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June 2019

Sky Report - June 2019

By Dr. Bob Doyle, Emeritus Faculty
Dr. Doyle taught and was Planetarium Director at Frostburg State University for over 40 years

First Quarter of June (1-7)

Dawn starts at 4:35 a.m., Sunrise at 5:48 p.m., Sunset at 8:38 p.m., Dusk ends at 9:50 p.m. Sunlight lasts 14 hr. 50 min. Venus very low in Eastern dawn, Mars in Western dusk, Jupiter rises in SE late in evening, Saturn rises in SE in early morning hrs.There is a slender crescent moon low in Western dusk on June 6 & 7. Leo with its starry sickle is prominent in SW evening. Summer Triangle, trio of bright stars is seen in East, Big Dipper is high in the North Northeast while Cassiopeia appears as a ‘W’ low in the North. The Milky Way is seen as a dull glow in eastern sky from dark sky locations. It appears in the lower part of the Summer Triangle. The Milky Way is the crust of our pizza shaped galaxy.

Second Quarter of June (8-15)

Dawn starts at 4:35 a.m. Sunrise at 5:47 a.m. Sunset at 8:42 p.m. Dusk ends at 9:55 p.m. Sunlight lasts 14 hrs. 55 min. We have our earliest sunrises of 5:47 a.m. from June 8 to June 21. The evening moon is half full on the evening of June 9, offering the best viewing of lunar craters and mountain ranges through a telescope. Take the Big Dipper’s handle stars and make an arc with them. In one Dipper’s length, you will come to the bright golden star Arcturus, high in the South. An equal distance further South will take you to Spica, the brightest star of Virgo. The bright white-blue star high in the East is Vega at a distance of 26 light years. (Light takes 26 light years to travel from Vega to the Earth. So we see Vega as it was 26 years ago in 1995.) Below Vega and to the right is Altair, the lowest star of the Summer Triangle. Altair is the closest of the Triangle stars at a distance of 16 light years. The Triangle star below and to the left of Vega is Deneb, whose light has taken 2,000 years to reach Earth. Deneb Is the most powerful of the Triangle stars but it’s great distance makes Deneb appear the dimmest of the Triangle stars. On June 10, the bright planet Jupiter is closest to the Earth and brightest at a distance of 402 million miles. Light takes 36 minutes to travel from Jupiter’s cloud tops to the Earth. Jupiter will be rising about sunset and can be seen all night long, peaking in the South about 1 a.m..

Third Quarter of June (16-23)

Dawn starts at 4:33 a.m., Sunrise is at 5:47 a.m. Sunset is at 8:45 p.m. Dusk ends at 10 p.m. Sunlight lasts 14 hrs. 58 min. On June 16, the moon, the bright planet Jupiter and the bright pink star Antares form an arc low in the Southeast. On June 16-17, the planets Mars and Mercury will be only ½ of a degree (the angular width of the moon) low in the West Northwest dusk. The moon is full on June 17. Summer full moons have the lowest track across the southern sky, On June 18, the moon will appear near the planet Saturn in the late evening sky. June 21 is the start of summer, when the sun appear highest in the mid day sky. The sun’s vertical rays will reach the Tropic of Cancer (23.5 degrees North). Our area is about 40 degrees North latitude.

Fourth Quarter of June (24-30)

Dawn starts at 4:35 a.m. Sunrise is 5:49 a.m. Sunset is at 8:47 p.m. Dusk ends at 10 p.m. Sunlight lasts 14 hrs. 58 min. We have the year’s latest sunrises at 8:47 p.m. from June 24 to July 3. The moon has retreated into the morning sky, appearing half full (like a reversed ‘D’) on June 25 in the southern dawn. The bright golden star Arcturus appears nearly overhead in the mid evening. The star group of the Scorpion can be seen low in the Southeast with a line of bright stars on the right. To the left of these stars is the bright pink star Antares (means ‘rival of mars’) Antares is a red supergiant star nearing the end of its life. It’s light has taken about 400 years to reach us.

Any questions about the sky or my portable planetarium, you can email me at

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Dr. Jason Speights

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Associate Professor of Physics

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Phone: 301.687.4339
Office: Gira CCIT 189

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Frostburg State University
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Frostburg, MD 21532-2303

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