Saturday, June 4, 2011

Events for the Week 6/4 to 6/11

The partial solar eclipse was a great treat for those who lived in the north. June 15: Total Lunar eclipse for those who wish to experience one! (Only Asia, Europe, and Africa though!)

Events for 6/4

Pollux and Castor sits at the upper right of the moon tonight. Look for Procyon again, though disappearing under the horizon soon. (See below image).

Events for 6/5

Castor and Pollux start to fade as the moon waxes to first quarter. The moon, beside from visiting Gemini, will come and see Cancer (the faintest constellation in the Zodiac) and Messier 44, the 'Beehive' Star Cluster. The moon will sit in Cancer and Messier 44 will be about right above the moon and a little to the right. [The Beehive Cluster is actually one of the closer start clusters to our solar system. It has been viewed since Galileo and Ptolemy; even without a telescope it will look like a 'nebulous' object. [But] If you have a nice telescope, you'll see this.] (Image: Messier 44 from Wikipedia)

Events for 6/6

The big Dipper (probably the most well-known constellation) is extremely high this June month. In order to find it's lesser 'twin,' the small Dipper, locate two other stars outside its bowl (The Pointers), and they'll show you the path to the north star: Polaris. Once you've found Polaris, you can find the little Dipper. "Polaris marks the end of the handle of the Little Dipper. You need a dark night to see the Little Dipper in full, because it’s so much fainter than its larger and brighter counterpart." EarthSky writes.

Scorpius also begins to rise these evenings in the extreme southeast.  Antares, its brightest star, will be visible farther to the constellation's upper-right.  Sparkly, summery Scorpius is rearing up in the south-southeast these evenings.

Events for 6/7

Titan, A satellite fo Saturn, can be viewed excellent tonight. Saturn's Moons tracker will help you identify its fainter 'friends.' Meanwhile, the Moon's out partying again now with Leo. Regulus (Leo's brightest star) will be shining bright about northwest of our moon. EarthSky graciously writes about occultations of the Moon and Regulus: 
The moon’s orbit sometimes brings it close enough to Regulus to occult or eclipse it, although this hasn’t happened since May 12, 2008 and will not occur again until December 18, 2016. There is no occultation tonight, but the moon swings fairly close to Regulus for a day or two every month. Of course you know that they are not really close. A trip to the moon covers a distance equivalent of approximately 10 times around the earth, or nearly 250,000 miles. If you could drive that distance nonstop at 50 miles per hour, it would take more than 6 and 1/2 months. But Regulus is a large, hot star, surpassing our sun in size and energy. At more than 77 light years’ distance, it is nearly 2 billion times farther away than the moon. A trip to Regulus at 50 mph would take about one billion years!

Events for 6/8

First-quarter Moon shines south of Leo at exactly 10:11 pm EDT. Other than that, no much happens tonight.

Events for 6/9

In the next few days, the moon will pass under Saturn and Porrima (6/9), the pass under Arcturus, high above our celestial satellite, (6/10) and finally down and to the right of the moon, around 10 or 11pm, the little dipper floats by.

Notes: Saturn and Porrima are one-fourth degree around the 9th!

"With summer almost here, the big Summer Triangle is coming to dominate the eastern sky. Its topmost and brightest star is Vega, plain to see. Look lower left of Vega, by two or three fist-widths at arm's length, for Deneb, the brightest star in its area. Farther to the lower right of Vega is Altair." SkyandTelescope writes. 

Solar System Calendar

07 Jun 2011 13:28:32 Max. North Declination of Saturn, -1.7°
07 Jun 2011 15:50:27 Ascending Knot Passage of Mercury
09 Jun 2011 02:10:34 First Quarter
09 Jun 2011 11:29:44 Min. North Latitude of the Moon, -5.2°
10 Jun 2011 16:21:09 Conjunction of Saturn with the Moon, 7.6°

Planet Positions

Mercury- lost in the glow of the Sunrise
Venus- mag (magnitude) -3.8, very low at dawn in the east northeast horizon 20-30 min before sunrise
Mars- mag 1.3 upper right of Venus
Jupiter- mag -2.1 on the Aries-Pisces border, first light of dawn, high in east before sunrise
Saturn- mag 0.7 in Virgo, high in south at night, excellent viewing time w/Porrima
Uranus- mag 5.9 in western Pisces, low east before light of dawn
Neptune- mag 7.9 in Aquarius, southeast before dawn
Pluto- mag 14 in Sagittarius, highest in south before dawn

I don't remember if I've been acknowledging SkyandTelescope for the Planet Positions, and The Transits Page for the Solar-System Calendar. Thank you both for your information. Have a great viewing this week.

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