2021, June 26 – June 30: Bright Moon, Morning Planets

June 26 – June 30, 2021:  The bright gibbous moon passes Jupiter and Saturn in the morning sky before sunrise.  Observe that the moon is in a different spot each morning, farther east toward the impending sunrise.

2021, June 26 – 30: The bright gibbous moon skips eastward past the bright morning planets, Jupiter and Saturn.
Chart Caption – 2021, June 26 – 30: The bright gibbous moon skips eastward past the bright morning planets, Jupiter and Saturn.

by Jeffrey L. Hunt

Bright Jupiter and Saturn are appearing low in the southeastern sky around midnight.  They are in easier places to see in the southern sky before sunrise.

On the mornings of June 26 – June 30, the moon skips past Saturn and bright Jupiter.

Step outside about an hour before sunrise.  Two bright “stars” are low in the southern sky.  Jupiter is brightest star in the sky this morning. Saturn – dimmer than Jupiter, Arcturus, and Vega – is nearly 20° to Jupiter’s lower right.

Extend your arm and make a fist.  The angular distance from your pinky knuckle to your thumb knuckle is about 10°.  The distance from Jupiter to Saturn is about 2 “fists.”

When the bright moon is in the sky, dimmer stars are difficult to see.  Sometimes seeing fewer stars makes it easier to identify regions of the sky by the brightest stars there.

Each morning the moon’s phase is less than the previous morning, a waning moon.  The moon appears to move to the left in the morning sky.  When facing south, east is to the left, the direction of the approaching sunrise.

On these mornings, here’s what to see:

June 26:  The bright moon – 96% illuminated – is about 20° up in the south-southwest.  Saturn is 16° to the upper left of the lunar orb.

June 27: The bright gibbous moon (91%) is 4.9° below Saturn.

June 28: The gibbous moon (83%) is 8.6° to the lower right of Jupiter and 13.3° to the left of Saturn.

June 29: The waning moon (75%) is about one-third of the way up in the south-southeast, 8.1° to the lower left of Jupiter.

June 30: The morning moon (65%) is in the south-southeast an 20.0° to the lower left of Jupiter.

Articles and Summaries

2021, May 13: The crescent moon is 3.2° to the upper left of Mercury.

2021, August 9: Evening Moon, Mars

August 9, 2021: After the New moon yesterday morning, the crescent moon appears in the evening sky during bright twilight near Mars.

2021, May 13: Brilliant Venus, Mercury, and the crescent moon in the evening sky.

2021, August 3: Four Evening Planets: Venus, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter

August 3, 2021:  Four planets appear in the evening sky.  Brilliant Evening Star Venus and dim Mars are in the west after sunset.  A little later during the evening, Saturn and Jupiter are easily visible in the southeast.

Saturn (NASA)

2021, August 2: Saturn at Opposition

August 2, 2021: Saturn is at opposition with the sun.  Earth is between the sun and the planet.

2020, July 17: The crescent moon appears near Venus before sunrise. The night portion of the moon is gently illuminated by earthshine.

2021: August 1 – 6: Morning Moon, Bright Stars

August 1 – 6, 2021:  The morning moon wanes toward its New moon phase in the eastern sky.  It passes the bright stars that are prominent in the evening sky during the winter season in the northern hemisphere.  The stars have been making their first appearances in the morning sky during summer.  At this hour, Procyon and bright Sirius are the last stellar duo to appear.

2021, July 8: The flowers celebrate summer.

2021, August 6: Summer’s Midpoint

August 6, 2021:  In the northern hemisphere, summer’s midpoint occurs today at 6:27 p.m. CDT.

Categories: Astronomy, Sky Watching

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