What's Up? - JUNE 2021
Each month I highlight a few objects you can spot in the night sky without the need for optical equipment. Here are the exciting things for JUNE 2021!
PARTIAL ECLISPE OF THE SUN!
I should firstly apologise to some of my customers, such as those in Australia, who will not see this partial eclipse of the sun - although many of you there will have just experienced a total eclipse and here in the UK we have to wait until 2090 for that!
On the morning of Thursday 10th June 2021 there's a great opportunity to witness this partial eclipse across most of the UK - weather permitting. Eclipses are rare events in the UK so do take the opportunity if you can.
Those in eastern Canada, parts of Greenland (not sure I have any subscribers there yet!) and eastern Russia will also be lucky.
How To Observe
The partial phase begins after 10am BST on the 10th June with the sun at over 40 degrees above the horizon -so a favourable positioning. (It varies slightly across the country of course).
From London for example it starts at 10:08am with the maximum coverage at 10:13am. At this point about 31% of the sun is obscured. It will end about an hour later.
So you have about two hours to spot at least some of the eclipse but try and spot it at the maximum - 10:08 in the west - say Cardiff and 10:17 in Newcastle.
Slightly more is obscured if you live in the Wales, Scotland or the north of the UK -more like 43%.
Remember NEVER to look at the sun through any optical equipment - it will blind you, even during a partial eclipse. Do not look directly at the sun - it is best to prject through binoculars onto a piece of white card.
Let me know if you manage to see this wonderful sight. And don't worry as on Thursday morning I will send you a reminder!
The planets have not been putting on such a fine show over the past few months but some are now beginning to emerge.
Very difficult to spot this month I'm afraid.
This is on show just after sunset, although you'll need a low horizon to sopt. Did you read about the new NASA plans for visiting Venus? Exciting!
Venus in the WEST on the 10th June around 10pm.
Courtesy of Stellarium
The Gas Giants - Jupiter and Saturn
How to Observe
By mid month the beautiful Saturn rises before midnight and by the end it will rise at around 11am as seen from London and climb to about 20 degrees, so still quite low. You need to look south-south east.
The king of the planets will rise pre dawn during June and is worth making an effort to spot. It will also continue to brighten throughout June.
It rises around 11 BST as seen from London early in the month and will be close to Saturn in a south-south eastern direction
Saturn and Jupiter later in the month in a south-south easterly direction after midnight BST
Courtesy of Stellarium
Enjoy the night sky this month and let me know about your observations
Thank you for reading this blog and do let me know if there is anything you would like me to add to my Newsletter each month.