The Visible Planets
Mercury is found low in the west-northwest sky after sunset from the start of the month until mid-month. It is best viewed from our location at the start of the month when it attains its greatest eastern elongation from the Sun of 24° on June 4. By the middle of June Mercury disappears in the glare of the setting Sun not to be seen for the rest of the month.
Venus is not visible at the start of the month as it reaches inferior conjunction on June 3. However, by the middle of the month Venus quickly emerges out of rising Sun’s glare and can be seen shining brightly above the east-northeast horizon before sunrise. On June 19 look for Venus just above and to the right of the very slim waning crescent Moon.
Mars continues to brighten this month, now shining with a brightness above magnitude 0, above the east-southeastern horizon before sunrise. Mars begins the month in the constellation of Aquarius, the water bearer, but by June 24 moves into the adjacent constellation of Pisces, the fish. On June 12 and 13 watch for the last quarter Moon just below the now very noticeable ruddy-red Mars.
Jupiter is the brilliant object located in the constellation of Sagittarius, the archer, and is seen rising along the southeastern horizon just after midnight early in the month and by 11 pm by the end of the month. By sunrise, Jupiter can be seen low in the southern sky. On June 8 and 9 Jupiter can be seen just above the waning gibbous Moon. The fainter planet Saturn can be seen just slightly to the east of Jupiter. Jupiter continues its retrograde motion through the stars of Sagittarius as it fast approaches its point of opposition on July 14.
Saturn rises after midnight in the southeastern sky early in the month and by 11 pm late in the month. By morning, before sunrise, Saturn stands about 18 degrees above the southern horizon and will be found within the constellation of Capricornus, the sea goat. The waning gibbous Moon can be seen below Saturn before sunrise on June 8 and 9. This month Saturn can also be seen to be describing retrograde motion amongst the stars of Capricornus as it approaches its point of opposition on July 20.
June 5 Full Moon (The Strawberry Moon)
June 13 Last Quarter Moon
June 21 New Moon
June 28 First Quarter Moon
International Space Station (ISS) Observable Passes
During the month of June there are no observable passes of the ISS. Evening passes of the ISS will start up again in month of July.
From June to late July, noctilucent clouds can be seen from the Edmonton area. Look for these extremely high, pearly blue clouds, in the northern sky.
June 3 Venus in inferior conjunction (not visible in our sky)
June 4 Mercury at its greatest eastern elongation (24°)
June 5 Penumbral lunar eclipse (not visible from North or South America)
June 8 Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) Edmonton Centre meeting
7:30 – 9:30 p.m. Zoom virtual meeting due to COVID-19
Free to attend.
See http://www.edmontonrasc.com for more details.
June 20 Summer Solstice takes place at exactly 3:44 p.m. MDT.
June 21 Father’s Day
Annular solar eclipse (visible from East Africa, India and China)
June 30 Asteroid Day
Mercury at inferior conjunction