Hello everyone, this month's article is going to bring you something a little different. In this I’ll be covering the next 4 months of space happenings so you can plan any summer sky observations you might want.
To start off this month, on June 10 there will be a New Moon accompanied by a solar eclipse at sunrise. Sadly this eclipse will not be visible on the west coast but it will be partially visible in the northeastern United States. The full eclipse will be seen fully in eastern Russian and over Antarctica. On the 15, the star Regulus will be sitting to the lower left of the crescent moon. For all of my astrology people, on June 20 Jupiter will go into Retrograde and it’ll be the summer solstice. On the 23rd, Mars will enter the Beehive Star Cluster. If you look through a pair of binoculars— and if the skies are dark enough—you’ll see Mars surrounded by stars. To round out the month June 24th will bring the full moon. This moon is called the Strawberry Moon because it’s about that time to pick strawberries. Some other names for this moon are the Rose moon and the Honey moon.
Now in July, on the 5th the Earth will be at its aphelion, or its point in orbit the farthest from the Sun, and on July 10 there will be a new moon, with the full moon accompanying us on the 23rd. July’s full moon can be called the Full Buck Moon, with some alternative names being the Thunder Moon or the Raspberry Moon. There will also be 2 meteor showers at their peak on the 30: The Southern Delta Aquarid and the A-Capricornids meteors showers. Sadly, due to their proximity to the Full Moon, the show will not be as spectacular, but if you wait long enough you might be able to catch a few of the brightest ones.
The start of the month brings Saturn in opposition on the 1st. The moon will be new on the 8th and just 3 days later on the 11th and 12th the Perseid Meteor Shower will peak with perfect viewing conditions. The best time to view the shower will be after midnight in the darkest place you can, as long as the weather allows. On the 19th Jupiter will be at opposition, and to round out the month on the 22nd the moon will be full. August’s moon will be called the Sturgeon Moon.
On the 7th of September there will be a New Moon. Mercury will be at its greatest eastern elongation on the 13th. What this means is that Mercury will now appear in the night sky until the next time it hits its greatest western elongation. On the 14th Neptune will be at opposition. The September full moon will be on the 20th and is known as the Corn Moon. This year the September moon can also be called the Harvest Moon because it’s the closest full moon to the september/fall equinox, which occurs on the 22nd, marking the start of the Fall season.
5 - Second Space News
The Tianwen-1 rover, Zhurong, landed on Mars on May 14. It landed in the Utopia Planitia region of Mars and was fully deployed from its landing site for the first time on May 22. This is the first rover that the China National Space Administration (CNSA) has landed on Mars. The first picture from its landing was released on May 19; you can find the picture here.
I hope everyone has an amazing,relaxing, and safe summer. Good luck with finals and until next time. Hope you can catch at least one space event this summer as you enjoy the (hopefully) good weather.