By Mario Carr
On June 5 the transit of Venus will be a once in a lifetime event.
Venus will start to cross the face of the sun at 6:03 p.m.and complete its journey about six hours later. We will see about half of it since the sun sets at 8:55 p.m.
There will be two public events that day.McMasterUniversitywill host an event on campus and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Hamilton Centre will have an event at Saltfleet Secondary School, Stoney Creek.
Transits have been happening for billions of years but only six have been observed, which helped us determine the distance to the sun. Johannes Kepler predicted the first transit in 1631. Two transits separated by eight years occur every century. The last one was in 2004 and the next will occur 105 years from now in 2117.
If you plan to see the transit, take precautions and don’t look directly into the sun. This will cause permanent blindness. Wear only optical filters specifically designed for looking at the sun.
Here are June stargazing events. Most are listed in the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers calendar.
Mercury can be seen in the northwest evening sky during twilight and best seen at month’s end. After mid month Venus can be seen in the northeast morning sky.
Mars can be seen in the southwest at sunset setting in the north around 1 a.m.Jupiter is low in the northeast in the morning sky. Saturn is in the southwest at sunset and sets in the west around 2 a.m.Uranus rises in the east around 3 a.m.Neptunerises in the southeast around midnight.
June 3 – The moon is at perigee closets to the Earth at 358,482 km.
June 4 — The full moon this month is called the strawberry moon.
June 8 – Hamilton Amateur Astronomers meeting 7:30-9:30 p.m., Spectator building, 44 Frid St., Hamilton. Featured Speakers; McMaster professor Dr. Mike Reid, Cosmology and John Gauvreau, The sky this month. Free admission with door prizes. An optional food bank donation of non-perishable goods will be collected.
June 11 – Quarter moon
June 15 – The moon is apogee or furthest away from the Earth at 405,790 km.
June 17 – The moon will be beside Jupiter at 4 a.m.
June 20 – Summer starts at 7:09 p.m.
June 25 – Moon below Mars in the evening sky.
June 26 – Quarter moon.
June 27 – The moon will be below Spica and Saturn in the evening sky.
For more information, please see the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers web site at www.amateurastronomy.org or call (905) 627-4323.
- Rare Astronomical Event to Occur June 5-6 (voanews.com)