The sky this week from June 10 to 17
Sunday June 12
The Moon occults or passes in front of Dschubba of 2nd magnitude (Delta [δ] Scorpii) tonight, visible to observers in eastern Canada and the northeastern United States. Our satellite rises before sunset; as the sky darkens, you’ll find it to the southeast, among the stars of Scorpius and just 7° northwest of the bright red giant Antares.
Practice with binoculars on our satellite and watch it cover or just glide past Dschubba. What you see depends on your location – those outside the region where the occultation is visible will see the Moon brushing against the star instead. The timing of the occultation also depends on location: in Massachusetts, the star disappears around 10:20 p.m. EDT and reappears just under an hour later. In other places it may happen sooner or later. You can check if the event is visible from your location and what time the star will disappear and reappear on the International Occultation Timing Association website.
Sunset: 8:29 p.m.
Moonrise: 6:45 p.m.
Moon setting: 3h50
Moon phase: Waxing Gibber (95%)
Monday, June 13
A bright Moon will hamper most deep-sky observations tonight, but double stars are still on the menu. After dark, look for the familiar Cassiopeia asterism, which lies upright in the north in the early evening.
Although not part of the W, Achird (Eta [η] Cassiopeiae) lies just below a line connecting Navi (Gamma [γ] Cas) and Shedar (Alpha [α] Cas), which form the left slant of the right half of the W. Achird lies about two-thirds of the way from Gamma to Alpha, and is a beautiful binary star system comprising a Sun-like 3rd magnitude yellow-white primary and a 7.5 magnitude orange-red secondary. The two are separated by 11″ – easily resolvable through a small span. The stars orbit each other every 480 years with an average separation of almost twice the distance from Pluto to the Sun.
Sunset: 8:30 p.m.
Moonrise: 8:04 p.m.
Moon setting: 04:29
Moon phase: Waxing Gibber (99%)
tuesday june 14
The Full Moon occurs today at 7:52 a.m. EDT. Almost exactly 12 hours later, at 7:12 p.m. EDT, the Moon reaches perigee, the closest point to Earth in its orbit. At that time, our satellite will be 222,098 miles (357,432 kilometers) away. This means that tonight’s Full Moon is too a Super Moon, a term applied when the full phase occurs around the same time that Luna is closest to Earth, causing it to appear larger and brighter than average.
Take time to enjoy the June Full Moon – also called the Strawberry Moon – tonight. You may notice that its color is not pinkish, but rather golden yellow than usual. It is for this reason that Astronomy columnist Bob Berman suggests naming the June full moon the honeymoon – what do you think?
This golden hue comes from the fact that the Moon stays close to the horizon, so its reflected light has to travel a longer path through our atmosphere, which preferentially scatters bluer light. And something else is happening with the Moon: since first quarter, it is rising further and further south of east each day. Tonight, the Moon rises at the most southeastern point in this pattern; after today it will start to move north, east. See if you can pick up on this shift over the next few nights.
Sunset: 8:30 p.m.
Moonrise: 9:20 p.m.
Moon setting: 5:19
Moon phase: Full