Tonight our astronomers are spread among several events, out of town, or
sick (me). Tonight is a make-up night for last Saturday's cloud-out, so
if you are out and about in Monrovia stop by!
Sunset is at 8:09 p.m. tonight, but since the moon will be visible
before sunset, a few telescopes should be aiming at the moon beginning
near 8 p.m. until about 9:30 p.m. Myrtle and Lime Street corner,
On tap tonight ;-) will be Venus about 30 degrees above the Western
horizon after sunset.
The moon, which was so pretty last night to the right of Jupiter,
appears slightly bigger, and to the left of Jupiter tonight in the
Southern sky, shining at magnitude -2.3. Compare it yourself to Venus,
which is magnitude -4 and to the moon, which is magnitude -11 tonight.
You can see all three easily with no telescope required, from the
brightest urban location!
Saturn won't rise until about 8:30 tonight, and won't be visible above
the Myrtle Street rooftop and trees until after we shut down. So, if you
step out at home after 10:30 p.m you'll see Saturn to the Southeast
(left of) Jupiter and the moon. It's a gorgeous lineup. Saturn's
magnitude is 0! Here is a graph explaining stellar magnitudes if this
is a new concept for you
In a few weeks, Mars will be brighter than Jupiter, making it the third
brightest object (Moon/Venus/Mars/Jupiter for a few weeks on either side
of its closest approach to Earth since 2003. Mars reaches closest
approach July 31, and will be visible rising in the East around sunset
late next month. You'll have to stay up a few extra hours to have a
good view of Mars tonight and next month (try midnight to dawn).
Some of us will be going out of town with our telescopes (Borrego
Spring) for Mars Opposition July 27-28 so if you are interested in
information send me a note! We'll just be informally setting up
telescopes in the hotel parking lot probably. It will be hot during the
day, comfortable by midnight, and we cannot predict the weather, or be
able to give weather updates. We will be repeating our long drive to
southern California in August 2003 when Mars was last this close to
Earth. A few months later in 2003, we moved South and started the Old
Town Sidewalk Astronomers!
Viewing of Mars will be an after-midnight affair, and so it's not likely
anyone will set up in Library Park, but there are events at Griffith
Observatory. Bookmark the Night Sky Network, enter your location and
find public events closer to you, plus any Mars Viewing events in late
What's Up June is all about Saturn Oppositon, link is below, and July
will published July 1, nd will be all about Mars. These are excellent
times for amateur astronomy and planet viewing!
Jane Houston Jones
Jane's What's Up video episode #132:June 2018
Ringside Saturn, plus night-long planet parade
New!Facebook Watch What’s Up video page