MANITOBA SKIES – June 2019
Contributed by Scott Young, Manager-Planetarium & Science Gallery
June provides the shortest nights of the year, with the summer solstice occurring on June 21st at 10:54 a.m. Central Daylight Time. For a few weeks on either side of this date, the sun doesn’t get very low below the horizon, and so it doesn’t get truly dark even at midnight. The fine weather and interesting constellations more than make up for this, but you’ll have to plan your viewing accordingly and either stay up late or get up early.
Evening Sky Summary: By 10 o’clock, the sun has set and it’s started to get dark enough to see some stars. You might catch Mars low in the northeast after sunset; if you have a clear horizon view, you might catch Mercury as well, which rises higher each evening throughout the month, passing Mars on the 18th. The Big Dipper is high overhead, serving as a useful signpost. In the southwest, the spring constellations of Bootes, Leo and Virgo still shine, while the Summer Triangle is rising in the east. Jupiter is just above the horizon in the southeast as well, brighter than any other object.
June 2019 Sky Events
These events are visible from Manitoba on the date(s) indicated. All times are given in Central Daylight Time, the local time for all of Manitoba.
Monday, June 3 : New Moon.
Wednesday, June 5th (evening): The thin crescent moon is close to Mars in the west-southwest right after sunset.
Monday, June 10th (evening sky): First Quarter Moon. Also, Jupiter is at opposition, which means it rises about sunset and is visible all night long.
Monday, June 17th (evening sky): Full Moon.
Tuesday, June 18th (evening sky): Mercury and Mars are side by side in the evening sky right after sunset. Binoculars will help you spot them against the bright twilight while they are higher in the sky; once it’s darker, they have already begun to set as well.
Wednesday, June 19th (morning sky): The Moon is close to Saturn in the morning sky.
Friday, June 21st: Summer Solstice occurs at 10:54 a.m. Central time, marking the exact moment when the Sun appears directly above the Tropic of Cancer. For the northern hemisphere, the sun rises as far north of east, as high as it possibly can in the daytime sky, and sets as far north of west as possible. Although this is taken to mark the official start of summer in the northern hemisphere because its a moment that can be precisely predicted and measured, in practice summer weather takes a month or so to really catch up.
Tuesday, June 25th (morning sky): Last quarter moon.