Wednesday, June 1, 2022

THE SKY OF THE MONTH, JUNE 2022

Like the previous months, June is a month full of conjunctions and alignments. The month opens with four planets visible before dawn (Saturn, Jupiter, Mars and Venus), with Mercury being added in the last days of the month. 

The most exciting configurations to see with the naked eye will happen in the second half of the month. Especially in the days around June 20 the Moon in its movement along the sky will pass near all four planets. The image, obtained from Stellarium, shows the Saturn-Moon-Jupiter-Mars alignment that will be visible from Padua on June 20 at 4 am.

Six days later, on June 26 just before sunrise, the Moon will be in conjunction with Venus and the open cluster of Pleiades.

The Northern Hemisphere Summer Solstice will be held on 21 June. In this day, the sun's rays will strike the tropic of Cancer perpendicular. As a result, June 21 will be the day of the year with the greatest number of light hours.

Finally, we must mention that the full moon of this month, which will take place on June 14, will be the first Supermoon of 2022. Remember, however, that the term Supermoon is not a true scientific definition and only indicates that the phase of the full Moon occurs in conjunction with the perigee, that is, at the minimum orbital distance between the Earth and our satellite. A Supermoon therefore has an apparent diameter slightly greater than that of a normal full Moon, but the differences in size are minimal and impossible to distinguish with the naked eye. 

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