What's Up in The Sky Now
June 2017 (Notes by DMAS member Dave Lynch)
Hopefully, now that the spring monsoons are finally over and clear skies return we can enjoy the sight of two major planets that always bring about pleasure to all who see them - especially first timers. Saturn returns to the night sky this month and along with Jupiter they add a lot more to our evening fun.
MERCURY is basking in the glow of the Sun's glare all month, but we will not be able to get a peek at it this month. Next month we will have just a tiny window to try to see this elusive planet.
VENUS continues to climb higher in the morning sky this month and for you early morning risers it is the brightest object in the sky at that time of day. By the end of June Venus rises over an hour before the beginning of sunrise.
EARTH has undergone the transformation of stark landscape to flowering trees and bushes everywhere. With plenty of moisture in the past months Earth is turning into the green planet before our eyes.
MARS is finally gone from view. The Red Planet hung around for almost two years but has finally said good bye and slipped into the glare of the sun in the western sky. We won't see Mars again for some time.
JUPITER is still the King of the night sky this month and will remain so for several months to come. Well up at sunset, the giant planet remains in view until almost 3:00 a.m. Look for Jupiter to have a very close encounter with the moon on June 3rd right after sunset.
SATURN is finally back in the night sky rising right after sunset around here. This month Saturn is at its closest point to Earth in its 30 year orbit around the sun. The ring system will appear wide open this time, so enjoy.
URANUS will be a slight challenge to you early morning risers. Shining at ten times less the brightness of Venus, it is located a mere two degrees north of Venus in the pre dawn hours. Look very low to the horizon.
NEPTUNE is slowly starting to re-appear in the night sky. It rises close to midnight in the constellation of Aquarius. It will eventually climb high enough to see well but only in the short hours before sunrise.
First Quarter -> June 01
Full Moon -> June 09
Last Quarter -> June 17
New Moon -> June 24
TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE IN AUGUST: Total Solar Eclipse - 2017
If you don't know about the Total Solar Eclipse coming August 21, 2017, you soon will. Click the button above for an information sheet. This may be your only chance to see one of nature's greatest shows and you won't have to travel to the ends of the earth to see it. Now is the time to start making plans. Check our Saturday Public Night schedule for programs about the eclipse, or talk to a DMAS member. We do have approved solar viewers available at Ashton.
Deep Space Objects
Click the link above for Monthly Stargazing Targets to get details about other things that can be seen this month.