Society News and Night Sky Notes – June 1999

Society News Headlines

  • June 1st: Look out for Noctilucent Clouds in the North after dark.
  • June 3rd: Neptune 0.7° South of Moon.
  • June 4th: Uranus 0.5° South of Moon.
  • June 5th: Mars Stationary.
  • June 6th: BBC Sky at Night with Patrick Moore. Subject:Solar Photography. Rpt BBC2 June 12th.
  • June 6th: Pex Hill Observatory Public Open Day 1pm – 5pm. (Sunday).
  • June 10th: Jupiter 4° North of Moon.
  • June 10th: First of two maxima dates of Ophiuchids meteor shower.( 2nd Maxima on June 20th). ZHR is 10.
  • June 11th: Saturn 3° North of Moon.
  • June 11th: Venus at greatest elongation from Sun, 45° East.
  • June 11th: Pex Hill Observatory public Open night. 7:30pm – 9:30pm.
  • June 15th: Mercury 4° North of Moon.
  • June 17th: Venus 2° North of Moon.
  • June 18th: William Lassell’s 200th Birthday.
  • June 18th: Regulus 1° South of Moon.
  • June 21st: Summer Solstice at 20h:50m BST.
  • June 21st: Mercury 5° South of Pollux.
  • June 22nd: Mars 6° South of Moon.
  • June 22nd: Comet P/1988 V1 (Ge-Wang) at Perihelion.
  • June 25th: Comet C/1998 T1 (Linear) at Perihelion.
  • June 28th: BAA Exhibition Meeting Starts 12 Noon at The London Guildhall University, Calcutta House.
  • June 28th: Mercury at greatest elongation, 26° East. (Poorly seen from Liverpool).


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 19h:50m UT, 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”.

on 13th
at 19h:04m
on 20th
at 18h:14mm
on 28th
at 21h:39m
on 7th
at 04h:21m




June sees the second evening apparition of Mercury this year. Because the angle of its orbit with respect to our horizon is shallower than it wa in February, its height above the horizon at the end of civil twilight is lower. So, on the 15th Mercury is only 4.5° above the horizon at an azimuth of just over 300° roughly an hour or so after Sunset. There will be no more favourable evening apparitions this year.


Venus continues its descent into the evening twilight and will soon be lost in the murk even though it is at its maximum distance from the Sun on the 11th. On the 12th an opportunity exits for owners of binoculars and small telescopes as Venus skirts a mere 40′ North of the bright wide open star cluster M44 in Cancer. This cluster is also known as the Beehive and Praesepe. On the 17th at 04h Venus is 3° North of the Moon.


Mars stops its retrograde motion this month and heads back Eastwards through Virgo passing 2° North of Alpha Virginis on the 6th for the second time this year. On the 23rd at 01h the Moon passes 5° North of Mars. Januarys’ sky notes described how we were not looking exactly “face-on” to Mars’ Sunlit hemisphere which meant that we were seeing a slightly gibbous phase. As Mars neared opposition this phenomenon disappeared and the phase became full as you would expect of an outer planet. Now, as Mars moves away from its April opposition the gibbous phase starts to show itself on the other side of the disk. The two other things readily apparent are that the apparent diameter is decreasing quite quickly along with its brightness.

MARSWATCH – latest observations of the red planet.


  • Ceres can be found in Gemini at Mag 8.8
  • Pallas can be found in Eri/Tau region at Mag 9.5
  • Vesta can be found in Leo at Mag 7.9.

For More information on Asteroids Click Here.


On the 10th at 02h Jupiter is 5° North of the Moon and, contrary to Mars performance, its brightness is increasing steadily. A low magnification view on the 15th will reveal that the star Mu Piscium lies 0.5° South. Jupiter is still very much a morning object this month.

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 is also starting to improve as it moves away from the solar glare, rising at 03h mid-month. The Moon passes 4° South on the 11th at 04h.


Uranus can be found low in the South-Eastern sky in the constellation of Capricornus, with Neptune just south, within the same constellation. However both will rise in the early hours during June.

 Positions for the 1st June

                          R.A.                   DEC                    TRANSIT TIME           MAG
                      21h:17m:41s           -16°:27':59"                   05h:53m             5.8

Neptune as indicated above can be found in the constellation of Capricornus being close to the star Sigma Capricorni by August.

 Positions for the 1st June:

                          R.A.                   DEC                    TRANSIT TIME           MAG
                      20h:23m:31s           -19°:33':04"                   03h:01m             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°.

June 10th              16h:33m:15s            -09°:57':19"                 00h:32m
June 20th              16h:32m:13s            -09°:56':54"                 23h:52m
June 30th              16h:31m:14s            -09°:57':17"                 23h:12m

Pluto is best seen between June 6th to June 20th.


  • June 10th Ophiuchids I (10 per hour) Favourable. MOON 24 days old.
  • June 20th Ophiuchids II(10 per hour) Fairly Favourable. MOON 7 days old.


  • Comet P/1998 V1 Ge-Wang at Perhlion on June 26th at ( AU)

Plus these pages will give daily and weekly reports of this and other Comets progress.


  • June 25th at 22h:45m:20m Disappearance of 49 Lib