Astronomy Info & Events - June

Moon Phases

June 6: Last Quarter Moon

June 13: New Moon

June 20: First Quarter Moon

June 27: Full Moon (the Strawberry Moon) 

Special Events

Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner becomes visible through a telescope and binoculars this month in the constellation of Cygnus, the swan.  This comet may become a naked eye comet by September at magnitude 6. 

June 1 to June 30: Watch for noctilucent clouds in the evening northern sky this month! 

International Space Station (ISS) Observable Passes

ISS passes are only seen for the first two days of June with the passes occurring during the late evening hours. Check out the website http://www.heavens-above.com or by using satellite tracking smart phone apps like Sputnik to find out the exact times when the ISS will be visible from your location.  The ISS will be seen as a bright moving point of light, moving in an arc from the west to the east during its visible passes.

June 6: Mercury in superior conjunction (behind the Sun as seen from Earth)

June 11: Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (Edmonton Centre) meeting from 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. in the IMAX theatre at the TELUS World of Science. Free to attend. See http://www.edmontonrasc.com for more details.

June 21: Summer Solstice occurs at exactly 4:07 a.m. MDT.

June 27Saturn at opposition (75 light minutes from the Earth).

June 27: Mars stationary and begins retrograde motion.

June 30: Asteroid Day

Visible Planets

Mercury emerges out of the glare of the setting Sun by the middle of the month, sitting very low above the northwestern horizon.

Venus continues to shine as the bright beacon of light low in the west-northwest sky at sunset. On June 15 look for a slim crescent Moon below Venus followed on June 16 with the waxing crescent Moon just to the left of Venus.

Mars rises well after midnight in the southeast and by sunrise is seen low in the southern sky. Mars continues to move within the constellation of Capricornus, the sea goat, through the month, starting its retrograde motion after June 28. Mars continues to brighten in appearance as the Earth and Mars move closer together for the anticipated Mars opposition on July 26. The full Moon will be above Mars on June 27 and 28. 

Jupiter is seen low in the southern sky at sunset with it setting about 5 hours later in the west-southwest. It is located in the constellation of Libra, the scales, with the waxing gibbous Moon near and above Jupiter on June 22 and 23.

Saturn will be at opposition on June 27, so look for it rising in the southeast at sunset and setting in the southwest at sunrise. Saturn continues to be located in the constellation of Sagittarius, the archer, with the waning gibbous Moon below Saturn on June 1 and full Moon above Saturn on June 28.