June Celestial Calendar by Dave Mitsky
All times, unless otherwise noted, are UT (subtract four hours and, when appropriate, one calendar day for EDT)
6/1 Venus is 5.2 degrees north of the first-magnitude star Aldebaran (Alpha Tauri) at 10:00; Uranus is 2.3 degrees north-northwest of the Moon at 15:00
6/2 Neptune is at western quadrature at 3:00
6/3 Saturn (angular size 18.4", magnitude 0.0) is at opposition at 7:00; Mercury is 0.73 degree north of the Moon, with an occultation occurring in Madagascar, southern Africa, and parts of Antarctica, at 10:00; the Moon is at perigee, subtending 33' 5" from a distance of 361,140 kilometers (224,402 miles), at 10:56
6/4 The Moon is 8.8 degrees south of the bright open cluster M45 (the Pleiades) at 3:00; Jupiter is at eastern quadrature (90 degrees east of the Sun) at 11:00
6/5 Venus is 4.9 degrees north of the Moon at 2:00; New Moon (lunation 1156) occurs at 3:00; Mercury is at greatest western elongation (24.2 degrees) at 9:00
6/6 The Moon is 5.7 degrees south of the bright open cluster M35 in Gemini at 8:00; Venus is in superior conjunction at 22:00
6/7 Venus is at the ascending node at 1:00
6/8 The Moon is 4.5 degrees south of the bright open cluster M44 (the Beehive Cluster or Praesepe) at 21:00; Mercury is at its greatest latitude south of the plane of the ecliptic at 23:00
6/10 The Moon is 1.9 degrees south-southwest of the first-magnitude star Regulus (Alpha Leonis) at 14:00
6/11 Jupiter is 1.4 degrees north-northeast of the Moon at 19:00; the Moon is at the ascending node at 22:22
6/12 First Quarter Moon occurs at 8:10; 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 12:07; the equation of time - the difference between apparent time and mean time - is zero at 17:00
6/13 Mars is at heliocentric conjunction with Saturn at 7:00; Mercury is 6.7 degrees south-southeast of M45 at 16:00
6/14 The earliest sunrise of the year at latitude 40 degrees north occurs today; Neptune is stationary in right ascension at 8:00
6/15 The Moon is 5.1 degrees north-northeast of the first-magnitude star Spica (Alpha Virginis) at 1:00; the Moon is at apogee, subtending 29' 30" from a distance of 405,024 kilometers (251,670 miles), at 12:00
6/17 The earliest morning twilight of the year at latitude 40 degrees north occurs today; Mars is 6.9 degrees south-southwest of the Moon at 13:00
6/18 Asteroid 2 Pallas (magnitude +9.1) is stationary at 15:00
6/19 Saturn is 3.2 degrees south of the Moon at 1:00; Mercury (magnitude -0.5) is 3.8 degrees north-northwest of the first-magnitude star Aldebaran (Alpha Tauri) at 7:00; Venus is 0.41 degree south of M35 at 15:00
6/20 Full Moon (known as the Flower, Rose or Strawberry Moon) occurs at 11:02; summer solstice in the northern hemisphere occurs at 22:34
6/21 Venus is at its greatest declination north (23.9 degrees) at 1:00; the Sun enters the constellation of Gemini at 8:00; comet C/2013 X1 (PanSTARRS) passes closest to the Earth at 11:00; Pluto is 2.9 degrees south of the Moon at 20:00
6/22 Mercury (magnitude -0.8) is 1.9 degrees north-northwest of the asteroid 4 Vesta (magnitude +8.4) at 18:00
6/24 The latest evening twilight of the year at latitude 40 degrees north occurs today
6/25 Asteroid 3 Juno (magnitude +10.2) is stationary at 17:00
6/26 Neptune is 1.2 degrees south of the Moon, with an occultation occurring in the western portion of Russia and northern and central Europe, at 1:00; the moon is at the descending node at 5:30
6/27 The latest sunset of the year at latitude 40 degrees north occurs today; Last Quarter Moon occurs at 18:19
6/28 Mercury is at the ascending node at 0:00; Uranus is 3 degrees north of the Moon at 23:00; the Curtiss Cross, an X-shaped illumination effect located between the craters Parry and Gambart, is predicted to occur at 15:11
6/30 Mars is stationary in right ascension at 8:00
Giovanni Cassini (1625-1712), Charles Messier (1730-1817), and George Ellery Hale (1868-1938) were born this month.
The usually minor June Boötid meteor shower, which peaks on the morning of June 27th, is adversely affected by moonlight this year. June Boötids are the slowest of all meteors, travelling at 18 kilometers (11 miles) per second. Browse http://imo.net/files...dar/cal2016.pdf for additional information.
Information on Iridium flares and passes of the ISS, the Tiangong-1, the USAF’s X-37B, the HST, and other satellites can be found at http://www.heavens-above.com/
The Moon is 25.2 days old, is illuminated 22.9%, subtends 32.3 arc minutes, and is located in Pisces on June 1st at 0:00 UT. The Moon is at its greatest northern declination of +18.5 degrees on June 6th and at its greatest southern declination of -18.6 degrees on June 21st. Longitudinal libration is at a maximum of +6.9 degrees on June 9th and a minimum of -5.2 degrees on June 24th. Latitudinal libration is at a maximum of +6.5 degrees on June 5th and a minimum of -6.6 degrees on June 19th. New Moon occurs on June 5th. The Hesiodus Sunrise Lunar Ray is predicted to begin at 3:16 UT on June 14th. See http://www.lunar-occ...ota/iotandx.htm for information on lunar occultations taking place this month. Visit http://saberdoesthes...does-the-stars/ for tips on spotting extreme crescent Moons. Times and dates for the lunar light rays predicted to occur this month are available at http://www.lunar-occ...o/rays/rays.htm
The Sun is located in Taurus on June 1st. It enters Gemini on June 21st. The Sun reaches its farthest position north for the year on June 21st. There are 15 hours of daylight at latitude 40 degrees north on the day of the summer solstice. At latitude 40 degrees north, the earliest sunrise occurs on June 14th and the latest sunset on June 27th.
Brightness, apparent size, illumination, distance from the Earth in astronomical units, and location data for the planets and Pluto on June 1st: Mercury (+0.8, 9.0", 29% illuminated, 0.75 a.u., Aries), Venus (magnitude -4.0, 9.6", 100% illuminated, 1.73 a.u., Taurus), Mars (magnitude -2.0, 18.6", 99% illuminated, 0.50 a.u., Libra), Jupiter (magnitude -2.1, 37.3", 99% illuminated, 5.29 a.u., Leo), Saturn (magnitude 0.0, 18.4", 100% illuminated, 9.02 a.u., Ophiuchus), Uranus on June 16th (magnitude +5.9, 3.5", 100% illuminated, 20.42 a.u., Pisces), Neptune on June 16th (magnitude +7.9, 2.3", 100% illuminated, 29.71 a.u., Aquarius) and Pluto on June 16th (magnitude +14.1, 0.1", 100% illuminated, 32.17 a.u., Sagittarius).
Mars is in the south, Jupiter is in the southwest, and Saturn is in the southeast in the evening sky. At midnight, Mars and Saturn lie in the south and Jupiter in the west. Mercury and Uranus can be found in the east, Saturn in the southwest, and Neptune in the southeast at dawn.
At midmonth, Mercury is visible in morning twilight, Mars transits the meridian at 11:00 p.m. local daylight time and sets at 4:00 a.m. local daylight time, Jupiter sets at 1:00 a.m. local daylight time, and Saturn is visible for the entire night, for observers at latitude 40 degrees north.
Mercury is in close conjunction with the Moon on June 3rd. The speediest planet is at greatest western elongation on June 5th and is at greatest heliocentric latitude south on June 8th. Mercury reaches its highest point in the sky, about seven degrees above the horizon, for observers at latitude 40 degrees north on June 12th and is at the ascending node on June 28th.
Venus is in superior conjunction with the Sun on June 5th and is consequently not visible this month.
Mars fades rapidly this month, dropping in brightness from magnitude -2.0 to magnitude -1.4 and shrinking in apparent size from 18.6 to 16.4 arc seconds during June. The Martian axis is tilted approximately 15 degrees towards the Earth in June. The Red Planet lies 12 degrees west-northwest of the first-magnitude star Antares (Alpha Scorpii) and 15 degrees west of Saturn as June begins. Mars is at heliocentric conjunction with Saturn on June 13th. During the last week of June, Syrtis Major and Hellas are near the central meridian at midnight local daylight time. Mars resumes prograde (eastward) motion on June 30th. On that date, it is situated 20 arc minutes from the globular cluster NGC 5897 (magnitude +8.4). Martian surface features can be identified using the map posted at http://www.bluewater...-ALPO_color.jpg or the Sky & Telescope Mars Profiler at http://www.skyandtel...watching-tools/
Saturn shines at magnitude 0.0 when it reaches opposition on June 3rd. Information on the planet at opposition appears on pages 49 and 50 of the June issue of Sky & Telescope. At midmonth, Saturn shines at magnitude +0.1 and spans 18.4 arc seconds as it retrogrades in Libra. Its rings subtend 42 arc seconds and are inclined by 26 degrees. Titan is due north of Saturn on June 5th and June 21st and due south of the planet on June 13th and June 29th. Saturn’s peculiar satellite Iapetus shines at eleventh magnitude when it passes 2.1 arc minutes south of the planet on June 1st/June 2nd. It brightens to tenth magnitude when it reaches greatest western elongation nine arc minutes from Saturn on June 21st/June 22nd. The sixth-magnitude star SAO 184541 is situated between Iapetus and Saturn at the time. For more on Saturn’s satellites, browse http://www.skyandtel...watching-tools/
During June, Uranus lies about four degrees west of the fourth-magnitude star Omicron Piscium. Uranus passes 2.6 degrees north-northwest of the Moon on June 28th.
Neptune rises around midnight by month’s end. The eighth planet is located one half of a degree southeast of the fourth-magnitude star Lambda Aquarii. Neptune is at western quadrature on June 2nd, begins retrograde motion on June 14th, and passes 1.2 degrees north of the Moon on the night of June 26th.
Finder charts for Uranus and Neptune, both of which are poorly placed for northern latitude observers this month, can be found at http://www.nakedeyep....com/uranus.htm and http://www.nakedeyep...com/neptune.htm
Pluto lies 2.7 arc minutes southwest of the third-magnitude star Pi Sagittarii in northeastern Sagittarius on June 26th (see page 43 of the June issue of Astronomy). A finder chart appears on page 243 of the RASC Observer’s Handbook 2016.
For more on the planets and how to locate them, browse http://www.nakedeyeplanets.com/
Comet C/2013 X1 (PanSTARRS) may shine at sixth or seventh magnitude as it passes southwestward through Aquarius in June. The comet passes south of the planetary nebula NGC 7293 (magnitude +7.3) on June 4th. Visit http://cometchasing.skyhound.com/ and http://www.aerith.ne...t/future-n.html for additional information on this and other comets visible during June.
Asteroid 10 Hygeia shines at eleventh magnitude as it heads southeastward through Leo and into Virgo this month. The fourth largest main-belt asteroid passes one degree south of Upsilon Virginis on June 21st and June 22nd. Some of the brighter asteroids reaching opposition this month include 8 Flora (magnitude +9.4) on June 11th, 704 Interamnia (magnitude +10.4) on June 18th, and 354 Eleonora (magnitude +10.7) on June 26th. Information on asteroid occultations taking place this month is available at http://www.asteroido.../2016_06_si.htm
Forty binary and multiple stars for June: Struve 1812, Kappa Bootis, Otto Struve 279, Iota Bootis, Struve 1825, Struve 1835, Pi Bootis, Epsilon Bootis, Struve 1889, 39 Bootis, Xi Bootis, Struve 1910, Delta Bootis, Mu Bootis (Bootes); Struve 1803 (Canes Venatici); Struve 1932, Struve 1964, Zeta Coronae Borealis, Struve 1973, Otto Struve 302 (Corona Borealis); Struve 1927, Struve 1984, Struve 2054, Eta Draconis, 17-16 Draconis, 17 Draconis (Draco); 54 Hydrae (Hydra); Struve 1919, 5 Serpentis, 6 Serpentis, Struve 1950, Delta Serpentis, Otto Struve 300, Beta Serpentis, Struve 1985 (Serpens Caput); Struve 1831 (Ursa Major); Pi-1 Ursae Minoris (Ursa Minor); Struve 1802, Struve 1833, Phi Virginis (Virgo)
Notable carbon star for June: V Coronae Borealis
Fifty deep-sky objects for June: NGC 5466, NGC 5676, NGC 5689 (Bootes); M102 (NGC 5866), NGC 5678, NGC 5879, NGC 5905, NGC 5907, NGC 5908, NGC 5949, NGC 5963, NGC 5965, NGC 5982, NGC 5985, NGC 6015 (Draco); NGC 5694 (Hydra); NGC 5728, NGC 5791, NGC 5796, NGC 5812, NGC 5861, NGC 5878, NGC 5897 (Libra); M5, NGC 5921, NGC 5957, NGC 5962, NGC 5970, NGC 5984 (Serpens Caput); M101, NGC 5473, NGC 5474, NGC 5485, NGC 5585, NGC 5631 (Ursa Major); NGC 5566, NGC 5634, NGC 5701, NGC 5713, NGC 5746, NGC 5750, NGC 5775, NGC 5806, NGC 5813, NGC 5831, NGC 5838, NGC 5846, NGC 5850, NGC 5854, NGC 5864 (Virgo)
Top five binocular deep-sky objects for June: M5, M101, M102, NGC 5466, NGC 5907
Top ten deep-sky objects for June: M5, M101, M102, NGC 5566, NGC 5585, NGC 5689, NGC 5746, NGC 5813, NGC 5838, NGC 5907
Challenge deep-sky object for June: Abell 2065
The objects listed above are located between 14:00 and 16:00 hours of right ascension.