Dear Stargazer Friends,

I hope you have been well. After a considerable waiting time, my new mount has finally arrived last week! Will post a review later this year on my website. And new astrophotography soon as well. 

June will bring several interesting astronomical events. It starts with the conjunction of the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn (1st of June) in the early morning. On June 10, the new moon will be in front of the sun and from Canada to Greenland, an “Annular Solar Eclipse” will be visible. From Switzerland, it will be a partial eclipse. Check local times and make sure you have adequate eye protection to observe this special moment. 

Summer Solstice is on 21 June at 05:32 CEST (0332 UTC). In Southern Hemisphere, it will be Winter Solstice. 

The nights are getting shorter and shorter until Summer Solstice. If setting up the telescope for just a few dark hours (if any at all) before dawn doesn’t seem so worthwhile, observing and/or taking pictures of the Milky Way is a great thing to do. The “Summer Triangle” Altair, Daneb and Vega appears well before midnight in the eastern sky.

A phenomenon – although rare – that is great to take pictures of and that typically occurs from June until mid-August is Noctilucent clouds (NLCs). NLCs are a collection of ice crystals in the Mesosphere (lower boundary at altitudes from 50 to 65 km/164’000 to 213’000 ft above the Earth’s surface; upper boundary around 85 to 100 km/279’000 to 328’000 ft). They can be observed at latitudes between 45°N and 80°N in the Northern Hemisphere in twilight (Sun between 6° and 16° below the horizon). 

I hope you’ll enjoy the journey and please come back for the July issue.

Clear skies and best wishes!
Isa

Waxing Crescent Moon and Venus over Lac de Neuchâtel, 13 May 2021 – (c) Isabel Streit 2021

Moon phases June 2021

PhaseDate
Third Quarter 02 June, 09:24
New Moon10 June, 12:52 
First Quarter18 June, 05:54
Full Moon24 June, 20:39
Times are local time for Bern, Switzerland

Summer Solstice

21 June 2021 at 03:32 UTC (05:32 CET) – Southern Hemisphere: Winter Solstice

Solar Eclipse on 10 June

Times for Bern, Switzerland: 10.6.2021 starting at 11:26, maximum at 12:17, ends at 13:11.

WARNING: Protect your eyes: for solar viewing, always check that filters meet the requirements for ISO 12312-2:2015

Planets

For local times go to In-The-Sky.org

Mercury will not be observable in June (from Bern, Switzerland).

Venus will be in the Contellation of Gemini until 25 June, then in the Constellation of Cancer. Observable in the evening after sunset until around 22:00 CET. On 12 June, the Moon and Venus will appear close around 45 minutes after sunset. 

Mars will be visible until 8 June in the constellation of Gemini (8 June until 22:37 CET). After that, it will be more difficult to observe.

Jupiter is still in the constellation of Aquarius and can be observed throughout June (1st of June rise 01:53; 30 June rise: 00:01 CET).

Saturn appears close to Jupiter and is observable throughout June (1st of June rise: 01:10; 30 June rise: 23:15 CET). 

Uranus not observable

Neptune will be observable for just a few minutes from 20 June (03:45 – 03:47 CET) but only for a short moment (June 30: 03:09 – 03:55 CET) in the Constellation of Aquarius.

Moon conjunctions with Planets

1 June: conjunction with Jupiter and Saturn (early morning)

12 June: appears close to Venus around 45 minutes after sunset

13 June: appears close to Mars (but Mars not very bright anymore)

Waning Moon, Jupiter & Saturn seen from Switzerland, 4 May 2021 – (c) Isabel Streit 2021

Galaxies

The Galaxies in Coma Berencies (Coma B) will remain visible throughout June. The constellation of Canis Venatici has a number of galaxies such as the Whirlpool Galaxy (M 51), the Sunflower Galaxy (M63) and the Crosc’s Eye Galaxy (M 94). Equally interesting is M 101 (Pinwheel Galaxy) in Ursa Majoris.

Star clusters

The Summer Beehive Cluster (IC 4665) in the constellation of Ophiuchus will become observable before midnight (SE). June will also be perfect to observe the Great Star Cluster in Hercules (M 13), M 92 (globular star cluster in Hercules), M 5 (Rose Cluster in Serpens), M 3 in Canis Venatici, and M 53 in Coma Berenices.

Bright nebulae

The many nebulae in the constellation of Cygnus (North America Nebula, Pelican Nebula, Crescent Nebula, …) will now be observable before midnight. Lyra with the Ring Nebula (M 57) remains an interesting area to observe and take pictures of. 

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