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Thursday, June 01, 2023


Southern Skywatch June 2023 edition is now out!

Evening sky on Friday, June 2 as seen from Adelaide at 18:42 ACST, (90 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen). Mars is in the heart of the beehive cluster. The inset is the binocular view of Mars and the cluster.

The June edition of Southern Skywatch is now up.  

The planetary action is now now mostly in the morning skies, although Venus and Mars remain prominent and bright in the evening skies and have some nice encounter with the Beehive cluster. The Moon occults Delta Scorpii. Mercury is prominent in the morning twilight below Jupiter at the begining of this month but will be lost to view from mid month. Saturn climbs higher in the morning sky and is now rising before midnight, as Jupiter also climbs higher in the morning sky.

June 1-3; Mars crosses the Beehive cluster. June 3; the bright star delta Scorpius in the head of the scorpion is occulted by the Moon in the early evening just on Nautical twilight. June 4; Full Moon. June 7; Moon at perigee. June 10; the waning moon near Saturn in the morning twilight. June 11; Last Quarter Moon. June 13-14, Venus close to the Beehive cluster. June 14; the waning Moon close to Jupiter. June 18; New Moon. June 21; the crescent Moon forms a line with Venus and Mars. June 22; the crescent Moon is close to Venus in the evening forming a triangle with Mars. June 22; the Earth is at Solstice. June 23; the crescent Moon forms a line with Mars and Venus. June 23; apogee Moon. June 26; First Quarter Moon.

Mercury is still prominent in the morning sky early in the month. It is easily visible above the eastern horizon an hour before sunrise, below Jupiter. As the month wears on Mercury heads towards the horizon and is lost in the twilight.

  Venus continues to climb higher in the evening sky this month and now is easily visible from shortly until over an hour after astronomical twilight when the sky is fully dark. Venus is at its greatest distance from the Sun on the 4th but remains high in the evening sky for the rest of the month. Venus also increases in brilliance and goes from a half moon shape to a clear crescent shape in telescopes.

Venus has two notable close encounters this month: From the 13th to 14th, Venus skims past the open cluster M44, the beehive cluster, providing an excellent sight in binoculars.

Venus comes closer to Mars, but never quite catches up to it. On the 22nd, Venus Mars and the crescent moon form an attractive triangle. On the 21st and 23rd the trio form a line. 

Earth is at Solstice on the Thursday 22nd, when the day is shortest.

Mars although well past opposition, is still easily visible It passes through Cancer and enters Leo late in the Month. On the 1st, Mars can be found on the outskirts of the Beehive cluster M44. And on the 2nd and 3rd Mars is in the heart of the beehive, a great binocular and telescope vista (also good in dark sky locations)

On the 22nd, Venus Mars and the crescent moon form an attractive triangle.

Jupiter climbs higher in the morning sky, at the beginning of the month bright Mercury is below it, but Mercury is less prominent as the month progresses. On the 14th Jupiter will be 5 degrees from the waning crescent moon.

Saturn continues to climb higher in the morning skies and becomes visible in the late evening, although it remains best in the morning skies. On the 10th, Saturn is near to the waning Moon in the morning skies.


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