Weymouth Astronomy

The Planets - June 2017

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 is lost in the glare of the Sun for most of the month before it makes a modest evening apparition in July. It might just be spotted with binoculars very low in the west after sunset at the very end of the month.


Venus is visible in the east before dawn this month, reaching its greatest elongation (46 degrees west of the Sun) on the 3rd of June.


Following a two year long apparition the red planet finally slips into the Sun's glare in the first week of June when its salmon pink disk might just be picked out in the west northwest.


Now two months after opposition, Jupiter still dominates the late evening sky shining in the south to southwest after nightfall. It sets at about 3 am BST as June begins and by about 1 am at its end. Jupiter currently lies in Virgo some 11 degrees to the west of Spica and halts its westwards retrograde motion on the 11th as it begins it's slow eastwards march back towards Spica.


Saturn comes into opposition on June 11th and will be at its highest elevation due south at around 1am BST and will be visible throughout the short night. The ringed planet is now lying in the southern part of Ophiuchus between Sagittarius and Scorpius only reaches an elevation of 17 degrees above the horizon when due south so hindering our view of this beautiful planet.

Information collated from Jodrell Bank and Astronomy Now magazine