June Astronomy

Jupiter and Saturn are visible this month in the summer sky.

Jupiter and Saturn are visible this month in the summer sky.

May 16, 2017| Categories: Eye on the Sky, Planetarium News, Skywatch Almanac Astronomy, StarGazing

Our two largest planets, Jupiter and Saturn, make for great evening viewing, and each get a visit from the Moon (see above).  Venus shines low in the east for early risers between 3 and 4 AM.  Mars and Mercury remain lost in 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 wading within the returning Milky Way, climbing higher above the eastern horizon, stretching south to the Scorpion, hosting Saturn.  The Big Dipper makes its annual descent from high above, lowering into the northwest.



2nd – Venus is at its Greatest Western Elongation, its largest separation from the Sun, though it remains a fetching morning object through October.

9th – The Full “Strawberry” Moon spends the evening to the left of Saturn, tracking low across the south.

14th – Saturn reaches opposition this evening, rising at sunset, and riding low across the south all night.

21st – The Summer Solstice takes place at 12:24 AM EDT, our longest day of the year. The Summer Solstice is often noted as having the longest daylight, and the shortest night of the year.  But the word “solstice” comes from Latin for “sun standing still”.  This refers to its rising and setting points on the horizon, reaching its most northerly locations, and stopping there before shifting south


The month of June’s Full Moon’s name is the Full Strawberry Moon. June’s Full Strawberry Moon got its name because the Algonquin tribes knew it as a signal to gather ripening fruit. It was often known as the Full Rose Moon in Europe and the Honey Moon.

First Quarter: June 1

Full “Strawberry” Moon: June 9

Last Quarter: June 17

New Moon: June 23

First Quarter: June 30

Lyman Spitzer Jr. Planetarium Schedule

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