What's Up in The Sky Now
Are you thinking about getting your first telescope? Here is some background information:
June 2021 (Notes by DMAS member Dave Lynch)
Things are steadily improving as far as planets in the night sky goes but it is still a little early to see more than a couple of planets on a nice dark night around here early in the evening.
MERCURY is playing hide and seek with the sun this month. You will have to take a quick look well before sunset to catch this tiny planet. It will be rising in the west around 4:00 pm local time.
VENUS is the star of planets this month. Low in the western horizon, it blazes at almost -4 magnitude so you will have no trouble picking it out. On June 11th Venus and a thin crescent moon have a close encounter.
EARTH is undergoing a change right now and it seems confused as to what it is supposed to be doing. Weather is a mixed bag of just about everything but hopefully by June it will settle down and turn into a nice summer.
MARS is well up before sunset but it will drop out of sight close to midnight. Mars in June is keeping close company with the brothers in Gemini. Fairly bright at 2nd magnitude, it should be easy to spot in the west.
JUPITER is chasing Saturn across the sky and will peek above the horizon right after midnight. Viewing will not be easy as it doesn't climb out of the atmosphere until much later. At magnitude -2.5, it will be easy to locate.
SATURN clears the eastern horizon just before midnight but as the month goes on it will rise as much as two hours earlier. The brightness of this jewel of a planet will increase rapidly throughout the month.
URANUS is one of those pre sunrise planets and it really won't be high enough to take a look at until later in the month. By the end of June this blue planet should be well up before sunrise.
NEPTUNE is a very early morning riser clearing the horizon around 2 am but close to midnight my month's end. Not very bright yet, it will be a little difficult to spot at only 8th magnitude. Definitely not a binocular object.
Last Quarter -> June 02
New Moon -> June 10
First Quarter -> June 18
Full Moon -> June 24
Other topics this month:
SUNRISE ANNULAR ECLIPSE VISIBLE - NOT:
On June 10th there will be an Annular Eclipse of our Sun but we are not located anywhere close to catching even a glimpse of it. Because of the northern track of both the sun and the moon, only those perfectly situated in eastern Canada will see this eclipse. What makes this particular eclipse different as well is it will occur at sunrise and not later in the day like most eclipses. I'm not complaining about Iowa but in the past two months we have been robbed of both a lunar eclipse and now a solar eclipse. Our day is coming. Sometime. Maybe.