June Has Been and Will Be a Fascinating Month for East Texas Star Gazers
We need the rain in East Texas. Our flower beds and gardens are certainly showing that lack of natural moisture. We also need it to give us a brief reprieve from the early heat that has settled over us. While we've seen some cloudy mornings, those clouds haven't stuck around long giving us some beautiful blue skies during the afternoon and evening. With that, comes a great time to do some star gazing, especially if you're living in the East Texas countryside.
So far during the month of June, there has been some cool events for the novice and the experienced star gazers in East Texas. We'll start with what has happened:
- June 1 - Early morning views of Mars and Jupiter
- June 7 - Seeing a quarter moon in the middle of the day.
- June 8-13 - Prime viewing of the constellation Leo.
So yeah. There's been some cool stuff that has already happened.
As we get further into June, we'll get to witness some neat sky events, including a planetary alignment that hasn't happened in 100 years.
- Tuesday, June 14 - Full Strawberry Moon at 7:24 a.m.
- Thursday, June 16 - Venus will be visible about 45 minutes before sunrise with Mercury appearing about 15 minutes later. Venus can be seen in the east-northeast horizon with Mercury appearing to the lower left of Venus.
- Saturday, June 18 - Look southeast to south southeast in the sky (just left of the moon) to see Saturn.
- Monday, June 20 - The last quarter moon.
- Tuesday, June 21 - The official start of summer otherwise known as the summer solstice.
- Wednesday, June 22 - Between 3 and 5 a.m., you'll be able to see Mars just to the left of the moon.
- Sunday. June 26 - During the early morning, you'll be able to see Venus to the lower right of the moon. Just to the north of Venus, with the help of binoculars, you could see Pleiades, a grouping of stars also known as "The Seven Sisters."
- Monday, June 27 - This one may be a bit of a challenge to see. About 30 to 40 minutes before sunrise, use binoculars to see Mercury in the east northeast horizon. On Mercury's upper left, you could see a thin crescent moon. Just left of Mercury, you could see the star Aldebaran.
- Tuesday, June 28 - New Moon
- Wednesday, June 29 - With the help of a telescope, and if the sky is clear, you could see a pretty detailed Jupiter.
The big event for June will happen on Friday, June 24. At about 4:20 a.m., look to the southern and eastern sky. Here you will be able to see, in this order, Mercury, Venus, our moon, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Its been about 100 years since this happened last and won't be visible like this again until 2041.
If you have kids that are super into astronomy, this could be a really cool opportunity for them, even if most of these events are pretty early in the morning. This could make for a romantic early morning for a couple as well. Its a great month to witness some of God's creations.