June Celestial Calendar & Observing Notes c/o Dave Mitsky

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June Celestial Calendar & Observing Notes c/o Dave Mitsky

Postby big dipper » Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:56 pm

[b][color=limegreen]June Celestial Calendar & Observing Notes courtesy of Dave Mitsky (calendar data also reproduced in our forum calendar).
[color=red][b]All times, unless otherwise noted, are UT[/b][/color]

6/2 A double Galilean satellite shadow transit begins at 6:12
6/5 Venus is at greatest western elongation (46 degrees) at 21:00
6/7 The Moon is 0.6 degree north of the first magnitude star Antares (Alpha Scorpii), with an occultation taking place in northwestern Africa, North America with the exception of much of Canada, Central America, and northern South America, at 4:00; Full Moon (known as the Flower, Rose or Strawberry Moon) occurs at 18:12
6/9 A double Galilean satellite shadow transit begins at 8:06
6/10 The Moon is at apogee, subtending 29'27" from a distance of 405,787 km (252,144 miles), at 16:04
6/12 Mercury is 8 degrees south of the bright open cluster M45 (the Pleiades) in Taurus at 6:00
6/13 Venus is at aphelion today; Mercury is at greatest western elongation (23 degrees) at 12:00; Neptune is 3 degrees south of the Moon at 16:00; Jupiter is 3 degrees south of the Moon at 18:00
6/14 Mercury is at its greatest heliocentric latitude south today; the earliest sunrise of 2009 occurs today
6/15 Jupiter is stationary at 20:00; Last Quarter Moon occurs at 22:15; asteroid 3 Juno is 0.4 degree north of the Moon, with an occultation taking place in Melanesia, New Guinea, Indonesia, Malaysia, and northwestern Australia, at 23:00
6/16 Uranus is 6 degrees south of the Moon at 6:00; a double Galilean satellite shadow transit begins at 10:39; the Curtiss Cross, an X-shaped illumination effect located between the craters Parry and Gambart, is predicted to occur at 12:06
6/17 The earliest morning twilight of 2009 occurs today
6/19 Venus is 2 degrees south of Mars at 14:00; Venus is 8 degrees south of the Moon at 17:00; Mars is 6 degrees south of the Moon at 17:00
6/20 The Moon is 0.5 degree north of M45 at 17:00
6/21 Summer solstice in the northern hemisphere occurs at 5:46; Mercury is 7 degrees south of the Moon at 18:00
6/22 Asteroid 4 Vesta is in conjunction with the Sun at 12:00; Mercury is 3 degrees north of the first magnitude star Aldebaran (Alpha Tauri) at 14:00; New Moon (lunation 1070) occurs at 19:35
6/23 Pluto (magnitude 13.9, size 0.1") is at opposition at 8:00; the Moon is at perigee, subtending 33'23" from a distance of 358,014 km (222,459 miles), with resultant high tides, at 10:39
6/24 The latest evening twilight of 2009 occurs today
6/27 The latest sunset of 2009 occurs today
6/28 Saturn is 7 degrees north of the Moon at 2:00
6/29 First Quarter Moon occurs at 11:28; the Purbach Cross or Lunar X, an X-shaped illumination effect involving various rims and ridges between the craters La Caille, Blanchinus, and Purbach, is predicted to occur at 22:13

The normally very minor Boötid meteor shower peaks on the morning on June 27.

An almost Full Moon occults the first magnitude star Antares on the night of June 6. See [url=http://www.lunar-occultations.com/iota/bstar/0607antares.htm]http://www.lunar-occultations.com/iota/bstar/0607antares.htm[/url] for further information. The Moon is 7.5 days old and is located in Leo on June 1 at 0:00 UT. The Moon is at its greatest northern declination of +26.4 degrees on June 22 and its greatest southern declination of –26.4 degrees on June 8. Longitudinal libration is at a maximum of +7.2 degrees on June 29 and a minimum of -7.6 degrees on June 17. Latitudinal libration is at a maximum of +6.7 degrees on June 4 and a minimum of -6.7 degrees on June 18. Times and dates for the lunar light rays predicted to occur in June are available at [url=http://www.lunar-occultations.com/rlo/rays/rays.htm]http://www.lunar-occultations.com/rlo/rays/rays.htm[/url]

The Sun is located in Taurus on June 1. It reaches its farthest position north for the year on June 21, the day of the summer solstice.

Brightness, apparent size, illumination, distance from the Earth in astronomical units, and location data for the planets and Pluto on June 1: Mercury (magnitude 2.1, 10.7", 14% illuminated, 0.63 a.u., Taurus), Venus (magnitude -4.5, 25.2", 47% illuminated, 0.66 a.u., Pisces), Mars (magnitude 1.2, 4.7", 94% illuminated, 2.00 a.u., Aries), Jupiter (magnitude -2.5, 41.7", 99% illuminated, 4.72 a.u., Capricornus), Saturn (magnitude 0.9, 17.9", 100% illuminated, 9.28 a.u., Leo), Uranus (magnitude 5.8, 3.5", 100% illuminated, 20.10 a.u., Pisces), Neptune (magnitude 7.9, 2.3", 100% illuminated, 29.53 a.u., Capricornus), and Pluto (magnitude 13.9, 0.1", 100% illuminated, 30.66 a.u., Sagittarius).

Saturn is located in the southwest in the evening and in the west at midnight this month. In the morning, Mercury, Venus and Mars can be found in the east, Jupiter in the south, and Uranus in the southeast.

Mercury reaches greatest western elongation on June 13. It is half-illuminated on June 19 and remains visible through month’s end.

As June progresses, the disk of Venus shrinks from 25 to 19 arc seconds as its phase increases from 47 to 61% illuminated. Venus shines at magnitude -4.4 when it’s at greatest elongation west on June 5. Venus dims slightly as the month unfolds but climbs higher into the morning sky. The planet is 50% illuminated on June 6.

Mars remains too small for worthwhile telescopic observation. On June 19, brilliant Venus passes two degrees south of Mars, an object which is some five magnitudes or 100 times more faint. A waning crescent Moon lies seven degrees above the pair.

Jupiter begins its retrograde loop on June 15. On that date, Jupiter rises not long after midnight. Click on [url=http://skyandtelescope.com/observing/objects/planets/article_107_1.asp]http://skyandtelescope.com/observing/objects/planets/article_107_1.asp[/url] to determine transit times of the central meridian by the Great Red Spot. Data on the Galilean satellites is available at [url=http://skytonight.com/observing/objects/javascript/3307071.html]http://skytonight.com/observing/objects/javascript/3307071.html[/url]

Saturn reaches eastern quadrature on June 5. The ring tilt angle decreases from four to three degrees this month. The rings are inclined by 3.7 degrees on June 15. Eighth-magnitude Titan is eclipsed at 1:34 a.m. EDT on June 8 and at 12:45 a.m. EDT on June 24, but neither event is visible from the East Coast. A shadow transit takes place on June 15, starting at 11:40 a.m. EDT. On June 10, four of Saturn’s other satellites (Tethys, Dione, Rhea, and Enceladus) form a parallelogram to the east of Saturn around 10:45 p.m. EDT. For further information on Saturn’s satellites, browse [url=http://skytonight.com/observing/objects/javascript/3308506.html]http://skytonight.com/observing/objects/javascript/3308506.html[/url]

Uranus lies to the south of the Circlet of Pisces, less than a degree to the north of the fifth-magnitude star 20 Piscium.

During June, Neptune and Jupiter remain in close proximity to each other in the eastern portion of Capricornus. Neptune is 28 arc minutes northwest of Jupiter on June 1. The two planets separate to a span of 48 arc minutes by June 20 but draw closer again as June ends due to Jupiter’s retrograde motion.

The dwarf planet Pluto is located in northwestern Sagittarius between the open clusters M18 and M23, some three degrees north of the fourth-magnitude star Mu Sagittarii. Pluto reaches opposition on June 23. Locating Pluto is even harder than usual since it is entering a star-rich section of the Milky Way. A finder chart is available on page 53 of the June 2009 issue of Sky & Telescope.

The periodic comet 22P/Kopff glides eastward from Capricornus into Aquarius during June. This comet should reach eighth magnitude and is visible in the morning sky in the vicinity of Jupiter. Comet 2006/W3 (Christensen), located in Pegasus not far from the bright galaxy NGC 7331, is another fine cometary target this month. Browse [url=http://www.aerith.net/comet/future-n.html]http://www.aerith.net/comet/future-n.html[/url] for additional information on these comets.

Asteroid 1 Ceres travels southeastward through Leo this month. From June 18 to June 21, the fading (magnitude 8.4 to magnitude 8.7) asteroid passes close to the third-magnitude star Theta Leonis. Asteroids 22 Kalliope (magnitude 10.8) and 393 Lampetia (magnitude 10.6) are at opposition this month.

big dipper
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