Society News and Night Sky Notes – June 1998

Society News Headlines

  • June 1st – Regulus is 1.0° North of Moon.
  • June 1st – Crew of Space Station MIR repair control computer – launch of shuttle to go ahead.
  • June 2nd – Images of NEAR spacecraft seen with Earth based telescope are HERE.
  • June 2nd – Planned launch of the space shuttle mission STS91/Discovery. The 9th and final MIR docking.
  • June 2nd – Watch for Shuttle and MIR going over Merseyside to-night at 23h:00m approx.
  • June 2nd – Last shuttle link-up mission with MIR underway.
  • June 2nd – Comet P/1998 k6 (Shoemaker-Levy 2) has been recovered.
  • June 2nd – SOHO spacecraft observes two sun-grazer comets.
  • June 2nd – Many astronomers question NASA’s recent “planet” discovery.
  • June 3rd – Shuttle antenna not working so no TV pictures during the Mission, only from MIR.
  • June 4th – Scientists make surprising discovery about Auroras.
  • June 4th – Eye on the polar sky.
  • June 5th – Martian meteroritedoes not indi

    cate life on Mars long ago.

  • June 5th – NASA to announce the future of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) to-day.
  • June 5th – Deep Space 1 (DS1) spacecraft to be launched in October not July.
  • June 5th – Physicists find evidence that Neutrinos have mass. Will the Physic Text books have to rewritten?.
  • June 5th – 400 year old Equatorium hit by millennium bug.
  • June 5th – Pex Hill Observatory – 8pm – 10pm Public Open Night.
  • June 7th – 192nd American Astronomical Society (AAS) Meeting, San Diego, California, USA.(Ends June 11th).
  • June 7th – MIR’s leaks remain hidden from view.
  • June 7th – Asteroids are coming but stay calm.
  • June 8th – Space shuttle undocks from MIR space station for very last time.
  • June 9th – Vesta is in conjunction with the Sun.
  • June 9th – Readiness for the upcoming solar maximum 1999-2002.
  • June 9th – Astronomers glimpse birth of a quasar (link removed as URL is invalid).
  • June 9th – What was the 2nd Big Bang?.
  • June 9th – Radio telescopes detect new galaxies never seen before.
  • June 9th – Sloan Digital Sky Survey telescope gets “first light”.
  • June 9th – Astronomers discover mysterious group of newly formed stars.
  • June 9th – Spring Colloquium’98 at JPL, Pasadena Ca, USA. Mars Exploration -Past, Present and Future.
  • June 9th – Astronomers report Earth orbit satellites could be underfire from Leonid meteor storms.
  • June 10th – Boys in Texas get to keep “found” meteorite.
  • June 10th – Mercury at Superior conjunction.
  • June 10th – Ophiuchids meteor shower Max 1.
  • June 10th – Is This the brightest object in the Universe?.
  • June 11th – A bright ring of star birth around a galaxy’s core.
  • June 12th – Bright fireball seen over southern U.K.
  • June 12th – Comet Chemistry can reveal clues about early solar system.
  • June 12th – New star classification is born – “L dwarf”.
  • June 11th – New cosmic Ray theory sheds light on galactic evolution mystery.
  • June 12th – The Edgar Wilson Award for amateur comet discoverers is established.
  • June 12th – Pex Hill Observatory – 8pm – 10pm Members Night.
  • June 12th – Space Shuttle returns to Earth. Next Launch in October.
  • June 12th – Astroomers find comets around two nearby stars.
  • June 12th – New Galileo images of Jupiter’s Aurora.
  • June 13th – Neptune 2° South of Moon.
  • June 14th – Russia plans to place more space mirrors in orbit later this year!!!.
  • June 14th – More than 200,000 names have been collected for spacetrip to Comet.
  • June 14th – Uranus 3° South of Moon.
  • June 14th – Russian’s have no cash for lowering MIRs orbit under control, so it may reenter atmosphere over cities next year.
  • June 15th – Mars Pathfinder team have asteroids named after them.
  • June 15th – Galileo probe finds ghostly ring around Jupiter.
  • June 15th – New colour images from Mars Global Surveyor.
  • June 16th – Brightest object in Universe observed by University of washington astronomer. Its 5 million-Billion times brighter than our Sun.
  • June 16th – Scientists take Sun’s temperature.
  • June 16th – Japan gives details of plan to send unmanned spacecraft to the planet Mercury in August 2005.
  • June 17th – Jupiter 0.8° North of Moon.
  • June 17th – Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory/Bidston Observatory Public Open days begin. 17th 6pm-9pm/18th 10am -9pm.(Ends June 18th).
  • June 17th – New 3D images of Mars, as NASA scientists try to locate the Mars Pathfinder spacecraft from Mars orbit images.
  • June 17th – Next shuttle launch is planned for October 29th, which will see Sen John Glenn in Space after nearly 40 years.
  • June 17th – NASA to spend 1billion dollars on seeking falling asteroids.
  • June 17th – The 200 inch Hale Telescope, at Mount Palomar is 50 years old this month.
  • June 17th – 6 Russian spy satellites go astray into the wrong Earth orbit.
  • June 18th – Laser beam rocket being tested in USA could be ready for space launch in 5 years time.
  • June 18th – HST images dust ring around Black Hole in elliptical galaxy NGC 7052.
  • June 18th – Possible Nova in Ophiuchus.
  • June 19th – Saturn 2° North of Moon.
  • June 19th – Astronomers link Big Bang II to supermassive Black Hole.
  • June 20th – Ophiuchids meteor shower Max 2.
  • June 20th – Meteorite makes house call in Nashville Tennessee.
  • June 20th – Two new comets discovered LINEAR 1998 M1 and LINEAR 1998 M2, both below Mag 12.
  • June 21st – Summer Solstice at 15h:03m BST.
  • June 21st – Scientists explore Mars by going to the Arctic.
  • June 22nd – ESA considers Mars Lander design for June 2003 launch to red planet.
  • June 22nd – Venus 3° North of Moon.
  • June 22nd – One year on astronaut Micheal Foale remembers MIR Crash.
  • June 22nd – Aldebaran 0.4#&176; South of Moon.(DAYLIGHT OCCULTATION at 14h:00m)
  • June 22nd – 20th Anniversary (1978) of the discovery of Pluto’s moon Charon.
  • June 22nd – A new extrasolar planet is discovered only 15 light-years away.
  • June 23rd – VLT looks at very strange galaxy – NGC 4650A.
  • June 24th – Getting a solid view of the Sun’s corona.
  • June 24th – A faint star causing axcitement among astronomers.
  • June 24th – HST discovers that Triton Moon is warming up.
  • June 25th – Contact with SOHO solar spacecraft is lost.New Here
  • June 25th – Mercury 5° North of Moon.
  • June 25th – “Ice bacteria” clue to life on Mars.
  • June 25th – Russia could leave MIR space station to crash to Earth, if Energiya company not given 18 months back payment by its goverment.
  • June 25th – Your own backyard satellite images at cost.Microsoft TerraServer.
  • June 25th – 110th Annual meeting of The Astronomical Society of the Pacific, (ASP) Albuquerque, New Mexico USA.
  • June 27th – Mercury 5° South of the star Pollux.
  • June 27th – BAA Exhibition Meeting, London Guildhall University.
  • June 28th – Regulus 0.8° North of Moon.
  • June 28th – BBC 1 Sky at Night program with Patrick Moore. Subject:The Awakening Sun.(Rept Sat July 4th BBC 2.)
  • June 29th – Mars Pathfinder Latest findings one year on since landing.
  • June 30th – Japan Readies its Mars Probe.
  • June 30th – Media expected to mob John Glenn’s October launch.
  • June 30th – SOHO still not in contact, inquiry begins into possible loss of spacecraft.
  • June 30th – Super computer helps view the Universe 10-35 of a second after the Big Bang.
  • June 30th – 90th Anniversary (1908) of the Tunguska Explosion (link removed as URL is invalid).


Will it be cloudy to-night?, ask the The U.K. Goverment Met Office Weather service.
To make your own star chart fo your location at any time, Click Here.

The Sun and Moon

All times are in BRITISH SUMMER TIME (BST). Times For Observer in Liverpool, Merseyside, England, U.K.

Latitude 53 degs 24 mins North.
Longitude +3.0 degs West.

           May 31st     June 5th     10th       15th       20th        25th          30th
SUNRISE    04:51        04:47       04:44      04:43      04:43       04:44         04:47
SUNSET     21:29        21:34       21:39      21:42      21:44       21:45         21:44

The SUMMER SOLSTICE occurs on the 21st at 15h:03m, the longest day of the year, and when the Sun will be at its highest point in the sky this year. The Sun lies in the constellations of Taurus/Gemini. Solstice is latin word literal meaning “Sun standstill”.

NEW MOONon 24th
at 04h:51m
at 02h:46m
FULL MOONon 10th
at 04h:19m
at 10h:39m



Mercury is at superior conjunction on the 10th but swiftly moves away from the Sun to edge above the north western horizon in the evening. The apparition is not a favourable one, as seen from Liverpool, however with the planet a mere 2°5 above the horizon between June 30th and July 5th about an hour after Sunset


Venus gives the impression that it is ending a short morning apparition as it hugs the Eastern horizon before Sunrise, Its unisually shy appearance changes soon though and it will be seen slightly higher each month. On the 23rd at 00h Venus is 2.5° north of the Moon and on the 28th lies just 15′ north of Saturn.


Mars is at solar conjunction this month and lies directly behind the Sun as seen from the Earth on the 12th.

MARSWATCH – latest observations of the red planet.


6 Hebe is at opposition on the 13th in the constellation of Ophiuchus at Mag 9.4.
Melpomene is at opposition on the 23rd also in Ophiuchus at Mag 9.8.

For More information on Asteroids Click Here.


Jupiter rises at 01h:30m in the middle of the month and so should lie quite high up in the upper left hand portion of Capricornus by the time the Sun approaches the Eastern horizon. On the 17th at 14h:00m Jupiter is 1.°5 north of the Moon.

Launched in October 1989, the Galileo Jupiter Probe entered orbit around the great planet on December 7th 1995. The Project Galileo Homepage will give you up-to-date information and the very latest images returned.


Saturn too is heading away from the morning twilight, rising at 02h:30m in the middle of the month. On the 19th Saturn is 3° north of the moon.


Uranus can be found low in the South-Eastern sky in the constellation of Capricornus, with Neptune just south, outside the same constellation.

 Positions for the 1st June

                          R.A.                   DEC                    TRANSIT TIME           MAG
                      21h:01m:16s           -17°:38':16"                   05h:35m             5.7

Neptune is even more awkwardly placed in Sagittarius. Found low down in the South East sky.

 Positions for the 1st May:

                          R.A.                   DEC                    TRANSIT TIME           MAG
                      20h:16m:34s           -19°:22':24"                   04h:49m             7.9


Pluto can be found on the border of Ophiuchus and Scorpius, above and to the right of the mag 2.6 star Zeta Scorpii. The best time to look for the planet is around New Moon. The dates below will be a guide for planning observations.

 Positions for June are when pluto's elongation angle is greater than 90°.
DATE                      R.A.                   DEC                   TRANSIT TIME
June 10th              16h:23m:49s            -09°:02':07"                 00h:22m
June 20th              16h:22m:47s            -09°:01':42"                 23h:42m
June 30th              16h:21m:51s            -09°:02':10"                 23h:02m

Pluto is best seen between May 19th – June 2nd and June 17th – June 24th.


  • June 10th Ophiuchids I (10 per hour) Unfavourable. MOON FULL.
  • June 20th Ophiuchids II(10 per hour) Fairly Favourable.MOON 24 days old.



  • June 15th at 02h:07m Reappearance of 42 Capricorni