Admin and Founder of The Secrets of the Universe and former intern at Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore, I am a science student pursuing Master’s in Physics from India. I love to study and write about Stellar Astrophysics, Relativity& Quantum Mechanics.
The summer has arrived in the northern hemisphere and so have the beautiful summer constellations. It is time to say goodbye to the bright Sirius, the majestic Orion and the fierce 'bull'. Let us have a look at what the sixth month has to offer. So here are the top Astronomy events in June 2019.
Astronomy Events In June 2019
June 2: Moon At Perihelion
In its monthly orbit around the Earth, the Moon will be the closest to the Sun on June 2. It will be at a distance of 1.0177 AU (Astronomical Unit) from the Sun. That is approximately 152,440,000 Km from the Sun. The 28 days old Moon will be in Aries at perihelion.
June 3: New Moon
The Moon will pass close to the Sun and become lost in the Sun's glare for a few days. At new moon, the Earth, Moon and Sun all lie in a roughly straight line, with the Moon in the middle, appearing in front of the Sun's glare. In this configuration, we see almost exactly the opposite half of the Moon to that which is illuminated by the Sun, making it doubly unobservable because the side we see is unilluminated.
Over coming days, the Moon will rise and set an hour later each day, becoming visible in the late afternoon and dusk sky as a waxing crescent which sets soon after the Sun. By first quarter, in a week's time, it will be visible until around midnight.
June 5: Conjunction of Moon And Mars
On June 5, at 15:06 GMT, the Moon will pass within 1°34' of the Roman God of War, Mars. The Moon will be 2 days old. Look for the pair in the dusk sky after the Sunset. The altitude of the pair will depend on your location. From India, the pair will become visible at 21 degrees above the horizon. The Moon will be at mag -9.7 and Mars at mag 1.8, both in the constellation of Gemini as shown above.
June 8: The Moon At Perigee
On June 8, the Moon will come to the closest point in its orbit around Earth and will appear slightly larger than at other times. The Moon's distance from the Earth varies because its orbit is not perfectly circular – it is instead slightly oval-shaped, tracing out a path called an ellipse.
June 10: Jupiter At Opposition
One of the most awaited of all the Astronomy events in June, the opposition of Jupiter will occur on June 10. A planetary opposition occurs when Earth lies between the Sun and the planet. At the same time, Jupiter will make its closest approach to Earth.
At opposition, a planet is visible all night as it lies exactly opposite to the Sun. On June 10, the mighty Jupiter will be at a distance of 4.28 AU in the constellation of Ophiuchus. Look for it in East-South-East after dusk. It will shine brightly at mag -2.6 and will have an angular size of 45.0".
June 17: Full Moon
The Moon will reach its full phase on June 17. It will shine brightly in Ophiuchus and will be 3,89,000 Km away from Earth. Over the nights following 17 June, the Moon will rise around an hour later each day, becoming prominent later in the night. Within a few days, it will only be visible in the pre-dawn and early-morning sky. By the time it reaches last quarter, a week after full moon, it will rise at around midnight and set at around noon.
June 18: Close Approach of Mercury And Mars
On June 18 at dusk, Mercury and Mars will pass very close to each other. Mercury will pass just 0°14' north of Mars. The pair will be difficult to watch as they will be hidden in the glare of the setting Sun. This depends on your location. Mercury will be at mag 0.1, and Mars at mag 1.8, both in the constellation Gemini. Unlike the other conjunctions this month, the pair will be close enough to fit in a telescope.
June 18: Moon At Aphelion
On the 18th day of month, Moon's monthly orbit around the Earth will carry it to its furthest point from the Sun – its aphelion – at a distance of 1.0186 AU from the Sun. This happens at around the time when the Moon's orbit carries it around the far side of the Earth as seen from the Sun, at around the same time that it passes full moon. At aphelion, Moon will be in Sagittarius.
June 19: Conjunction of Moon And Saturn
On June 19, the Moon will pass 0°26' north of Saturn. Moon will be 16 days old. Look for them close together at dawn though they will be up in the sky all night. The exact conjunction occurs at 03:47 GMT. The Moon will be at mag -12.5, and Saturn at mag 0.1, both in the constellation Sagittarius.
The pair will be close enough to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will also be visible to the naked eye or through a pair of binoculars.
June 20: The Ophiuchid Meteor Shower
The Ophiuchid meteor shower will reach its maximum rate of activity on 20 June 2019. Some shooting stars associated with the shower are expected to be visible each night from 19 May to July. Depending on your location, the shower can peak at 5 meteors per hour. It is a weak shower.
June 21: The Summer Solstice
The 21st day of June will be the longest day of the year in northern hemisphere while it will be the shortest in southern. At the summer solstice, the Sun will be in Taurus and its rays will fall directly on the Tropic of Cancer.
June 23: Moon At Apogee
The Moon will reach the furthest point along its orbit to the Earth and will appear slightly smaller than at other times. As the apogee of 23 June 2019 will occur when the moon is around last quarter phase, it will appear in the morning sky in Aquarius.
So these were the important Astronomy events in June 2019. Source: In-The-Sky.