June Astronomy

June Astronomy

June 3, 2016| Categories: Planetarium News, Skywatch Almanac Astronomy, StarGazing

Astronomy Highlights

Our latest sunsets of the year mean that star-gazing doesn’t get going until late evening.  Dominating those hours after 10 o’clock is the planetary pairing of Mars and Saturn, set amongst the stars of the Scorpion, climbing from the southeast into the south.  Jupiter also offers some fine views, shining just below Leo, the Lion as he edges into the southwest.  The other planets, Venus and Mercury, remain near the glare of the Sun.  The Summer Triangle rises in the east – Vega, highest and brightest in the northeast, Deneb nearer the horizon, and Altair to their right, all three flanking the returning Milky Way, which rides above the eastern horizon, starting in the north, continuing to the Scorpion in the south.

June Astronomy Notes

11 – The Moon is just shy of its First Quarter as it spends the evening to the left of Jupiter, the pair setting just before 1 AM EDT.

18 – The waxing Gibbous Moon is to the upper left of Saturn this evening, due south at 11:45 PM.

20 – The Full “Strawberry” Moon on the Summer Solstice—a rare event not repeated until 2100.

20 – The Summer Solstice takes place at  6:34 PM EDT, marking our longest day and shortest night.

The Moon is Full on the Summer Solstice this year, though the precise moments are more than 14 hours apart.  This only happens about once in 19 years, and due to complexities of the Earth’s and the Moon’s orbit, can be even farther apart.  The next time it happens will be the year 2100.

New Moon: June 4

First Quarter: June 12

Full “Strawberry” Moon: June 20

Last Quarter: June 27

Tags: Eye on the Night Sky, Fairbanks Museum, Fairbanks Museum astronomy, Mark Breen