EYES TO THE SKY
June 10 – 23, 2019
Jupiter shines all night. Sun’s longest day
A pivotal celestial event occurs this evening, June 10: Planet Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, rises in the southeast opposite the setting Sun in the northwest. The king of the planets, a brilliant star-like light, will be visible all night. Now at magnitude -2.61, it is the brightest celestial body in the night sky second only to the moon (-12.23m).
This evening, Jupiter climbs above the horizon at 8:14pm as the sun sets opposite at 8:26pm. In the morning, the planet sets in the southwest as the Sun rises in the northeast. Tomorrow morning, the 11th, Jupiter sets at 5:32am; sunrise is at 5:24am. Jupiter and Sun are positioned on either side of Earth. The astronomical term for this phenomenon is “opposition”.
It will be about an hour after sunset, when the sky darkens, that unaided eyes will first observe the great planet above the southeastern skyline. The planet’s arc is rather low to the horizon. Go to a location with an unobstructed view where you may have observed Scorpius the Scorpion’s heart star, Antares. Jupiter appears to the left of red Antares all night.
The Full Strawberry or Honey Moon follows Jupiter into the sky in the southeast on June 17. Jupiter comes up at 7:44pm, moon at 8:54pm. Moon, Jupiter and red Antares form a splendid diagonal. The Full Moon will be visible approaching the southwest horizon at dawn on both the 17th and 18th .
On June days and into mid-July we find the king of the sky, our Sun, present for over 15 hours. The summer solstice occurs on June 21 at 11:54am. Sunset on the solstice is 8:30pm. Study the illustration for more about summer solstice.
Judy Isacoff naturesturn.org
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