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What's Up...
Some observing hilights
to look forward to...

The following tips on current and upcoming astronomical events
have been gathered from magazines and other sources by Dave Gamble
with the objective of giving OC RASC members a heads-up on
special personal
astro-experiences to look forward to.

Thurs. June 1 – This is First Quarter Moon night with our companion poised high in the sky to add to the romance of the early summer evening. It also invites viewing with binoculars or a telescope to explore the silhouetted terrain along the exciting terminator.

Fri. June 2 – For those who have never seen Uranus, you will have some help from Venus early this morning. The light green ice giant will be only about the width of one finger north of bright Venus low in the pre-dawn sky, within the grasp of binoculars or better still a telescope.

Sat. June 3 – For those up early this morning, Venus will be shining at its greatest western elongation from the Sun, though with the sharp angle of the ecliptic it will remain fairly low in the dawn sky.

Sat. June 3 – There will be a double shadow transit of Jupiter’s disk this evening, though it will happen before the sky darkens. The black shadows of Ganymede and Europa will trudge across the face of the belted planet between 7.21pm and 9.19pm. The waxing gibbous Moon will look on from just over a finger’s width away.

Fri. June 9 – This is Full Moon night with the fully lit disk of the Moon beaming down on the beauties of the Okanagan Valley in early summer. Forget that this will be the smallest full moon of 2017, it will still look big coming up over the mountains. Saturn will look on from below.

Sat. June 10 – For those who keep track of the position of Jupiter relative to the background stars, tonight will be significant since the banded planet will pause in its retrograde motion, look around, and the following night begin forward motion toward Spica.

Mon. June 12 – An interesting meet-up in the sky early this morning will find the innermost planet Mercury only the width of three fingers from Aldebaran in Taurus.

Thurs. June 15 – Tonight Saturn will take center stage in the night sky, reaching opposition and its closest approach to the Earth, with its widely tilted rings inviting observation. Though placed low in the southern sky, it reaches its greatest elevation around the middle of the night for telescope observers.

Sat. June 17 – This is Last Quarter Moon night when the reverse half lit orange rises after midnight to brighten the early morning hours. It remains high in the morning sky to greet late risers and get the summer day underway. The next dark sky period is about to start!

Tues. June 20 - What happened??? It seems surprising that we are already at the Summer Solstice and tomorrow the days will begin to get shorter! This is still a time for celebration however. The actual moment of Solstice will be at 9.24pm. A Summer Solstice observance will take place at the Pen Henge standing stone array on Munson Mountain in Penticton with the gathering time around 8.15pm in preparation for sunset at 8.50pm.

Mon. June 19 – The waning Moon will be in the vicinity of Uranus early this morning. The green ice giant will be about the width of two fingers north of the lunar crescent.

Tues. June 20 – The waning crescent Moon will be only the width of four fingers from bright Venus low in the eastern pre-dawn sky.

Thurs. June 22 – The waning crescent Moon will not let daylight get in the way of another occultation of Aldebaran. This will be an observing challenge, both to safely locate the very thin crescent near the Sun in the daylight sky, let alone its target star.

Fri. June 23 – This is New Moon night with our busy companion completely out of the way for deep sky sketching, observing and imaging, providing the weatherman cooperates of course.
Tues. June 27 – The waxing crescent Moon will be in the vicinity of Regulus in Leo this evening. The two will be about two moon-widths apart.

Fri. June 30 – This is First Quarter Moon night with our companion doing its best to ornament an already beautiful Okanagan summer night. Bright Jupiter will only be about the width of two fingers to the east.