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The June Night Sky

The sky is not a painting, it's a movie. Stars pulse, flare, some explode as supernova, asteroids whiz by the earth, new comets appear in the sky, Aurora sets the northern skies ablaze and meteors streak through Earth's atmosphere.

 Astronomy Picture of the Day

See below Hubble site Tonight's Sky, highlights of this months night sky movie with narration below. Click on photo below.

Summer Begins

The June solstice occurs on June 20, at 7:02 am EDT, as the Sun reaches its northernmost declination on the celestial sphere; by convention, this is considered the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere and of winter in the Southern Hemisphere. The June solstice marks the longest day and shortest night of the year for the northern hemisphere. See: Sky & Telescope

The Full Moon for June

Full Strawberry Moon: This name was universal to every Algonquin tribe. However, in Europe they called it the Rose Moon. Also because the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries comes each year during the month of June, so the full Moon that occurs during that month was christened for the strawberry! Courtesy: Farmers Almanac.

Lunar Phase

New Moon June 4 11:00 pm EDT
First Quarter Moon June 12 4:10 am EDT
Full Moon June 20 7:02 am EDT
Last Quarter Moon June 27 2:19 pm EDT

June Visible Lunar Highlights

June 11 - Jupiter 1.5 N. of Moon, June 17- Mars 7 S. of Moon , June 18 - Saturn 3 S. of Moon, June 25 - Neptune 1.2 S. of Moon, June 28 - Uranus 3 N. of Moon.

The Planets Visibility for June


ENE Morning Sky 

Image below shows Mercury June 15 at 5:05 am. looking ENE.

Mercury midmonth is at -0.2 magnitude with a diameter 0000'07" and phase of 58.89%. Mercury is located in the constellation Taurus the Bull low in the early morning ENE sky just before sunrise. Mercury rises at 4:29 am. The Sun rises at 5:37 am.


Lost in the glare of the Sun

Venus will be lost from view until later in June when it reappears in the evening sky. On June 7th, Venus will be at superior conjunction on the other side of the Sun from Earth.


SE Evening to Morning SW Sky 

Mars midmonth is at -1.7 magnitude with a diameter 0000'18" located in the constellation Scorpius visible after sunset in the south-southeast. Mars sets at 3:40 am. The red planet is is best observed around 11:00 pm when highest in the south sky. On June 16th the 89.49% lit moon is about 8 degrees above the moon. Mars is stationary June 30th. Mars appears larger and brighter than at any time in the last 10 years. Mars, reached closest approach May 30th. A small telescope can reveal some surface markings on the planet. To see which part of the surface is visible at any time, check out the Mars Profiler at Sky & Telescope Magazine's web page. See: How to find degrees.

Image below of Mars, Saturn and the Moon looking south June 17th at 9:30 pm..


 Evening sky WSW to Morning Sky WSW

Jupiter midmonth is at -2.0 magnitude with a diameter 0000'36" is visible after sunset high in the west southwest evening sky in the constellation Leo the Lion. Jupiter is the brightest planet in the sky after sunset. Jupiter sets at 1:05 am. When you look at Jupiter your seeing the planet as it appeared 36 minutes ago due to the speed of light. A small telescope will easily reveal four of Jupiter's largest and brightest moons. Check out Sky & Telescope's Jupiter Moons Utility for other configurations. Sky and Telescope Red Spot Calculator 

 Image below shows the Moon and Jupiter looking west on June 11th at 9:30 pm.


Evening ESE to SW Morning Sky 

Saturn midmonth June is at 0.1 magnitude and diameter 0000'.18". Saturn is in the constellation Ophiuchus visible in the southeast sky after sunset.  Saturn is best observed after midnight when highest in the south.  See: How to find degrees. Through a small telescope Saturn will reveal the famous rings of the planet. Rings currently are +26.0 tilt. See: Saturn's moons locations 

Image below shows the Moon near Saturn and location of Mars looking south June 18th at 9:30 pm..


Morning Sky ESE

Uranus midmonth is at 5.9 magnitude and diameter 0000'.03" rising at 2:27 am in the constellation Pisces and is best observed around 4:00 am low in the east southeast.

 A moderate-sized telescope will show it as a green-gray disk. See: Sky and Telescope location PDF. Courtesy: Sky and Telescope


Morning Sky ESE

Neptune midmonth is at 7.9 magnitude and diameter 0000'.02". Neptune is in the constellation Aquarius rising at 12:46 am and is best observed around 5:00 am.

See: Sky and Telescope location PDF. Courtesy: Sky and Telescope

Bright Asteroids

Asteroid 8 Flora at magnitude 9.4 is only 0027'36" degrees above globular cluster M- 9 located in the constellation Ophiuchus on June 13th. Best observed at 1:00 am.

Asteroid 7Iris at magnitude 9.7 is 0202'29" degrees from M-80 globular cluster on June 15th. Located in the constellation Scorpius. Asteroid 7Iris sets at 4:28 am. Best observed 12:00 am. 

Dwarf Planets


Morning Sky 

 Pluto June 15th is visible all night and is highest in the sky at 12:40 am.  Pluto is located amid the stars of the Milky Way in the constellation Sagittarius. Pluto is at magnitude +14.1 and diameter 0000'.00".


C/2013 X1 ( PanSTARRS 

Comet 2013 X1 PanSTARRS rising midmonth at 1:15 am and is estimated at 6.3 magnitude located in the constellation Microscopium very low in the south and best observable before sunrise. C/2013 X1 ( PanSTARRS ) is expected to brighten up to 5 - 6th magnitude from spring to summer. For more on current Comets and locations see: Sky & Telescope also Seiichi Yoshida web site here.


July Meteors

Alpha Capricornids

Active from July 11th to August 10th 

The Alpha Capricornids are active from July 11 through August peaking July 27/28th. This shower is weak producing around 5 meteor per hour. The shower does show some bright fireballs. This shower appears to radiate from the constellation Capricornus. These meteors originate from the debris of comet 169P/NEAT. Image below for July 27/28th at 1:30 am shows radiant of Alpha Capricornids as indicated by
yellow circle.

Delta Aquariids

Active from July 21st to August 23rd 

The Delta Aquariids meteors peak on July 29/30th with about 15 meteors per hour. These are usually faint meteors that lack both trains and fireballs. The meteors are thought to be produced from the debris field of comet 96P/Machholz.
Image below for July 29/30th at 3:00 am shows radiant of Delta Aquariids as indicated by yellow circle.

Coming up are the Perseids

Active from July 13th to August 26th 

The Perseids are the most popular meteor shower. The Perseids are active from July 12 to August 26 peaking on the nights August 12 and 13. Meteor rate per hour are around 50-75. Perseid meteors are from debris of comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle. Perseids appear to radiate from the constellation Perseus
, thus the name of this shower. Image below for August 12th at 2:00 am shows radiant of Perseids as indicated by yellow circle.

See: Listen to Meteors , American Meteor Society, Meteors Online also NASA All Sky Network

Some local links below to Heavens Above satellite information website.

Satellites Visible from York

Satellites visible from Hanover

Satellites visible from Gettysburg

Satellites visible from Lancaster

Satellites visible from Baltimore

Satellites visible from Harrisburg

Also see: Spaceflight NASA

The Sun

Real time solar wind dials are linked live to the ACE Spacecraft.

 If the dial on the left (Magnetic Field) has dipped below zero, the speed is high and the dial dynamic pressure is in the yellow/red, be alert for Aurora. Anytime the gauges are in the Red and the dial on the left, the Magnetic Field BZ has dipped to the yellow-red... Aurora will be occurring in our area. See link to solar wind gauge here: REAL TIME SOLAR WIND

See explanation of  solar wind dials below by clicking on photo of dials


Use your hand to find degrees

NASA Night Sky Network Planner

Free download. AstroPlanner  

Download a free starmap at: Skymaps

Make your own starmap at: Star Finder

Download a free Planetarium for your computer at: Stellarium or Hallo Northern Sky Stellarium has many extra features.

Your Sky - Fourmilab

Your night sky map on the internet

Sky & Telescope Interactive Sky Chart Register to use.

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