top of page

The Sky this Month - June, 2021

June 8, 2021 @ 10:30 a.m. The highlight of the month will be the sunrise partial solar eclipse. Since the sun, moon, and earth are still lined up from the May 26 lunar eclipse central Ontario is on the path to witness the annual eclipse or “ring of fire”. This occurs when the moon is farthest from the earth its elliptical orbit thus blocking about 99% of the solar disk. Much like when a goaltender is far in his net, allowing targets for the shooter. During a total eclipse, the moon is closer to earth and blocks the entire sun from seconds to minutes. Goalie now comes out and challenges the shooter and blocks the entire net. This 1% will still be extremely dangerous to view without proper solar protection such as a #14 welder’s glass and only #14 or specialized eclipse glasses. The eye does not have pain receptors and the damage will not be evident until the next day. Irreversible eye damage or even blindness can occur. Make a pinhole camera out of a cereal box or just use a spaghetti or vegetable strainer (anything with small holes) to allow sunlight to pass through thus producing tiny happy faces on a sheet of paper. Eclipse starts in progress behind trees and buildings at around 5:15 a.m. Mid eclipse at 5:40 a.m. when the sun will be about 80% covered. The eclipse ends at 6:41 a.m.

I have a link on my website that will safely show the event. On the night of June 12, look low in the NW after sunset for brilliant planet Venus with a 6% thin crescent moon to the upper left. The unlit side of the moon is called “earthshine” of the “DaVinci Glow” Then continue the line to the upper left to see tiny orange-coloured Mars. Phone apps will help you locate the objects. Mars will be south of the moon the following night. This will make a lovely photo op.

Continuing with Mars, it will appear in front of the Beehive Cluster on the 13th. Binoculars or a telescope will help see the red planet appearing to be nestled in the more distant cluster. Mars will be close to 20 light minutes away while the cluster is around 610 light-years away. The moon swings under Saturn in the SE morning sky after midnight on June 27 and under Jupiter the next night. The Milky Way Galaxy is now rising earlier and best seen with the moon at bay. This year’s solstice occurs on June 20 at 11:32 p.m. Solstice comes from the Latin meaning “sun stand still” as is at its highest declination in the sky producing the longest daytime hours (shortest night time hours). This signifies the first day of summer in the northern hemisphere and Winter in the south. Now the days begin to short ever so slowly. The full Strawberry Moon occurs on June 24th.

There are no International Space Station sightings from Ottawa until the morning hours starting June 27, before sunrise.

Listeners can email me their questions via my website. And that is it for this month.

5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page