June 2017

Mars is in the west just after sunset at the start of June. Find it below Gemini. A thickening crescent moon is approaching Leo. Jupiter is in Virgo on the meridian as darkness sets in while Arcturus is high in the east.. Saturn rises not long after sunset. You’ll find the ringed planet in the east left of Antares in the evening. Sagittarius follows it up the sky later. Pegasus is an after midnight riser. As sunrise approaches, Venus and Uranus rise together in Pisces. Mercury is harder to catch. It’s rising in the glare of sunrise.


Mars seems to be trying to avoid being drawn into the sunset as June progresses. However, it only gets to the feet of Gemini around the middle of the month. The constellation and the planet are going in the same direction after that. Jupiter doesn’t move much and just keeps moving along with Virgo. It’s a similar situation with Saturn in Ophiuchus. Saturn is at opposition on the 15th at 9 astronomical units away. The full moon is next to the ringed planet on the 10th. Uranus stays put in Pisces while Venus goes left of it in the morning sky. A waning crescent moon is right of the goddess on the 20th and below left of it the next morning. Toward the end of the month, Venus is heading toward Taurus. See the Pleiades and Hyades left of it.


The morning views of Venus are excellent this month. Greatest elongation is on the 3rd. The planet gets 45.9° from the sun. It’s a little more than a week from aphelion on the 12th. Aphelion distance is 0.728 astronomical units.


Mercury is at perihelion on the 19th, 0.307 au from the sun. After it goes through superior conjunction on the 21st, you might find it next to Mars in the evening sky by the end of June.


The moon is at first quarter on the 1st. It goes south of the equator on the 3rd. Lunar apogee is on the 8th with a distance of 406,500 km (252,600 mi). Then the moon is full on the 9th. Southern lunistice occurs on the 11th. Last quarter is on the 17th, the day before the moon crosses the equator again going north. Perigee occurs on the 23rd at 358,000 km (222,400 mi). The moon is at northern lunistice when it’s new on the 24th. And a second southward crossing happens on the 30th.


The June solstice is on the 21st at 04:25 UT.


Lunar occultations this month include Neptune on the 16th visible from Antarctica and the far southern Pacific and Regulus on the 28th visible from the Pacific Ocean west of Ecuador and Peru. The Galapagos Islands are well positioned for it.


Notable conjunctions this month: Uranus and Venus on the 3rd, Jupiter and Mars on the 4th, the moon and Spica on the 4th, Saturn and the moon on the 10th, Mercury and Aldebaran on the 11th, Venus and the moon on the 20th, Mercury and the sun on the 21st, the moon and Aldebaran on the 22nd, the moon and Regulus on the 28th, and Mercury and Mars on the 28th.

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