Weymouth Astronomy

The Planets - June 2018

Observing the planets can be extremely rewarding. Everyone remembers the first time they observed Saturn and it's rings or the gas giant Jupiter and it's Galillean Moons. Solar System


Mercury passes behind the Sun (superior conjunction) on the 5th/6th June but will become visible low in the west after sunset by mid month.


Venus dominates the western sky after sunset, shining brightly at magnitude -3.9. Venus starts the month in Gemini not far below and to the left of Pollux and passes into Cancer on the 11th. On the 19th and 20th it lies close to the M44 - The Beehive Cluster.


Mars currently in Capricornus, beings its retrograde motion westwards on the 28th June as it moves towards its closest approach to the Earth since 2003 in two months time.


Jupiter reached opposition on May 8th, so will be visible during the evening after darkness has fallen. Moving slowly westwards in Libra during the month, Jupiter is heading towards the southern part of the ecliptic and will only have an elevation of 20 degrees when crossing the meridian.


The ringed planet comes into opposition on the 27th of June and so will be visible during all few hours of darkness. Saturn, currently lying in Sagittarius, is close to the topmost star of the 'teapot'.

Information collated from Jodrell Bank and Astronomy Now magazine