. Oppositions in the Spring and Summer months mean the planets are low in the night sky and suffer from more atmospheric turbulence and poor seeing. However, on a good night you’ll still be rewarded by a magnificent sight.
Our monthly guide to the night sky in May can be downloaded here:
The guide from Sky Maps is also available too