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Night Sky Viewing

Here are a few things to look for in June

There are finally planets in the evening sky. Venus is the bright object in the western sky after sunset. Jupiter, the largest planet, is in the southern sky after dark. Jupiter is still close to Earth and, with a good pair of binoculars, the clouds on the planet are visible. Late in the evening, Saturn is low on the eastern horizon. Mercury is too close to the sun to be safely observed. Mars is currently rising around midnight but will rise earlier every evening. By the end of June, Mars will be in the southeastern sky at 10:30 pm. Mars will continue to rise earlier each evening because we are moving toward the red planet in our faster orbit.

Because we are near the summer solstice, there are fewer than 7 hours of stargazing time. The Big Dipper is still overhead after dark. Follow the curve of the Big Dipper’s handle and you come to Arcturus, the fourth brightest star in the sky after the sun. There are three bright stars to the east of the Big Dipper and they are the stars of the summer triangle – Vega, Deneb, and Altair. To the west of the Big Dipper is Regulas.

Thank you, Art Maurer, from the Trackman Planetarium at Joliet Junior College for this information.

Created by Emily Kenny on Jun 1st, 2018 @ 5:07 PM.
Updated on Jun 3rd, 2018 @ 4:38 PM.