Observing With Mr. Webb June 2009

Another month of few events, but there’s always the constellations to go out and see. Go to http://mrwebb.podbean.com for the audio version of this.  I welcome all feedback.

EVENTS...

6th – Check out Venus this morning. It will be 50% illuminated if you use binoculars or a telescope.

6th – Also check out the Moon occulting (moving in front of and blocking the light of) Antares around 10:43pm tonight. It will reappear around 11:27pm. Often we forget that the Moon is actually moving across the sky and this is a very interesting reminder of exactly how much it does.

Full Moon – 7th (Rose Moon, Flower Moon, Strawberry Moon)

19th – 21st – Venus and Mars will be within 2° of each other in the dawn sky. The Moon will also be close to the pair on the 19th.

21st – Summer Solstice. Longest day and shortest night of the year for the Northern Hemisphere.

New Moon – 22nd (darkest skies)

PLANETS...

Mercury – Only visible for the 2nd half of the month around sunrise, but is very close to the sun so it will be hard to find. On the 13th it will be at greatest elongation - 24° from the sun.

VENUSVisible in the AM around 25 ° above the horizon in the east.

Mars – Hanging out around Venus for this month, too. Look to the east, find Venus, then find the reddish “star”.

Jupiter – Rises between 1am and 11pm and is visible low on the horizon in the south and southeast until sunrise.

SATURN – Visible most of the night. Look in the southwest after sunset (about halfway between the horizon and the zenith), and watch it track toward the west until it sets between 2am and midnight.  Check out the rings and moons with good binoculars or a telescope!

CONSTELLATIONS... (see sky map link at the bottom for a Star Map for this month – or ask Mr. Webb)

Look straight up and you'll see...

Sunset (around 8:30pm) – Canes Venatici, Bootes

Midnight – Hercules (with Binoculars and a star map, you can find M13 - the Hercules Cluster which is a faint fuzzy gathering of thousands and thousands of stars.)

Early Morning – Lyra, Cygnus, Aquila – The Summer Triangle

GENERAL CONSTELLATION FINDING TIPS: Look to the east at night (or straight up around morning) and you’ll be able to see Lyra, Cygnus, Aquila, (and Delphinus.)  These three constellations have the three brightest stars of the summer constellations (Vega, Deneb, Altair – respectively.)  Those bright stars create the summer triangle, which will be seen earlier and earlier as the summer goes by.

Use a sky map from www.skymaps.com to help you out.

A lot of credit for this information goes to:

SkyMaps.com – Download the monthly sky map here in many formats including Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, and Equatorial

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