You may be asking who Jane is and why would I want to go on a date with her? I worked with a fabulous gentleman by the name of Ed “Coach” Smart. We would regularly discuss where he was going to take his “lovely bride Jane,” as he calls her. This got me thinking, more people should take a page out of Ed & Jane’s book. There is an art to dating, one that requires forethought and planning. In this weekly segment I am going to put together a “Date with Jane” that everyone can enjoy.
There’s always something special going on in the night sky, from eclipses to meteor showers. The week of May 4th is an especially exciting time to see plenty of celestial highlights. That is why Ed & Jane will be grabbing a few items and heading out to do some serious stargazing for their next date.  If you are new to stargazing, read below for all the tips and tricks for a successful night under the stars.
First thing is to know when and where to witness some magic.

Eta Aquarid Meteors – May 4 to May 5

The forecast calls for the greatest number of Eta Aquarid meteors to fall before dawn on (or near) May 5. However, this shower has a rather broad maximum, so just as many meteors may be flying on the mornings before and after. There is one big caveat for watching the Eta Aquarids in 2020 though. The shower will have to contend with a nearly full waxing moon. From mid-northern latitudes you will see about 10 meteors per hour. In general, the best time to watch these fast and often bright meteors is in the hour or two before the onset of morning twilight. Give yourself at least an hour of viewing time for watching any meteor shower. Meteors tend to come in spurts that are interspersed by lulls.

Also, it can take as long as 20 minutes for your eyes to adapt to the dark. You don’t need special equipment to watch a meteor shower, but a little luck always helps. Find a dark, open sky away from artificial lights and sprawl out. Meteor watching is a lot like fishing. Sometimes you catch a good number of them and sometimes you don’t.

This date will also require a few other items for comfort:

A reclining beach chair or beach towel

A star wheel (make your own) because if you are there you might as well try to find some constellations

Flashlights to find your way around (red if you have one, to help your eyes adjust faster)

You’ll need some Savannah Coffee Roasters Moon River to give you that jolt of energy plus some 8-bit triple chocolate asteroid donuts.  Don’t worry you can get them the day before and microwave them for a few seconds to revive.

Super Flower Moon – May 7

May’s Full Moon rises on Thursday, May 7! This will be the last of the three Super-Moons to occur this year, so don’t miss it! The Full Moon of May is known as Flower Moon to signify the flowers that bloom during this month. On average, Super-Moons are about 7% bigger and about 15% brighter than a typical Full Moon.

This date will require a few items for comfort:

The Moon is setting the atmosphere for this date but you can also really get into stargazing with the app Stellarium. Decide what you want to search for in the sky (such as star clusters, constellations, planets) and use Stellarium to find them virtually: this will tell you which direction they lie in, and how high up in the sky to look. Sky Map (Android) and Star Walk (iPhone) are free stargazing apps and provide the names of stars, constellations and planets if you point your phone at the sky. Both have a “night view” or “red light” options, which is useful once your eyes adjust to the dark.

You’ll need a reclining chair or blanket

Binoculars could definitely come in handy on this date

Next we are going to whip up a Super-Moon cocktail:

2 ounces tequila
1 ounce Cointreau
1/4 cup cream of coconut
2 ounces pineapple juice
juice from 1/2 lime

Add all ingredients to an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously and strain into a coupe glass.

We will definitely need some moon munchies: cheese popcorn from River Street Sweets, a custom cheese board from Savannah Boards, and don’t forget moon pies for dessert of course.