As June kicks off, the chapter break between spring and summer looms on the figurative horizon.
The Northern Hemisphere is experiencing the longest daylight hours of the year ahead of the summer solstice, and many people around the world may be able to see a unique sunspot on the surface of our favorite star. Summer stargazing season is quickly approaching, but summer skies can be hazy, making it difficult to see some celestial events. However, there is still plenty to see in the June night skies.
Here are some upcoming events to keep an eye out for:
June 1 and 2: Mars passes through Beehive star cluster
To begin the month, Mars will pass through the Beehive cluster, also known as M44. Mars will appear as a brilliant red ruby surrounded by sparkling diamonds in the crabby constellation Cancer.
First, look for the bright planet Venus in the western sky. The two bright stars strung out to one side of Venus are the twin stars of Gemini, Castor and Pollux. Mars should be visible as a reddish light above Venus, Pollux, and Castor. Binoculars and a dark sky will allow you to see a smattering of stars near Mars.
The Beehive cluster is located approximately 557 light-years from Earth and is home to at least two planets.
June 3/4: Full Strawberry Moon
The moon will be at its brightest for the last time this spring on June 3 at 11:42 p.m. ET.
According to NASA, the Strawberry Moon will begin to appear on the evening of Friday, June 2 and will last until the morning of Monday, June 5. Look to the southeast shortly after sunset to see the moon rise above the horizon. The full moon in June is usually the last of the spring or the first of the summer.
Strawberry Moon is not a color description, but rather a reference to the ripening of “June-bearing” strawberries that are ready to be gathered and devoured. The Algonquian, Ojibwe, Dakota, and Lakota peoples used this term to describe a time of great abundance for thousands of years. Strawberry Thanksgiving is observed by some tribal nations in the northeastern United States, including the Wampanoag nation, to express gratitude for the first fruits of spring and summer.
June 7: Peak of Arietid meteor shower
According to the International Meteor Organization, the Arietid meteor shower will last until June 17, but it will peak on June 7.
The Arietids, as a daytime meteor shower, may be more difficult to see than other meteor showers due to meteors streaking across the sky while the sun is out. However, NASA stated that skywatchers may catch a few if they look to the constellation Aries just before dawn.
June 10: Peak of zeta Perseid meteor shower
The zeta Perseids are another daytime meteor shower in June that will peak on June 10, according to the IMO.
Unlike the Perseid meteor shower, which occurs every August, the zeta Perseids will be more difficult to see. Skywatchers may be able to see a few meteors if they look 5 degrees above the horizon at sunrise, according to NASA.
June 21: Summer Solstice
Summer officially begins in the Northern Hemisphere on June 21 at 10:58 a.m. EDT, the summer solstice. The sun is traveling along its northernmost path in the sky at this time. At the solstice, the Earth’s North Pole is at its most tilted towards the sun, approximately 23.5 degrees. It is also the shortest day of the year, with approximately 16 hours of daylight expected in some parts of the Northeast on June 21.
After June 21, the sun appears to reverse direction and return to the opposite direction, south, until the next solstice in December.
June 27: Bootid Meteor Shower Maximum
The Bootid meteor shower begins on June 22, but its peak rate of meteors is expected around 7 PM EDT on June 27. When the constellation Bootes is just above the horizon, the Bootid meteors should be visible. The moon will be in its first quarter phase at the peak of the shower and will set around 1:30 a.m., resulting in minimal light interference later in the night.
The comet 7P/Pons-Winnecke caused the Bootid meteor shower in June, which is expected to last until July 2.
This month, the same skygazing rules that apply to almost all space-watching activities apply: Go to a dark place away from city or town lights and let your eyes adjust to the darkness for about a half hour. Then simply relax and enjoy the summer skies.
∼If you like our article, give Conscious Reminder a thumbs up, and help us spread LOVE & LIGHT!∼