What’s Up for June 2017?
Have a planet party and compare Saturn and Jupiter! We’ll show you where and when to point your telescope or binoculars to see these planets and their largest moons.
Meet at midnight to have a planetary party when Jupiter and Saturn are visible at the same time!
The best time will be after midnight on June 17. To see the best details, you’ll need a telescope.
Saturn will be at opposition on June 15, when Saturn, the Earth and the sun are in a straight line.
Opposition provides the best views of Saturn and several of its brightest moons. At the very least, you should be able to see Saturn’s moon Titan, which is larger and brighter than Earth’s moon.
As mentioned earlier, you’ll be able to see Jupiter and Saturn in the night sky this month. Through a telescope, you’ll be able to see the cloud bands on both planets. Saturn’s cloud bands are fainter than those on Jupiter.
You’ll also have a great view of Saturn’s Cassini Division, discovered by astronomer Giovanni Cassini in 1675, namesake of our Cassini spacecraft.
Our Cassini spacecraft has been orbiting the planet since 2004 and is on a trajectory that will ultimately plunge it into Saturn’s atmosphere on September 15, 2017, bringing the mission to a close.
Our Juno spacecraft recently completed its sixth Jupiter flyby. Using only binoculars you can observe Jupiter’s 4 Galilean moons - Io, Callisto, Ganymede and Europa.
To learn about What’s Up in the skies for June 2017, watch the full video:
For more astronomy events, check out NASA’s Night Sky Network at https://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov/.
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