Jon Spargo

If your travels find you in the northeastern United States or in the Canadian provinces of Quebec or Ontario, on the morning of June 10th, all or parts of an Annular Solar Eclipse will be visible in the early morning hours. Because of its distance from the Earth, the Moon will not cover the entire Sun as it passes in front of it. The northeast will see only a partial eclipse beginning as early as 5:06 a.m. EDT in New Hampshire. To witness the complete annularity you would need to travel to northern Ontario or northwestern Quebec just east of Hudson Bay. Most of the eclipse action will happen between 5:00 and 6:30 a.m. EDT depending on your location.

 The growing presence of Venus in the early evening sky continues as it rises even further above the west-northwest horizon. Shining at magnitude -3.8 it should be easy to identify. Not so easy to spot will be the Red Planet Mars which can be found a few degrees above and to the left of Venus. Because it is slowly moving closer to the horizon and losing magnitude, a pair of binoculars would be helpful in finding it in the afterglow of sunset. Tiny Mercury is lost to our view this month.

Jupiter, shining at magnitude -2.4 stands out nicely in the early morning sky and is well placed for telescopic viewing as it rises well before the Sun. Not quite as bright but still easy to find, the ringed planet Saturn is only about 18 degrees west of Jupiter. At magnitude +0.4, it too, is well placed for telescopic viewing and its rings are still open enough to continue to provide good viewing.

The Moon will be last quarter on the 2nd, new on the 10th, first quarter on the 18th, and full on the 24th. Looking west-northwest on the 11th, about 45 minutes after sunset, the new crescent Moon will be just below Venus with the pair just above the horizon. On the 13th , the crescent Moon, now higher above the northwestern horizon, will be slightly above Mars. On the 27th, looking to the south halfway up, about 45 minutes before sunrise, the waning gibbous Moon will be just below Saturn. On the following night, at about the same time, the Moon will have moved on and positioned itself below and to the right of Jupiter.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, there will not be a first Saturday star party at the Etscorn Campus Observatory.

Clear Skies!

Jon Spargo

New Mexico Tech Astronomy Club

June 2021

Jon Spargo, New Mexico Tech Astronomy Club