This Week’s Sky at a Look, June 21 – 29

June 21, 2019 - Comment

  Because the week begins Mercury and Mars are nonetheless shut collectively, with Pollux and Castor to their higher proper. However daily they reconfigure, till on the 28th they’re arrayed as proven right here. Friday, June 21 • The solstice arrives immediately at 11:54 a.m. EDT. That is when the Solar is farthest north for


Twilight planets.

Because the week begins Mercury and Mars are nonetheless shut collectively, with Pollux and Castor to their higher proper. However daily they reconfigure, till on the 28th they’re arrayed as proven right here.

Friday, June 21

• The solstice arrives immediately at 11:54 a.m. EDT. That is when the Solar is farthest north for the 12 months as seen in Earth’s sky and begins its six-month return southward. Summer season formally begins within the Northern Hemisphere, winter within the Southern Hemisphere. For us northerners, that is the 12 months’s longest day and shortest night time.

It is also the day when (within the north temperate latitudes) the noon Solar passes the closest it ever can to being straight overhead, and thus when your shadow turns into the shortest it could actually ever be at your location. This occurs at native obvious midday (photo voltaic midday), which might be moderately far faraway from midday in your civil (clock) time.

And you probably have west-northwest horizon, mark very exactly the place the Solar units. In just a few days it is best to have the ability to detect that the Solar is once more beginning to set somewhat south of that time.

• Jupiter’s Nice Crimson Spot ought to transit the planet’s central meridian (the road down the middle of the planet’s disk from pole to pole) round 1:21 a.m. EDT tonight; 12:21 a.m. CDT.

In the meantime Europa, the smallest of Jupiter’s Galilean moons, crosses the planet’s disk tonight from 11:32 p.m. to 1:57 a.m. EDT, adopted intently by its tiny black shadow from 12:04 to 2:32 a.m. EDT.

For all of the Crimson Spot’s transit occasions this month, and all of the fascinating phenomena of Jupiter’s moons, see the June Sky & Telescope, web page 50.

Saturday, June 22

• Leo the Lion is usually a constellation of late winter and spring. However he is not gone but. As twilight ends look due west, considerably low, for Regulus, his brightest and now lowest star: the forefoot of the Lion stick determine.

The Sickle of Leo extends higher proper from Regulus. The remainder of the Lion’s constellation determine extends for nearly three fist-widths to the higher left, to his tail star Denebola, the best.

He’ll quickly be treading away into the sundown.

Sunday, June 23

• Can you see the Coma Berenices star cluster along with your unaided eye? It is huge however sparse and dim, excessive within the west after darkish. You may find the appropriate spot as follows: Discover good Arcturus excessive within the southwest, and to the appropriate of that, the tip star of the Massive Dipper’s deal with. The Coma Star Cluster is down beneath the midpoint between them, forming a virtually equilateral triangle with these two stars.

You may want a darkish sky. The cluster is about Four° broad, concerning the dimension of a ping-pong ball held at arm’s size. Its brightest stars type a tilted, upside-down letter Y.

In binoculars the cluster fills many of the discipline of view. So should you’re anticipating one thing small, you may miss it by trying proper by means of it!

Monday, June 24

• That is the time of 12 months when, proper after darkish, the dim Little Dipper floats straight upward from Polaris (the tip of its deal with) — like a helium balloon on a string, escaped from a summer-evening celebration. By way of heavy mild air pollution, nevertheless, all you may even see of the Little Dipper are Polaris at its backside and Kochab, the lip of the Little Dipper’s bowl, on the high.

Tuesday, June 25

• The 2 brightest stars of summer season, Arcturus and Vega, are about equally excessive overhead shortly after darkish: Arcturus towards the southwest, Vega towards the east.

Arcturus and Vega are 37 and 25 light-years away, respectively. They characterize the 2 commonest sorts of naked-eye stars: a yellow-orange Okay big and a white type-A main-sequence star. They’re 150 and 50 occasions brighter than the Solar, respectively — which, mixed with their nearness, is why they dominate the night sky.

• Final-quarter Moon (precise at 5:46 a.m. on this date). Late tonight, the Moon rises round 1 a.m. decrease proper of the Nice Sq. of Pegasus.

Wednesday, June 26

• Arcturus, the good yellow-orange star excessive within the southwest after darkish, is the main mild of Bootes the cowherd. The constellation’s brightest stars type a kite form extending up from Arcturus. The kite is moderately slim, bent a bit left on the high, and 23° tall: about two fists at arm’s size. Arcturus is the slim backside level the place the kite’s brief little tail is tied on, fluttering towards the decrease proper.

Thursday, June 27

• After darkish Vega is the brightest star shining very excessive within the east. Barely decrease left of it’s 4th-magnitude Epsilon Lyrae, the Double-Double. Epsilon types one nook of a roughly equilateral triangle with Vega and Zeta Lyrae. The triangle is lower than 2° on a facet, hardly the width of your thumb at arm’s size.

Binoculars simply resolve Epsilon. And a Four-inch telescope at 100× or extra ought to resolve every of Epsilon’s broad elements into a good pair.

Zeta Lyrae can be a double star for binoculars; a lot more durable, however plainly resolved in any telescope.

Delta Lyrae, somewhat beneath Zeta, is a a lot wider and simpler pair, tinted deep orange and pale blue.

Friday, June 28

• As night grows late, even the bottom star of the Summer season Triangle shines fairly excessive within the east. That is Altair. It is a good three or 4 fists at arm’s size beneath or decrease proper of vibrant Vega.

A marker for Altair is its little Third-magnitude buddy Tarazed (Gamma Aquilae) positioned above or higher left of it by a couple of finger-width at arm’s size.

Look left of Altair, by hardly multiple fist, for compact little Delphinus, the Dolphin.

And above the midpoint between Delphinus and Altair search for even smaller, dimmer Sagitta, the Arrow.

Saturday, June 29

• The Milky Means now types an impressive arch throughout the jap sky as night grows late, you probably have a darkish sufficient sky. It runs all the way in which from beneath Cassiopeia within the north-northeast, up and throughout Cygnus and the Summer season Triangle within the east, and down previous the spout of the Sagittarius Teapot within the south-southeast, the place it is brightest.


Wish to develop into a greater astronomer? Study your manner across the constellations. They’re the important thing to finding all the pieces fainter and deeper to hunt with binoculars or a telescope.

That is an outside nature pastime. For an easy-to-use constellation information protecting the entire night sky, use the massive month-to-month map within the middle of every challenge of Sky & Telescope, the important information to astronomy.

Jumbo Pocket Sky Atlas cover

The Pocket Sky Atlas plots 30,796 stars to magnitude 7.6, and lots of of telescopic galaxies, star clusters, and nebulae amongst them. Proven above is the Jumbo Version for simpler studying within the night time. Pattern chart.

When you get a telescope, to place it to good use you may want an in depth, large-scale sky atlas (set of charts). The fundamental customary is the Pocket Sky Atlas (in both the unique or Jumbo Version), which exhibits stars to magnitude 7.6.

Subsequent up is the bigger and deeper Sky Atlas, plotting stars to magnitude eight.5; almost 3 times as many. The subsequent up, as soon as you already know your manner round, are the even bigger Interstellarum atlas (stars to magnitude 9.5) and Uranometria (stars to magnitude 9.75). And skim the right way to use sky charts with a telescope.

You may additionally need a good deep-sky guidebook, akin to Sue French’s Deep-Sky Wonders assortment (which incorporates its personal charts), Sky Atlas Companion by Robust and Sinnott, or the larger Night time Sky Observer’s Information by Kepple and Sanner.

Can a computerized telescope substitute charts? Not for newbies, I do not suppose, and never on mounts and tripods which might be lower than top-quality mechanically (which means heavy and costly). And as Terence Dickinson and Alan Dyer say of their Yard Astronomer’s Information, “A full appreciation of the universe can not come with out growing the talents to seek out issues within the sky and understanding how the sky works. This information comes solely by spending time below the celebrities with star maps in hand.”

Jupiter with Great Red Spot on May 12, 2019

Jupiter’s Nice Crimson Spot, imaged by Christopher Go on Might 12th earlier than it began to shed. South is up. Darkish materials totally outlined the Crimson Spot Hole and prolonged in two strains all the way in which to the previous limb. However then. . .

Jupiter on May 22, 2019

. . .by Might 22nd the darkish rim made contact with the Crimson Spot and appeared to be drawing a few of it off. Notice the spot’s unprecedented lumpy distortion on its left (previous; celestial west) facet. South is up.

Jupiter with Red Spot on May 29, 2019

Two days afterward Might 29th, the brand new blob on the Crimson Spot’s following edge appeared to have shrunk and moved somewhat southward (up). And somewhat spherical blob was embedded within the spot’s reverse facet. Christopher Go picture.

Jupiter with Red Spot, May 31, 2019

Two extra days (Might 31st) and the scene had modified once more. Writes Go, “The flake materials has now emerged on the SE [upper left] of the GRS as predicted.”

Jupiter and Red Spot, June 4, 2019

By June 4th the crimson flake materials was extra far-flung, and the spot itself appeared extra regular. Clyde Foster picture.

Jupiter with Great Red Spot on June 17, 2019

By June 17th the Nice Crimson Spot was nonetheless considerably settled down (for now?). However as Christopher Go famous, “The GRS has shrunk.” (Barely.) Notice the suspicious, arc-like disturbance on the spot’s previous (left) finish. The beginnings of a brand new flake?

Mercury could be very low within the west-northwest as twilight fades. Look early within the week; the little planet dims from magnitude +zero.three on Friday June 21st to +zero.eight by Friday the 28th. Mars, magnitude +1.eight, stay’s barely 2° to Mercury’s decrease proper the 21st. Daily they develop farther aside.

Pollux and Castor (magnitudes +1.2 and +1.6) twinkle weakly to their higher proper or proper. Carry binoculars! See the scene on the high of this web page.

Venus (magnitude –three.eight) is disappearing very low into the brilliant sky earlier than dawn. In the event you’re feeling bold, scan for it simply above the east-northeast horizon about 15 minutes earlier than dawn utilizing binoculars or a wide-field scope.

Jupiter (magnitude –2.6, in southern Ophiuchus) is that white level evident within the southeast as the celebrities come out. Antares, a lot fainter at magnitude, twinkles 9° to its proper. Jupiter is highest within the south by about midnight daylight saving time, with orange Antares now to its decrease proper.

Jupiter and Antares type a large, flat, nearly isosceles triangle with Delta Scorpii (Dschubba) to their proper. For many of the final 19 years, Delta, an eruptive variable, has been solely somewhat dimmer than Antares.

In a telescope Jupiter continues to be 46 arcseconds broad. See Bob King’s Jupiter Is Excellent at Opposition.

Saturn (magnitude +zero.1, in Sagittarius) rises in late twilight. It is the regular, pale yellowish “star” 30° east of Jupiter. Saturn will probably be at opposition on July ninth.

Uranus (magnitude 5.9, in Aries) is low within the east earlier than daybreak.

Neptune (magnitude 7.9, in Aquarius) is nicely up within the southeast earlier than daybreak. Finder charts for Uranus and Neptune.


All descriptions that relate to your horizon — together with the phrases up, down, proper, and left — are written for the world’s mid-northern latitudes. Descriptions that additionally rely on longitude (primarily Moon positions) are for North America.

Jap Daylight Time (EDT) is Common Time (UT, UTC, GMT, or Z time) minus Four hours.


Audio sky tour. Out below the night sky along with your earbuds in place, take heed to Kelly Beatty’s month-to-month podcast tour of the heavens above. It is free.


“This journey is made attainable by generations of searchers strictly adhering to a easy algorithm. Check concepts by experiments and observations. Construct on these concepts that move the take a look at. Reject those that fail. Observe the proof wherever it leads, and query all the pieces. Settle for these phrases, and the cosmos is yours.”
— Neil deGrasse Tyson, 2014



Supply hyperlink


Comments are disabled for this post.