Sky & Telescope - June 2020 - 49

M OON: G A RY SERONIK / S&T, SOURCE: STELL A RIU M

glimpses of surface details for your
brain to "stack" into a coherent picture.
If you take the time to capture what you
see with a sketch, you'll learn to recognize even smaller details - a skill that
will serve you well when Mars reaches
opposition in October.
As seen from mid-northern latitudes
one hour before sunrise, the planet
stands some 28° high in Aquarius on
June 1st and climbs to 39° by month's
end. During that span, its ruddy disk
grows from 9.3″ to 11.4″. June offers
observers another advantage - a lower
probability of those infamous Martian
dust storms ruining the view. Every
close Mars apparition, observers fear a
giant dust storm will blow up and turn
the planet into a featureless orange ball
like it did for much of June and July
2018. I'm happy to report that the June
2020 Mars weather forecast calls for
clear pink skies and settled conditions
- at least according to the calendar of
seasonal events compiled by Jeffrey D.
Beish of the American Lunar and Planetary Observers (ALPO).
I've never regretted a Mars morning encounter even when poor seeing
has roughened up the telescopic image.
More often, calmer conditions prevail
during twilight, and the brighter sky
helps subdue the planet's glare. I like
to wake with the birds and see the day
bloom in quiet, dewy splendor while my
eye roams across the dusty desert planet.
To see an interactive Mars map,
visit our Mars Profiler at https://is.gd/
marsprofiler. S&T will have additional
Mars coverage in upcoming issues.

August
2018

One
Crescent
Meets
Another
NEWLY ARRIVED in the dawn
sky after its June 3rd inferior
conjunction, Venus will be
occulted by the thin, waning
crescent Moon on the morning
of June 19th. The planet will be
an 8%-illuminated crescent, 51″
in diameter. For most of North
America, the two objects will
simply present an attractive close
conjunction. However, observers
in northern and eastern Canada,
Greenland, northwestern Europe,
northern and central Russia, and
northern Mongolia will get to see
the entire occultation, albeit in
daylight for most locations.
From St. John's, Newfoundland, Venus disappears behind
the Moon's bright limb starting
about 4:49 a.m. Newfoundland
Daylight Time, and emerges at
the dark limb at 5:41 a.m. with
the Sun already up. East Coast
observers in cities such as Boston, Massachusetts; Greenville,

September
2018

October
2018

p This illustration portrays the tiny crescent Venus re-emerging from behind
the dark limb of the earthlit crescent
Moon in morning twilight, as seen from
Boston, Massachusetts.

North Carolina; and Bangor,
Maine will miss the immersion
phase, which happens before
moonrise. However, those locations will enjoy a fantastic view
of the Venusian crescent emerging from behind the Moon's dark
limb before sunrise, at around
4:07 a.m. EDT (as seen from
Boston).
From northern Europe the
entire event occurs after sunrise.
While this will make the Moon's
slender, ghostly crescent tricky to
locate, spotting impressively brilliant Venus should be relatively
easy. Use binoculars or a small
telescope to find the planet 22°
west of the Sun and then watch
its tiny crescent meet the Moon's
large, pale one.

November
2018

December
2018

sk yandtelescope.org * JUNE 2 02 0

January
2019

49


https://www.is.gd/marsprofiler.com https://www.is.gd/marsprofiler.com http://www.skyandtelescope.org

Sky & Telescope - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Sky & Telescope - June 2020

Contents
Sky & Telescope - June 2020 - Cover1
Sky & Telescope - June 2020 - Cover2
Sky & Telescope - June 2020 - 1
Sky & Telescope - June 2020 - Contents
Sky & Telescope - June 2020 - 3
Sky & Telescope - June 2020 - 4
Sky & Telescope - June 2020 - 5
Sky & Telescope - June 2020 - 6
Sky & Telescope - June 2020 - 7
Sky & Telescope - June 2020 - 8
Sky & Telescope - June 2020 - 9
Sky & Telescope - June 2020 - 10
Sky & Telescope - June 2020 - 11
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Sky & Telescope - June 2020 - Cover3
Sky & Telescope - June 2020 - Cover4
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