Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sky Events June 2013

Moon Phases

Sat., June 8, 11:56 a.m. EDT

New Moon

The moon is not visible on the date of new moon because it is too close to the sun, but can be seen low in the east as a narrow crescent a morning or two before, just before sunrise. It is visible low in the west an evening or two after new moon.

Sun., June 16, 1:24 p.m. EDT

First Quarter Moon

The first quarter moon rises around 1:15 p.m. and sets around 1:30 a.m. It dominates the evening sky.

Sun., June 23, 7:32 a.m. EDT

Full Moon

The Full Moon of June is usually called the Mead Moon, Strawberry Moon, Rose Moon or Thunder Moon. In Cree it is called Sagipukawipizun, meaning “moon when the leaves come out.” Other names are Honey Moon, Hot Moon, and Planting Moon. In Hindi it is known as Wat Poornima. Its Sinhala (Buddhist) name is Poson. The Full Moon rises around sunset and sets around sunrise, the only night in the month when the Moon is in the sky all night long. The rest of the month, the Moon spends at least some time in the daytime sky.

Sun., June 30, 12:53 a.m. EDT

Last Quarter Moon

This is the second last quarter moon this month. It rises around 12:45 a.m. and sets around 2:15 p.m. It is most easily seen just after sunrise in the southern sky.

Observing Highlights

Wed., June 12, after sunset

Mercury at greatest elongation east

Mercury will be best placed for observation tonight just after sunset. This will be a good apparition in the southern hemisphere, but a poor one in the north because Mercury will be very low in the horizon.

Tue., June 18, evening

The moon framed by Saturn and Spica

Saturn, the moon, and Spica are all lined up for your viewing pleasure this evening. Observers in northern South America and central Africa will see the Moon pass directly in front of Spica.

Thu., June 20, after sunset

Venus and Mercury in conjunction

This will be your best chance to spot Mercury this month, just 2 degrees below brilliant Venus in the evening sky.

Fri., June 21, 1:04 a.m. EDT

Summer solstice

The sun reaches its most northern position marking the middle of summer. Gathered close around it are four of the eight planets (Venus, Mercury, Jupiter and Mars) and dwarf planet (former asteroid) Ceres. All but Mercury are on the far side of the sun.

Sat., June 22, sunset


This year the largest Full Moon of the year will occur on June 22/23. The moon’s elliptical orbit brings it close to the Earth at some point every month, called perigee. When perigee falls close to Full Moon, as it does on June 23 at 7 a.m. EDT, we get what someone recently christened a “SuperMoon.” To the naked eye it looks no different, but it’s nice to know it’s only 356,991 km. away. Expect higher tides than usual as a result.


Mercury will be in the western  sky at sunset for most of June. It will be at maximum elongation from the sun on June 12. Although only an average apparition of Mercury, its proximity to the brilliant planet Venus will make Mercury easier than usual to spot. In particular it will be in close conjunction with Venus on June 20.

Venus is now an “evening star” setting just after the sun.

Mars is on the far side of the sun, not visible this month.

Jupiter is too close to the sun all month to be observed, conjunction being on June 19.

Saturn is high in the southern sky at just after sunset, and sets around 3 a.m.

Uranus is in Pisces, rising just before the sun.

Neptune is in Aquarius all month, visible in the morning sky.

Geoff Gaherty
Starry Night Software Support
All graphics © 2013 Starry Night Software

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