After a few months break, we are back with our monthly stargazing calendar series.
On June 7 there will be a conjunction of the Moon and Mars. The two celestial bodies will get as close as two degrees of each other in the evening sky. The gibbous moon will be at magnitude -12.2 while Mars will be at magnitude -0.8, both in the constellation Virgo.
On June 21 the June solstice will occur at 10:51 UTC. The North Pole of our planet will be tilted toward the Sun, which will have reached its northernmost position in the sky and will be directly over the Tropic of Cancer at 23.44 degrees north latitude. This event marks the first day of summer (summer solstice) in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of winter (winter solstice) in the Southern Hemisphere.
As you know, the moon has a big impact on the visibility of celestial bodies in the night sky. So here are the moon’s phases for this month:
Positions of the planets this month
Mercury: The closest planet to the Sun can be seen at dawn and dusk travelling across the constellations of Gemini, Orion, and Taurus. This planet, being the closest to the Sun, will appear to move quickly in the night sky and its position will change in the following weeks.
Venus: The sister planet can be seen between the constellations of Cetus and Taurus. Just like Mercury, Venus can only be seen at dawn and dusk.
Mars: The red planet can be seen in the constellation of Virgo.
Jupiter: The gas giant is visible in the constellation of Gemini. Jupiter can easily be spotted with the naked eye, even in highly illuminated cities.
Saturn: The ringed giant can be seen with the naked eye in the constellation of Libra.
Uranus: The gas giant can be seen in the constellation of Pisces with the use of a telescope.
Neptune: The blue giant requires a telescope pointed in the constellation of Aquarius in order to be seen.
Major astronomical event next month
- July 28, 29 – Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower.