J U N E S K Y W A T C H
by Maya del Mar
Tiny Mars, fast zooming into brilliance, is the talk of the sky crowd for the next two months. During June, it nearly doubles in brightness. It comes up earlier and earlier, but it is still an early morning vista, and best viewed just before dawn, when it is highest in the sky. Look low in the southeast sky for a bright orangish object. Spot it early in the month, and watch it brighten as the month moves on.
Mars will continue to brighten until the end of August, when it has its closest approach to earth in more than 50,000 years.
The bright star below Mars is Fomalhaut, one of the four Royal Stars. It is one of the brightest stars of the Southern Hemisphere, but is visible, very low on the horizon, for only a few months in the Northern Hemisphere.
Venus and Mercury are close to the glare of the sun now, but they are still visible low in the morning twilight as the sky brightens. Venus and Mercury hang out close together all month. Venus is easy to spot with her brightness, but we will probably need binoculars to see Mercury. Mercury brightens during the month, and becomes easier to spot. On June 21, daytime observers who use a telescope can see Venus and Mercury in the same eyepiece. (Im going to check it out with binoculars.)
The personal planets are all morning planets this month, rising before the Sun. This is an active position. They announce each new day, and take the initiative in moving into the life of the daybefore the integrating Sun can come along and put it all together. This translates to impulsiveness on earth. We tend to act in our own personal interest before we understand the meaning of our actions. Mars leading the way will emphasize this focus on personal ego, and lack of forethought.
All winter we have had the grand spectacle of bright Saturn and brilliant Jupiter crossing our night sky. However, this month they sink into the evening twilight, Saturn early in the month and Jupiter in the latter part.
This will be the last chance for telescopers to get the full effect of Saturns rings head-on. They begin now their six-year diminishment.