Hampshire Skies

June opens with a Romney dawn starting at 4:40 a.m., sunrise at 5:50 a.m., midday at 1:13 .m., sunset at 8:35 p.m. and dusk ending at 9:47 p.m., giving us 14 hours and 45 minutes of sunlight next Tuesday.

The sun is in Taurus through June 20, then shifting into Gemini for the rest of June.

On June 1, the moon appears near the bright planet Jupiter at dawn. On June 2, the  morning moon appears half full (like a reversed D) in the southern dawn. On June 20, the moon shifts from the morning  to the evening side of the sun (the new moon), starting a new lunar phase cycle.

For the next 2 weeks, the moon will  grow in lighted width. On June 17, the evening moon will appear half full (like a D)  in the southwest.

Along the left  edge of the moon, the sun there is rising, lighting up the raised rims of the craters. For this reason, the half full moon offers the best views of the moon’s craters through a telescope. When the moon is full a week later, it has few shadows and appears rather flat.

On best display then are the moon’s large lava plains; these grey plains can be seen by eye  as the “man” or “woman” in the moon.

The moon will pass by a succession of bright zodiac stars in mid June. These stars  are Regulus (Leo) on June 15, Spica (Virgo) on June 19 and Antares (Scorpius) on June 22.

As far as the planets’ visibility, they change within June due to the planets’ movement relative to the sun. At the start  of June, you can spot brilliant Venus easily before 9:30 p.m. low in the western dusk.

Mars is rather dull in Gemini, beneath Gemini’s bright stars, Pollux and Castor. Mars then sets about 11:30 p.m. Both Jupiter and Saturn are dawn objects, rising after midnight.

In mid June, Venus sets about 10:15 p.m. while Mars sets about 11:10 p.m. At the end of June, Venus sets about 10:20 p.m. while Mars sets about 10:45 p.m. The giant planets move into the late evening sky in  late June with Saturn rising in the Southeast about 10:50 p.m. and bright Jupiter an hour later than Saturn.

Summer’s 1st full day is June 21 when the sun appears farthest north, rises farthest to the north of east and sets farthest to the north of west. The sun’s vertical rays reach latitude 23.5 degrees north, which passes north of Havana, Cuba, cuts Africa in 2, and passes through Malaysia and Borneo.

On June 19 to June 23, Romney has daylight lasting 14 hours and 57 minutes, the most for the year.

June ends with a Romney sunrise at 5:51 a.m. and sunset at 8:46 p.m.

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