Skywatching Events for June 2011
Here's a look at the most promising skywatching events if June 2011:
Wed., June 1
New Moon, 5:03 p.m. EDT
The Moon is not visible on the date of New Moon because it is too close to the Sun, but can be seen low in the east as a narrow crescent a morning or two before, just before sunrise. It is visible low in the west an evening or two after New Moon.
Wed., June 8
First Quarter Moon, 10:11 p.m. EDT
The First Quarter Moon rises around 1 p.m., and sets around 1 a.m.
Wed., June 15
Full Moon, 4:14 p.m. EDT
The Full Moon of June is usually known as the Flower Moon. In Algonquian it is called Strawberry Moon. Other names are Honey Moon, Rose Moon, Hot Moon, and Planting Moon. In Hindi it is known as Wat Poornima. Its Sinhala (Buddhist) name is Poson Poya. The Full Moon rises around sunset and sets around sunrise, the only night in the month when the Moon is in the sky all night long. The rest of the month, the Moon spends at least some time in the daytime sky.
Thu., June 23
Last Quarter Moon, 7:48 a.m. EDT
The Last or Third Quarter Moon rises around 12:30 a.m. and sets around 1:30 p.m. It is most easily seen just after sunrise in the southern sky.
Wed., June 1, various times
Partial Solar Eclipse
Visible mainly in northeastern Asia (June 2) and the high Arctic in North America plus the Canadian maritime provinces (June 1). Also visible in the middle of the “night” (midnight Sun) in the high Arctic of Scandinavia and Russia. [Photos: "Midnight" Partial Solar Eclipse of 2011]
Wed., June 8, evening
Saturn close to Porrima
Saturn will by only 15 arc minutes away from the bright double star Porrima (Gamma Virginis). The two nearly equal components of this star are only 1.8 arc seconds apart, and are a test for a 4-inch (100-mm) telescope.
Wed., June 15
Total Lunar Eclipse
Best seen in Africa, the Middle East, and southern Asia. Partially visible at moonrise (early evening) in South America and Europe and at moonset (early morning) in eastern Asia and Australia. [Photos: The Long Total Lunar Eclipse of June 2011]
Tue. June 28, 4 a.m. local time
Moon, Mars, and the Pleiades
The narrow crescent Moon, the planet Mars, and the Pleiades star cluster will form an attractive group in the pre-dawn sky this morning.
Mercury is on the far side of the Sun and not visible this month.
Venus, though still bright, is sinking behind the Sun in the east just before dawn and becoming hard to see.
Mars is a “morning star” this month.
Jupiter is much higher and more noticeable than Venus in the pre-dawn sky.
Saturn spends most of the month close to the double star Porrima (Gamma Virginis), prominent in the evening sky. Its rings have returned to their usual glory after being on edge for the last two years.
Uranus is in Pisces all month, visible just before dawn.
Neptune is a morning object in Aquarius, visible in binoculars or a small telescope.
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