Star Calendar Planets:
Moon opens the month large in phase and casting long shadows – sometimes being completely obscured by foliage and other horizon clutter. The low-running Full Moon of June contrasts with the height of the Sun. Harken back to the December Full Moon that runs so high, so long, and casts short shadows.
Mercury resumes direct motion against the stars on the 11th and makes a feeble but improving morning appearance at an inconveniently early hour. Although its greatest angle from the Sun occurs on the 24th, circumstances improve after this as the trailing ecliptic makes a steeper cut against the horizon towards July. The determined, stalwart observer with an excellent view to the ENE, might begin looking on the 27th – at about 3:15 AM.
Venus continues to brighten and achieves 1/8 of a circle angular distance from the evening Sun. Even though her phase diminishes she continues to brighten because she gets so much closer (larger angular area) to us. The month opens with an alignment with the heads of the Twins, culminates with a series of stunning triangles with Jupiter and the Moon, and closes with a striking close encounter with Jupiter.
Sun reaches its maximum distance from the celestial equator (declination) during lunch on the 21st and then begins to descend toward the equator again. The moment of transition is called the solstice or “Sun-standing”. Astronomically this is the mid-point of summer. Weather-wise, like with your frypan, the midpoint of the cycle of heating and cooling lags behind the application of flame. Our summer weather is largely hangover heat.
Mars sneaks behind the Sun on the 14th. After a covert encounter with the Twins he will next appear some morning in August as he enters Cancer.
Jupiter continues a steadfast march towards Regulus and crosses a (rather arbitrary) boundary into Leo – but it will be seen increasingly as a mere embellishment to Venus as she sweeps him up late this month. We’re in for some beautiful evening configurations.
Saturn takes 28 years to progress through the zodiac and is now sitting where does the Sun in late November. Saturn will not be seen above (north of) the celestial equator until 2026.
Star Calendar Days:
1 Sunrise/sunset in Spring Valley at 5:26/20:22 EDT (14h56m daylight)
Venus in line with Gemini’s Pollux & Castor, all evening in W
Moon appears to left of Saturn, above Antares, as dusk darkens, 8:30PM in SE
2 Full Strawberry Moon 12:19PM
6 Venus at greatest angle from Sun, 45 degrees, in half-phase
9-10 Jupiter enters territory of Leo
11 Mercury stationary to direct motion
13-14 Equation of Time is zero; clocks agree with sundials on zone meridia
14 Earliest sunrise for year; in Spring Valley at 5:23 (15h07m daylight)
Mars crosses behind Sun (conjunction)
17 Ramadan begins this evening, or the next.
18 Equinox on Mars, vernal for northern hemisphere
19 Moon below Venus and Jupiter in W after sunset
20 Moon, Venus, Jupiter in AWESOME triangle at 8:30PM in W
21 Sunrise/sunset in Spring Valley at 5:24/20:32 EDT (15h08m daylight)
Solstice at 12:38, longest path of Sun across northern hemisphere skies
Moon to left of Regulus, evening ’til around 10:30 in W
23 St. John’s Eve, traditional summer bonfire
24 Midsummer’s Day of the cross-quarter seasonal year
Mercury at largest angle from morning Sun for this appearance
27 Mercury rises left of Aldebaran in ENE after 3:15AM
30 Sunrise/sunset in Spring Valley at 5:27/20:33 EDT (15h06m daylight)
Jupiter barely above Venus, probably visible BEFORE sunset in W