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TOPIC: June 2009


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Occultation of Antares
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Shortly before 9 p.m. Saturday, if you have a clear view to the moon, take out your binoculars and spot bright red giant Antares just off the moon's edge. About exactly 9 p.m., the moon will cover Antares for an hour and 20 minutes, after which the star will reappear on the side opposite from where it disappeared.

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RE: June 2009
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The best of the planets during June is Venus, but you will have to get up before the Sun rises in order to see it.
At the start of the month the planet is a brilliant morning star low in the east, at an impressive magnitude of -4.2 (like golf handicaps, the lower the number the brighter the object). It will then fade, but only slightly, reaching -4.0 by the months end. If you are only going to wake up early once, try the mornings of the 19th and 20th when the crescent Moon will hang just above Venus.
Venus is also joined throughout the month by a second visitor, Mars. The pair make their closest approach also on the 19th, when they will be separated by two degrees, about four times the diameter of the full Moon.

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June has more sunlight than any other month, as the summer solstice for the Northern Hemisphere arrives June 21 at 1:46 a.m., according to the U.S. Naval Observatory. It's the first day of summer, and at that time we get the maximum amount of daylight. Washington will enjoy 14 hours and 54 minutes of daylight from June 18 to 23.
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The Bootid meteor shower should peak about 3:30 a.m. June 27, and this should be a favourable year for checking on this occasionally major shower.
The radiant is readily on view nearly all night for the northern hemisphere, in northern Bootes, and slow meteors are characteristic.

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Highlights

The Solstice on June 21st (
05:45 UT) marks the official start of summer. It is the longest day for us in the northern hemisphere, and marks the celtic festival of Middansumor (AErra Liša)

The Summer Triangle -- Vega, Deneb, and Altair -- holds the central position, high in the south. The scorpion sits low to the south and slightly west. Directly to the arachnid's east is Sagittarius, the Archer, and between the two lies the direction toward the Milky Way galaxy's centre. The ribbon of soft light that delineates our galaxy flows up from the south, through the Triangle, and then cascades toward the northern horizon.

Notable Messier objects

M13 in the constellation Hercules, is one of the largest of over 100 globular clusters in our Galaxy. Located about 25,000 light-years away, it contains about half a million stars packed into a space only a few tens of light years in diameter. Globular clusters contain some of the oldest stars in the Universe.
M56 Also in the constellation of Lyra we find our first globular cluster of the night. In a telescope look for a small round ball of light, slightly brighter in the centre. This is a difficult binocular object appearing as a small fuzzy patch.
M27 Also known as the Dumbbell nebula, the largest planetary nebula in the Messier Catalogue, M27 lies in the constellation Vulpecula. Fairly easy to see in binoculars as a small hazy patch. In small to medium scopes it appears as a rectangular patch of light. In large scopes it may even appear round in shape with a bright rectangular, or dumbbell shaped core.


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Before sunrise on the 19th there is a nice photo opportunity of  thin (19%) crescent moon positioned near to a bright (mag -3.5) Venus and fainter (mag 1.1) Mars.
The two planets are only 2.0° apart.

venMARmoon-2009-6-19b.gif
Expand (10kb, 560 x 421)

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Occultation of Antares
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A nearly full (99%) moon will occults the bright star Antares around 2:00 UT, on the 7th June, 2009 (dependant on location).
The event will be observable from the tip of west Africa, northern parts of south America, and most of northern America.


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RE: June 2009
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June has two main meteor showers, the Arietids and the June Bootids.
Unfortunatly,
the Arietids are during the daylight hours.
The Earth will pass through a stream of dusty debris. Thought no one is sure where the
Arietidsdust comes from, although some suspect its debris from the sungrazing asteroid 1566 Icarus. Most Arietid meteors are invisible because the Sun is up when the shower is most intense.

Shower Activity Period Maximum Radiant Velocity ZHR
Date R.A. Dec. km/s
June Scutids 3rd June
May-Librids 4th June 16.5h -22.8° 12.2 4.2
June Lyrdis June 1-21 5th June 17.3h 40.0 ° 37.2 7
Arietids 12h (daylight) June 2 - 14 8th June 20.9h 57.8° 12.4 52.7
Pi Puppids 16th June 7.5h -15.0° 24.8 25
Northern May Ophiuchids 17th June 17th June 18.5h 4.3 ° 10
June Bootids
June 22-July 2 27th June 224° +48° 18


June Bootids
June Bootid

2009 June 28 June Bootids meteor shower at peak (ZHR=var)

Active: June 22 July 2
Maximum: June 27; 20h00m UT ( = 95°7)
ZHR = variable - 0100+
Radiant: = 224°; = +48°
r =2.2
v = 18 km/s


This shower is currently active during June 27 to July 5 and possesses a maximum of activity that falls on the 28th.
The June Bootids have an hourly rate between 3 and 100. The stream is noted for an especially strong display in 1916, and good displays in 1921 and 1927.
The meteors are primarily faint, with an average magnitude near 5, however, bright meteors do occur regularly.

At maximum the radiant is located at RA=233.7 deg, Dec=+52.2 deg.


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Most of the planetary action in June is in the early morning hours, and because sunrise comes early, few people will see Venus, Mars, and Mercury this month. The focus then goes to objects visible after sunset while people linger in the warm outdoors.
For the Northern Hemisphere, summer officially begins at 20:45 UT on June 20 (1:46 a.m. EDT on June 21). Because of this early morning hour, people who live a few time zones to the East will have their first day of summer start on June 21, with the time falling before midnight, such as in the Pacific Time Zone at 10:46 p.m. So the true first day of summer in 2009 depends on where you live.

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