Sky Watching June 2014

Hours of daylight for Chicago, Illinois from U.S. Naval Observatory Data.

The daylight reaches its maximum this month.  On June 1, the sun is in the sky for 15 hours, 1 minute.  At the summer solstice on June 21, the sun is in the sky for 15 hours, 13 minutes.  The chart above shows the daylight hours (the blue bar) compared to the number of daylight hours throughout the year.  (Click the images in this posting to see them larger.)


NASA Photo


Phase Date/Time Moonrise Moonset
First Quarter 06/05/14 (3:39 p.m.) 12:38 p.m. 1:14 a.m. (06/06)
Full Moon 06/12/14 (11:11 p.m.) 7:57 p.m. 4:57 a.m. (06/13)
Last Quarter 06/19/14 (1:39 p.m.) 12:27 a.m. 11:44 a.m.
New Moon 06/27/14 (3:08 a.m.) 4:58 a.m. 7:49 p.m.
Times are Central Daylight Time for Chicago, Illinois, from US Naval Observatory calculations. (For mjb)

 Evening Sky

Mercury rapidly leaves the western sky early in the month and disappears into the sun’s glare.  It passes between Earth and the sun on June 19 and rapidly moves into the morning sky.

Meanwhile three bright planets are well-placed for viewing.

Jupiter appears low in the west-northwest, near Castor and Pollux.  This giant planet is gradually disappearing into the sun’s glare.  By month’s end it sets in the western sky during twilight.

Mars  is about halfway up in the southern sky as the sky darkens.  On June 7, the moon appears about 3 degrees to the lower left of the Red Planet.  During the month Mars moves eastward compared to its starry background.  On June 1, Mars is  about 14 degrees to the right (west) of Spica.  By month’s end the pair is separated by 6 degrees.

A few nights later, the moon appears near Saturn.  Their separation is about 5 degrees.  Note the reddish star Antares.  It is about the same color and brightness as Mars.  Do not confuse them.

Morning Sky

Venus is the lone bright planet in the morning sky.  It appears in the eastern sky before sunrise.  At the beginning of the month, it rises about 1 hour, 40 minutes before sunrise.  By month’s end, it rises about 2 hours before sunrise.  Read our posting about Venus as a Morning Star.  On the morning of June 24, a waning crescent moon appears about 2 degrees from Venus.

June offers the longest daylight hours and opportunities to view the bright planets.

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