THE SOLAR SYSTEM IN JUNE 2021

Dates and times shown are NZST (UT + 12 hours). Rise and Set times are for Wellington. They will vary by a few minutes elsewhere in NZ. Data is adapted from that shown by GUIDE 9.1.

The winter solstice is on 2021 June 21 at 3.33 pm.

THE SUN and PLANETS in JUNE 2021, Rise & Set  Mag. & Cons.
          June 1        NZST           June 30        NZST  
      Mag  Cons    Rise    Set     Mag  Cons    Rise    Set
SUN  -26.7  Tau   7.34am  5.02pm  -26.7  Gem   7.45am  5.04pm
Merc   3.2  Tau   8.40am  5.56pm    0.9  Tau   6.01am  3.50pm
Venus -3.8  Tau   9.00am  6.06pm   -3.8  Cnc   9.24am  7.00pm
Mars   1.7  Gem  10.44am  8.04pm    1.8  Cnc   9.47am  7.41pm
Jup   -2.4  Aqr  11.08pm 12.41pm   -2.6  Aqr   9.16pm 10.48am
Sat    0.6  Cap   9.35pm 11.52pm    0.4  Cap   7.35pm  9.55am
Uran   5.9  Ari   5.09am  3.28pm    5.8  Ari   3.22am  1.38pm
Nep    7.9  Aqr  12.57am  1.32pm    7.9  Aqr  11.04pm 11.39am
Pluto 14.5  Sgr   8.05pm 11.04am   14.5  Sgr   6.08pm  9.08am

              June 1  NZST             June 30  NZST
TWILIGHTS    morning     evening       morning      evening
Civil:    start 7.06am, end 5.31pm   start 7.16am, end  5.33pm
Nautical: start 6.32am, end 6.05pm   start 6.42am, end  6.07pm
Astro:    start 5.58am, end 6.39pm   start 6.08am, end  6.41pm

   JUNE PHASES OF THE MOON, times NZST & UT
  Last quarter:  June  2 at  7.24pm (07:24 UT)
  New Moon:      June 10 at 10.53pm (10:53 UT)
  First quarter: June 18 at  3.54pm (03:54 UT)
  Full Moon:     June 25 at  6.40am (June 24, 18:40 UT)

THE PLANETS in JUNE 2021

MERCURY is at inferior conjunction between the Earth and Sun on June 11. At conjunction the planet will be just over 3° south of the Sun.

Before conjunction as an evening object Mercury will be too low for observation. Following conjunction it is a morning object rising nearly 100 minutes before the Sun by June 30. It will then be briefly visible, very low, an hour before sunrise at 6.45 am. the planet will be just over 6° above the horizon In a direction some 30° to the north of east.

VENUS is an evening object and moves further out from the Sun during June. It will be visible low to the northwest shortly after sunset getting a little higher as the month progresses. By June 30 it will be some 8° above the horizon at 6pm, an but obvious object in the northwest sky.

On June 12, at about 5.45 pm, when the Sun is about 9° below the horizon, Venus will be only 5° up, the moon as a very thin crescent may be seen even lower, some 2.5° below the planet.

MARS is also a low early evening object in June, setting about 3 hours after the Sun on June 1 and about 20 minutes less on the 30th. Mars moves across the Beehive star cluster (M44) on the 23rd and 24th . As seen from NZ, the planet is closest to the centre of the cluster on the latter date.

The crescent moon will be just over 5° to the right of Mars early evening on June 14.

JUPITER will be a reasonably placed, late evening object by the end of June but, especially early in the month, remains best observed as a morning object. It is stationary on June 21.

The moon passes Jupiter twice in June. At midnight on June 1/2 the moon, near last quarter, will be 4° to the right of Jupiter. Then on the morning of June 29, the moon will again be 4° from Jupiter. The two are closest a little after sunrise.

SATURN rises about 90 minutes before Jupiter, so is becoming well placed for viewing in the late evening sky.

Saturn is a little under 4° to the left of the moon on the 27th. The two are closest late evening.

URANUS and NEPTUNE move further up into the morning sky during June, Neptune being the higher. The moon passes the two planets during daylight hours on the 7th and 4th respectively.

PLUTO, still in Sagittarius, rises fairly early evening by the end of the month.

POSSIBLE BINOCULAR ASTEROIDS in June

                  June 1 NZST          June 30 NZST  
                Mag  Cons  transit    Mag  Cons  transit
 (1) Ceres      9.2   Cet  10.15am    9.2   Ari   9.01am
 (4) Vesta      7.5   Leo   6.51pm    7.8   Vir   5.30pm
 (6) Hebe       9.6   Aql   3.45am    8.8   Aql   1.41am
(12) Victoria   9.9   Aql   4.16am    9.3   Aqr   2.27am

CERES in the morning sky, rises at 4.40 am on the 1st an hour earlier by the 30th. It moves from Cetus to Aries on June 20.

VESTA, an evening object sets at midnight on the 1st. It sets at an hour earlier on the 30th.

On the late evening of the 17th, Vesta lies on a line between the moon, and the magnitude 2 star beta Leo. The asteroid will be just over a quarter of the way from moon to star.

HEBE brightens during June to magnitude 8.8 by the 30th. It rises at 9.16 pm on the 1st and just over 2 hours earlier on the 30th.

VICTORIA rises at 9.43 pm on the 1st, when it is in Aquila about 8° from Hebe. Victoria moves into Aquarius on the 6th. By the 30th it rises at 8.12 pm. By then Victoria is 12° from Hebe, having been stationary on the 20th.

Brian Loader

 

 

 

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