Arizona Skies With Dr.Sky® June/ July 2013

Summer returns to Arizona at 10PM local time on June 20th! This is known by the less common name, the Summer Solstice. The advent of summer, marks the literal high point of our nearest star, the Sun, against the vast background stars of the constellation of Gemini, the Twins. Within a few weeks after this date, we get to experience the highest temperatures that we can get during the calendar year!

This is also a great time to experience the wonders of the Arizona night skies. June is a great month to plan your observation sessions and experience all that Arizona can give you! The following are the dates of the Moon’s phases and related close conjunctions, with major planets and stars, etc. The month literally starts with the Moon at it’s new phase or the Dark Of The Moon…This is the best time of the entire month to view the full outlines of the constellations of Summer and so much more. Dr.Sky suggests that you look to the southern sky at around midnight, as the month of June begins, to view the rich star clouds of the Summer Milky Way. You are looking at the rich star regions of the constellations of Scorpius and Sagittarius. Once you find these on your star chart, begin to view them in a pair of simple binoculars. To understand binoculars, you will need to remember a few simple pointers…..

A standard pair of binoculars, will appear something like this….7X50, or 10X50. The first number on the left, is the power or magnification number. The first example of 7X50, means a power of 7 time the magnification of the human eye. The second number, is the size of the objective lens glass. In this case, it is some 50mm wide. There are some 25.4mm’s per inch. Now, scan the rich star regions of the Milky Way, near New Moon, as I know you will be simply amazed. This is the region thought to be near the center of our Milky Way galaxy, some 27,000 light years from your eye…

The Moon then moves on to it’s first quarter on June 16th, followed by the great June Full Moon, known as the Full Strawberry Moon , on June 23rd at 4:32AM local time. This is followed by the last quarter Moon on June 30th. The Moon will be close to Venus in the evening sky on June 10th and passes close to Saturn, on June19th. June planets are as follows; look to the NW at sunset for Venus and Saturn is high in the SE at sunset. Jupiter, will pass into conjunction with the Sun on June 19th. Mercury is at it’s best in the NW after sunset on June 12th…24 degrees from the Sun. July opens up with additional gems to cherish!

The Sun reaches the peak of another sunspot cycle around this time! Be on alert for the potential of massive solar flares and geomagnetic storms. These may effect radio communications and the power grid. The Earth is actually at it’s farthest position from the Sun (aphelion) on July 5th at 8AM local time, when the Sun is some 94,555,000 miles away…so why is it so hot?

The Moon stars off July at it’s new phase on July 8th and then moves on to first quarter on the 15th. The Full Moon of July occurs at 11:16AM local time on the 22nd and is known as the Full Buck Moon. July planets are as follows, Venus and the Moon are very close in the NW at sunset on the 10th. Saturn is still the planet of the early evening sky, low in the S at sunset. The summer skies of Arizona offer a lot to be thankful for! Finally, we are excited about or special out of country Dr.Sky tours, to China and to Costa Rica, to see the great comet, known as Comet ISON, on the luxury sailing yacht, Star Flyer… all this from our travel partner, Tropical Sails Corp. Learn more about them, by going to www.tropicalsails.com Many more Dr.Sky public programs around the state and the nation at www.drsky.com and our aviation site: www.photorecon.net

Above all; “Always Remember To Keep Your Eyes To The Skies”

See you on radio and TV…..