Venus is stuck in a very unfavorable position in the WNW. The planet is very low in the bright June Twilight and sets about 1 hour after Sunset. For the next few months, Venus will be stuck as a horizon hugging planet.
Jupiter moves into the glare of Sunset and is lost from view.
Mercury is above and left of Venus for the 1st half of the month. Although Mercury can be located by using Venus as a guide; this is not a favorable showing of Mercury for our area. The bright twilight will interfere with seeing Mercury. By the 3rd week of June, Mercury fades in brightness and moves into the glare of Sunset.
Saturn is up in the South as evening darkness falls. The planet fades a bit in brightness as the month progresses. The planet is in a fair position for evening telescopic examination. At the end of the month, Saturn is just below a fairly dim star, Kappa Virginis which may give Saturn a funny odd shape or appearance to the unaided eye viewers.
Mars is technically a morning planet. The planet is lost in the glare of the rising Sun and can’t be seen.
10 Jun Crescent Moon, Mercury, and Venus form a rough triangle, Dusk (This will be difficult to see)
18 Jun Waxing Gibbous Moon Left of Bright Star Spica, Evening
19 Jun Waxing Gibbous Moon lower left of Saturn, Evening.
Mercury closest to Venus, Dusk (This will be difficult to see)
21 Jun Summer Solstice
22-23 Jun “Summer Solstice” Full Moon
Summer Solstice Shadows:
The Summer Solstice is the time when the Sun reaches its most northward position; after that the Sun very slowly starts to return southward. On the Summer Solstice, the shortest shadows for the year are projected when the Sun is at its highest point in the sky. That highest point is declared when the Sun crosses the Meridian Line. The Meridian Line is an imaginary line running from due South to the Zenith (overhead). One would think that the Sun would cross the Meridian Line exactly at Noon but this is not the case. Noon is the “average” time when the Sun crosses the Meridian Line. The actual time the Sun crosses the Meridian Line on the Summer Solstice is 12:55 pm. This time set is due to the increase of Daylight Savings Time. At 12:55 pm, the Sun is on the Meridian Line. The Sun cast shadows point to true North and these shadows are the smallest size of the year.
The Summer Solstice Full Moon:
This Full Moon near the Summer Solstice is rather unique. First, this Full Moon is very close to the Earth; making it appear about 14% larger than normal. This is the largest Full Moon of the year.
The second unique thing about this Full Moon is its position in the sky. At the Summer Solstice, the Sun reaches its highest point in the sky whereas the Full Moon is near its lowest point in the sky. This Summer Solstice Full Moon just manages to stay above the horizon for a few hours. This Full Moon will appear very low in the sky even at Midnight. The altitude of this Full Moon is much lower in the sky than normal. This very low Moon is sometimes given the characteristic of “Runs Low”. Landscape photographers; here’s your chance to get some unique Full Moon – landscape images.
Gary T. Nowak
Vermont Astronomical Society
PO Box 4508