Monthly Star Guide June 2013

Star chart for 15th June at 8.00 pm

2013.06

 

Moon phases

Mt-Sinai-Moon-phases-2013.06-Jun

Because of the moon’s elliptical orbit around the Earth, its distance varies and so does its apparent size which can vary up to 11%. On the 23rd of  this month, we will have the largest full moon of the year.

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Information on moon phases and times of sunrise and sunset can be accessed for any time of the year from Information on the drop down menu at the top of the page.

Planets

Mercury is visible in the evening sky and reaches its maximum elongation from the sun on the 10th  then heads back, dims and becoming increasingly difficult to see.

Venus is also visible in the evening sky but is increasing its distance from the sun and gets brighter, reaching magnitude -3.9. The two planets are at their closest on the night of the 19th as they cross paths, though Mercury will be difficult to discern in the evening glow.

Positions of Mercury and Venus June 10th at sunset showing path of Mercury

Positions of Mercury and Venus June 10th at sunset showing path of Mercury

Mars passed behind the sun in April and now appears above the Easter horizon half an hour before sunrise but cannot yet be seen in the glare.

Jupiter passes behind the sun on the 19th and is no longer visible in the night sky.

Saturn remains in the constellation of Virgo and its bright yellow light (magnitude 0) contrasts nicely with the blue twinkle of the star Spica. The rings of Saturn have now opened out from the line of sight to 17 degrees, their maximum in six years. The moons of Saturn will not appear in a line but Titan, the brightest, should be easily observable.

Conjunction between moon and Spica on 18th with Saturn (thanks to Ian Morison of Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics)

Conjunction between moon and Spica on 18th with Saturn (thanks to Ian Morison of Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics)

 Summer Solstice

The Sun attains its highest point north with respect to the terrestrial equator at 06.03 pm Egypt time.

The Zodiac showing positions of the sun at solstices and equinoxes

The Zodiac showing positions of the sun at solstices and equinoxes

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