Star Watch

STAR WATCH FOR June, 2017

The WCSU Planetarium and Observatory are currently closed for the summer season, but the Star Watch page will continue to be updated. In July, we will have a special section devoted to August’s solar eclipse.

NIGHTLY SKY CALENDAR 

*, !, !! – interesting to very interesting celestial event
WOW!! — ‘must-see’ event
E –  calendar or geometry- related event (such as an equinox)

Day Date Note Description
Thu June 15 !! Saturn reaches opposition to the Sun, rising around sunset and visible all night; look low in the southeast to south to southwest during the night to see the zero-magnitude planet. The northern (“top”) side of the rings now faces us, tilted to its maximum extent of about 27 degrees 0.
Sat 17 Last Quarter Moon
Tue,Wed 20, 21 ! Look east before dawn to see the Moon pass near the bright planet Venus (to its right on the 20th, below it on the 21st).
Wed 21 E The summer solstice begins at 12:24 a.m.
Fri 23 The Moon reaches perigee at 357,937 km (222,412 miles) from Earth’s center. Since the Moon is nearly at New phase then, expect a larger than average range in ocean tides.
Fri 23 New Moon
Fri 30 First Quarter Moon passes near Jupiter; look south in early evening.

 

PLANET INFORMATION                                                                                              

MERCURY – a pre-dawn object, is too close to the Sun to be seen during June. It shifts into the evening sky during July, but the viewing geometry is more favorable for Southern Hemisphere observers.

VENUS – bright in the eastern pre-dawn sky, it reached greatest western elongation on June 3. Venus remains well visible as a pre-dawn planet throughout the summer.

MARS – low in the west-northwestern sky after sunset, vanishes into the Sun’s glare during June and is not observable in July.

JUPITER – near the spring star Spica, is bright in the southwestern evening sky during June.

SATURN – is in Ophiuchus. It reaches opposition on June 15 and is visible all night long, though low in the southern sky.


Star Watch is a service provided by the Earth and Planetary Sciences program at Western Connecticut State University. Thanks for connecting!