Summer Months Ahead….Dark nights: we will not see stars until after 9pm!
May ended with some well needed showers on Memorial Day weekend. Not good for the picnickers, but good for this dry earth…….this helped green up the landscape and bring on the insects of summer.
Jump into June with the summer triangle: Altair, Vega and Deneb. Hercules runs across the sky holding M13. The Big Dipper hangs down by its handle high in the northwest. The middle star of its handle is Mizar. As the stars come out, look for Regulus in Leo near the right of the Moon.
After sunset find Mars near the moon on June 7, Spica near the moon on June 8. Look for Corvus winging its way below the moon. Search in Libra for Saturn in the south. Mars is in Virgo in the southeast. The red planet is fading this month. Venus is the bright Morning Star this month, low in the east. On June 24 Venus is very close to the moon about an hour before sunrise look for the Pleiades close by.
The solstice heralds the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. In 2014, the solstice falls on Saturday June 21 at 6:51 A.M. EDT.
Solstice is derived from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still).
The summer solstice occurs when the tilt of a planet’s semi-axis, in either the northern or the southern hemisphere, is most inclined toward the star (sun) that it orbits. Earth’s maximum axial tilt toward the sun is 23° 26′. This happens twice each year, at which times the sun reaches its highest position in the sky as seen from the north or the south pole. The summer solstice occurs during a hemisphere’s summer.