Southern Colorado Skies / June 4 – 10, 2017

Consider a planetarium program to help you plan your observations. There are many commercial products available; an excellent program (STELLARIUM) is available free at http://www.stellarium.org/.

THIS WEEK

The constellation Leo (the lion) is visible just after dark this week, high in the south-southwestern sky. A feature that makes it pretty easy to find is a ‘backwards question mark’ that makes up Leo’s head area. The bright star Regulus represents Leo’s “heart.” Hopefully, the pictures below will help – click on a photo to make it larger.

Sunday (June 4)

The Moon hovers to the upper left (northeast) of Spica, the brightest star in the constellation Virgo. To the upper right of Spica shines brilliant Jupiter.

Thursday (June 8)

The Moon, Antares and Saturn form a triangle, with Saturn’s apex to the lower left (southeast).

Friday (June 9)

Saturn is only a few degrees to the right (west) of the Moon.

DAYLIGHT

PLANETS

Mercury (in Taurus):

Deep in the glare of the sunrise, and (unfortunately) getting deeper every day this week.

Venus (in Pisces):

Look for Venus low in the eastern horizon at dawn. This week Venus appears close to its half-lit phase (called its ‘dichotomy’). Watch out for the Sun if you decide to view it with a telescope!

Mars (in Gemini):

Now lost in the sunset.

Jupiter (in Virgo):

Jupiter is high and bright in the southwest as night begins. That bright star to the lower left by about 11 degrees is Spica, the brightest star in the constellation Virgo. (The Moon passes close to Spica on June 4th, as noted above.)

 

 

 

 

 

Saturn (in Sagittarius/Ophiuchus):

Saturn rises as night falls and stays low in the sky; you can also spot it in the south during the early morning hours. It’s to the upper right of the Sagittarius “teapot.” Reddish Antares is about 16 degrees to Saturn’s right.

 

 

 

 

 

Uranus (in Pisces):

To the upper right (west) of Venus, but because of its dimness Uranus is lost in the glare of the sunrise.

Neptune (in Aquarius):

Low in the east-southeast before dawn. (Watch out for the Sun while viewing through your telescope!)

BRIGHT IRIDIUM FLARES

The following data are based on my location in Pueblo West, Colorado. If you live well outside this area, you should consider checking this information for your location in order to be assured of accurate times, elevations, etc. If you’re unfamiliar with Iridium flares, check out my article at: http://scaspueblo.com/blog/2017/02/25/iridium-flares/.

Monday (June 5) 04:56:29 a.m. / Magnitude -2.4 / NNE / Elevation 11 degrees

Monday (June 5) 09:16:29 p.m. / Magnitude -8.4 / ENE / Elevation 58 degrees

Tuesday (June 6) 04:36:46 a.m. / Magnitude -6.0 / E / Elevation 20 degrees

Tuesday (June 6) 04:50:36 a.m. / Magnitude -2.5 / NNE / Elevation 10 degrees

Wednesday (June 7) 03:02:18 a.m. / Magnitude -5.1 / SE / Elevation 34 degrees

Wednesday (June 7) 04:30:35 a.m. / Magnitude -1.8 / E / Elevation 20 degrees

Thursday (June 8) 02:56:06 a.m. / Magnitude -2.3 / SE / Elevation 32 degrees

Thursday (June 8) 04:33:40 a.m. / Magnitude -1.1 / E / Elevation 23 degrees

Thursday (June 8) 09:03:21 p.m. / Magnitude -3.2 / ENE / Elevation 63 degrees

Friday (June 9) 04:27:26 a.m. / Magnitude -6.3 / E / Elevation 22 degrees

Saturday (June 10) 04:21:16 a.m. / Magnitude -2.0 / E / Elevation 23 degrees

INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION (ISS)

These are too numerous to list here! If you’re serious, load the ISS DETECTOR app on your smart phone or tablet.

Carpe noctem

Dave Furry

Pueblo West, Colorado

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