By Mario Carr
This year, you can see a rare full moon during the shortest night of the year on June 20 when the summer solstice occurs.
The last time this happened was back in 1986 and if you want to see it again you have to wait another 46 years until 2062. Technically, the Full Moon occurs at 7:02 a.m 11 hours before the Solstice at 6:34 p.m.
For most of the month, Saturn steals the celestial spotlight. The planet’s northern hemisphere will be tipping towards Earth by 26 degrees so its rings will appear open and wide as possible. A great view any telescope.
Saturn will be at it’s brightest on June 3 when it will be at opposition or at its closet point to the Earth. It can be seen all night rising at sunset and setting at sunrise. Through a telescope, right beside the famed ringed planet, you can see bright moons Dione, Tethys, Rhea and Titan.
Here are June stargazer events. Most are listed in the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers calendar.
Mercury can be seen in the south eastern morning sky. Venus is too close to the Sun to see. On June 6, the planet will be behind the Sun or at Superior Conjunction. Mars can be seen most of the night. Jupiter can be seen in the western evening sky setting after midnight. Uranus can be hard to see low in the eastern predawn sky. Neptune rises after midnight.
June 5 – Mercury will be at its greatest distant from the Sun but very low in the morning sky.
June 10 – Hamilton Amateur Astronomers meeting 7:30-9:30 p.m, Spectator Building, 44 Frid St., Hamilton. Free admission, door prizes and everybody is welcome. An optional food bank donation of non-perishable goods will be collected and appreciated.
June 11 – The Moon is near Jupiter in the evening sky.
June 12 – First-quarter Moon
June 16 — The Moon is above Mars in the evening sky.
June 18 – The Moon is above Saturn in the evening sky.
June 26 – Neptune is close to the Moon.
June 27 – Last-quarter Moon
For more information, see the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers website at www.amateurastronomy.org or call (905) 627-4323. The club offers a basic astronomy course for members.
Mario Carr is the club’s director of publicity and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @MarioCCarr