June Sky Guide

13 years 3 months ago #46700 by Neill
June Sky Guide was created by Neill
Hi all,

Below is a guide to the June sky, enjoy.

OBSERVING GUIDE
(Please note all times are BST and are based on an observing location of Belfast)

The Sun

At the start of the month the Sun rises at 04:55 and sets at 21:50. By the end of the month, it rises at 04:50 and sets at 22:00.

The Planets

Look out on the evening of the 30th after sunset and you will see Saturn and Venus lying less than 1 degree apart. It should be a spectacular sight.

Mercury is at Greatest Eastern Elongation on the 2nd. It then moves Westward back towards the Sun for inferior conjunction on the 28th. At the start of the month, it will be mag +0.5 and will fade as the month progresses. It will be in Gemini and sets at 23:55 at the start of the month. For the first half of the month, it will be visible low in the West after sunset, but it will not be visible after the 14th, as it will lie too close to the Sun.

Venus is a brilliant evening object in the West. It is at Greatest Eastern Elongation on the 8th. At the start of the month it sets at 01:15 and by month’s end it sets at 00:00. It brightens during the month from mag -4.3 at the start to mag -4.4 by month’s end.

Mars is to be found low in the South East before sunrise. At the start of the month, it rises at 03:10, just less than two hours before sunrise and by month’s end, it rises three hours before sunrise at 01:50. It can be found in Pisces during the month. It brightens from mag +0.8 at the start of the month to mag +0.7 by month’s end.

Jupiter is to be found low in the South East in Ophiuchus. It is at opposition on the 5th. It rises at 21:55 at the start of the month and by month’s end, it rises during daylight and sets at 03:20. It fades from mag -2.6 at the start of the month to mag -2.5 by month’s end.

Saturn can be found in Leo. It is moving Westward all the time and sets at 01:55 at the start of the month and by month’s end, it sets at 00:05. It dims this month from mag +0.5 at the start of the month to mag +0.6 by month’s end.

Uranus can be found low in the South East in Aquarius before sunrise. At the start of the month, it rises over two hour before the Sun at 02:30 and by month’s end, it rises over four hours before the Sun at 00:35. It brightens from mag +5.9 at the start of the month to mag +5.8 by month’s end.

Neptune can be found low in the South East in Capricornus before sunrise. At the start of the month, it rises over three hours before the Sun at 01:45 and by month’s end, it rises at 23:45. It maintains its brightness at mag +7.9 throughout the month.


The Moon

This month we have a blue moon. This occurs when there are two full moons in one month.

The first full moon is on the 1st. Last quarter moon is on the 8th, the new moon is on 15th with the first quarter moon on the 22nd. The second full moon is on the 30th.

On the morning of the 6th, a waning gibbous moon lies close to Neptune with the moon to the West of the planet.

On the morning of the 8th, a waning gibbous moon lies close to Uranus with the moon to the West of the planet.

On the evening of the 15th, a 1 % illuminated waxing crescent moon may be visible for up to an hour after sunset in the North West. For safety reasons, only observe after the sun has set.

On the evening of the 16th, a 3 % illuminated waxing crescent moon will be visible in the North West, just after sunset.

On the evening of the 17th, there is an astrophotography opportunity when Saturn, Venus and a 9 % illuminated waxing crescent moon lie close together in the West after sunset. Venus will lie 9 degrees to the East of the moon with Saturn the same distance to the East of Venus.

There is a daylight occultation of Venus by a 14 % illuminated waxing crescent moon on the 18th. The planet will disappear behind the dark lunar limb at 14:50 approximately and reappear from behind the bright lunar limb at 16:15 approximately. The moon will be approximately in the South/South East at an angular distance of approximately 45 degrees. The sun will be present in the sky, so the usual safety precautions should be taken.

On the evening of the 18th, there is an astrophotography opportunity when a 16 % illuminated waxing crescent moon lies between Venus and Saturn in the West after sunset.

On the evening of the 19th, there is an astrophotography opportunity when Saturn, Venus, Regulus and a 25 % illuminated waxing crescent moon lie close together in the West after sunset at around 23:00. The moon will lie 1.5 degrees to the West of Regulus with Saturn 7 degrees to the West of the moon and Venus 8 degrees distance to the West of Saturn.

Meteors

There are four showers this month.

The first is the Theta Ophiuchids. They peak on the 10th with a ZHR of 10. The moon will be in the waning crescent phase, so should not interfere.

The second shower is the June Lyrids. They peak on the 15th with a ZHR of 8. The radiant lies just South of Vega. The moon is new, so it will not interfere.

The third shower is the Ophiuchids. They peak on the 20th with a ZHR of 6. The moon will be in the waxing crescent phase, so should not interfere.

The final shower is the June Bootids. They peak on the 27th at around 21:00 with a ZHR of 2. Outbursts have been previously observed, so there is a small chance of a higher ZHR. The moon could interfere with this shower as it will be only 3 days from full, but it will be very low in the sky near Antares, so the interference could be minimal.

Asteroids

Vesta was at opposition last month and this month it remains within naked eye visibility. It fades from mag +5.4 at the start of the month to mag +6.0 by month’s end. It can be found in Ophiuchus to the West of Jupiter, close to M107.

Comets

Comet Linear C/2006 VZ13 is estimated to be mag +12 at the start of the month, but it will brighten to an estimated mag +10 by month’s end. It is in Andromeda at the start of the month, passing by Lacerta and moving into Cepheus by the start of the last week of the month.

Finder charts for locating the above and other
comets can be found at;
http://www.skyhound.com/sh/comets.html

Deep Sky

On the deep sky front this month, the summer triangle of Deneb in Cygnus, Vega in Lyra and Altair in Aquila is prominent. In Leo, we have the Leo triplet - M65, M66 and NGC 3628. However the place to find galaxies is in Virgo and Coma Berenices. The Realm of Galaxies can be found here.

In Coma Berenices, there is M64 - the BlackEye Galaxy and in Canes Venatici, there is M3 - a globular cluster and several galaxies including M51 - the Whirpool Galaxy and M63 - the Sunflower Galaxy. The globular clusters M13 and M92 can be found in Hercules. The galaxies M81, M82 and M101 can be found in Ursa Major.

For additional ideas of what galaxies, star clusters and nebulae are in the sky this month; check out Mark Stronge’s Monthly Deep Sky Highlights at www.eaas.co.uk/stargazers.html .

General Notes

The Summer Solstice is on the 21st of the month. This is the day with the greatest number of sunlight hours and after this the daytime gets gradually shorter and the nighttime gets gradually longer. It also marks the start of summer.

The night sky does not get fully dark this month. Between May and the middle of August, Astronomical twilight is present at night. This is when the sun is between twelve and eighteen degrees below the horizon.

Always keep an eye out for Aurorae. Check out http://www.stronge.org.uk/spaceweather.html for the most up-to-date information on the aurorae. Watch out for NLCs - Noctilucent Clouds this month. They are also known as Polar Mesospheric Clouds as they are thought to be due to water ice particles up in the mesosphere. They are visible between the Northern latitudes of 50 to 65 degrees. Look to the North for a white/silvery glow. They can sometimes be faint, sometimes bright.

Other interesting naked eye phenomena to look out for include the Zodiacal Light and the Gegenschein. Both are caused by sunlight reflecting off dust particles which are present in the solar system. The Zodiacal Light can be seen in the West after evening twilight has disappeared or in the East before the morning twilight. The Gegenschein can be seen in the area of the sky opposite the sun. To view either, you must get yourself to a very dark site to cut out the light pollution. Moonlight also hampers the view.

Finally check out www.heavens-above.com for the latest passes of the ISS and for details of Iridium Flare activity.

Clear Skies

Neill McKeown

Linda: "All in all, this is one day Mittens the kitten won't soon forget."
Morbo: "Kittens give Morbo gas."

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13 years 3 months ago #46723 by Seanie_Morris
Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re: June Sky Guide
Thanks for taking the time to compile this Neil, some very useful info there.

Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.

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