Over the course of the next few days skywatchers have plenty to see in the early morning and evening skies. First up, if you are an early bird and can get outside about a half hour before sunrise you can catch a trio of planets dominating the eastern horizon. The brightest and highest in the sky will be Jupiter while Venus and Mars will be much closer to the horizon. No worries if you get clouded out this weekend because these worlds wil be on display for remainder of the month.
Switching to the evening sky, watch the brilliant Moon pose with Saturn on the night of June 10th. Look closely with your naked eyes and you wil notice that Saturn actually has a companion star. Called Porrima, it is 39 light years away inside the constellation Virgo. Try using binocular to center the cosmic pair – they look quite pretty!
By the following evening, June 11th the moon will slide over to the south a bit and pair up with the lead star in the constellation Virgo called Spica. Its a blue-white giant star located about 240 light years away from Earth. The moon will continue its procession towards the southern horizon until June 13 and 14 when it will be beside the bright orange star Antares. Sitting 600 light years distant it is the brightest member of the constellation Scorpius and represents the eye of the stellar arachnoid.
Andrew Fazekas, aka The Night Sky Guy, is a science writer, broadcaster, and lecturer who loves to share his passion for the wonders of the universe through all media. He is a regular contributor to National Geographic News and is the national cosmic correspondent for Canada’s Weather Network TV channel, space columnist for CBC Radio network, and a consultant for the Canadian Space Agency. As a member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Andrew has been observing the heavens from Montreal for over a quarter century and has never met a clear night sky he didn’t like.