The rains of early May soon departed but sunnier days ended with hazy skies. So we’ve not seen much at all recently to be honest! Ever the optimists though, below you’ll find some interesting upcoming Astronomy Events for June where we’ve tried to list something of interest to everyone to keep you all watching the skies!
Don’t miss the special event from 5th to 6th June, there won’t be another in our lifetime!
Sunday 3rd June – The Moon is at Perigee at a distance of 358,480 km
Monday 4th June – It’s a Full Moon tonight, sometimes known as the Flower Moon, Strawberry Moon or Rose Moon
The Full Moon can look beautiful but its brightness can be a problem for astronomers, and make it awkward to photograph! (Click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn
Tuesday 5th into
Wednesday 6th June – Venus is at Inferior Conjunction and will transit (cross in front of) the face of the Sun. The last such transit was on 8th June 2004, but if you miss this one the next won’t be for another 105 years!
“Depending on where you live worldwide, the transit of Venus will happen on June 5 or 6, 2012. If you live in the world’s Western Hemisphere (North America, northwestern South America, Hawaii, Greenland or Iceland), the transit will start in the afternoon hours on June 5
Shown above at 04:00 UTC (05:00 GMT) at sunrise in the UK, Venus will only transit the Sun’s disc for about another 50 minutes before it’s all over for another 105 years! (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium
In the world’s Eastern Hemisphere (Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia or New Zealand), the transit will first be seen at sunrise or in the morning hours on June 6″ (via EarthSky)
The next transit of Venus will be on December 11, 2117
Image of the Transit of Venus captured in 2004 – Credit: Jan Herold
Remember, observing the Sun can be dangerous if you don’t have the correct gear like a solarscope, certified solar viewing filters or a pair of eclipse viewing glasses. Don’t look directly at the Sun or you will damage your eyes and your equipment
Monday 11th June – The International Space Station (ISS) will be visible over British evening skies towards the middle of the month. Usually making a couple of visible passes during the evening, programs like Stellarium can track the orbit of the ISS and show you where and when it’s going to rise
Alternately, you can visit a site like Heavens-Above.com, enter your location using the map and it will list the time of every visible pass over where you are over the next 10 days. Great eh!?
A long exposure shot of the ISS passing will create a bright white streak across a clear starfield background (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn
Saturday 16th June – The Moon is at Apogee (405,790 km) the farthest it will get from the Earth on its current orbit
Sunday 17th June - This is the time of year to be looking for noctilucent clouds, which sometimes appear low down in the northwest (after sunset) and northeast (just before sunrise)
These clouds are in the upper atmosphere and are usually too faint to see, becoming visible only when illuminated by sunlight from below the horizon while the lower layers of the atmosphere are in the Earth’s shadow
Noctilucent clouds as captured over Sweden (click to enlarge) – Credit: P-M Hedén
Tuesday 19th June – New Moon which rises just before the Sun
Wednesday 20th June – Today is the Summer Solstice (actually occurring at 23:09 UTC) and the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere
Thursday 21st June - After sunset Mercury will be at its highest in the sky and is joined by a thin crescent Moon below to its left. If you’ve got a low horizon just north of west, look out for “earthshine” illuminating the dark side of the Moon
Earthshine happens when light reflected from the surface of the Earth illuminates the dark side allowing us to see details (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn
Monday 25th June – Mars appears close to the waxing crescent Moon this evening, with Saturn following not far behind. Possibly a good opportunity for a wide angle starfield photograph while the Moon isn’t too bright to spoil a longer exposure? If it’s clear i’ll give it a go!
Look just south of west around 22:30 BST to find the waxing crescent Moon near Mars (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium
Friday 29th June – Pluto is at Opposition in Sagittarius
Planets visible this month:
Remember, it can take your eyes up to 20 minutes to become properly dark adapted, and anything up to an hour for a telescope to reach ambient temperature outside (to ensure the best image), so give yourself plenty of time to get set up!
To make it easier to find this list of astronomical happenings you can also locate it in the “Monthly Guide” section in the menu bar to the right. Handy!
Guide images created with Stellarium
Astronomy Events – May 2012
Astronomy Events – April 2012
Astronomy Events – March 2012