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Saturn, Jupiter, And Mars Have Been Visible Each Morning This June

Posted by on June 18, 2020 in Earth & Space, Sci-Tech with 0 Comments

By Jade Small | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

(TMU) – The celestial skies have had a lot to offer over the first six months of 2020, including three Super Full Moons in a row (March 9, April 7-8 and May 7); two penumbral lunar eclipses (January 10th and June 5th); three major Meteor Showers: the Quadrantids (QUA) which peaked on January 4th, the Lyrids (LYR) which peaked on April 22nd and the Eta Aquarids (ETA) which peaked on May 6th.


An Annular Solar Eclipse on June 21st puts the cherry on top for the first half of the year with some of our favorite planets being visible to the naked eye during June as well.

Jupiter and Saturn have been very close to one another in the sky for a while already and they are quite easy to spot. Mars will also be visible near to Saturn, and the best time to view the trio is early in the morning, around four to five am, and viewing them in the twilight before dawn is ideal. Although a telescope will give you a better view, you’ll be able to spot these planets with the naked eye.

Saturn will be slightly behind Jupiter but both will be crossing the southern meridian between midnight and dawn. While Mars is still quite a distance away, it will be within 76 million miles, making it much easier to see especially during morning twilight.

Space.com provided more details on the ‘where and when’ of the trio of planets and wrote:

Mars

As its distance from Earth during June decreases from 94 million to 76 million miles, it will correspondingly brighten from 0 to -0.5 magnitude. As the month closes, its disk will have grown big enough for a first few surface features to be glimpsed in medium-sized telescopes at morning twilight (when Mars has climbed reasonably high). During the early morning hours of June 13th, Mars will be that very bright orange-yellow “star” hovering about 4° to the upper right of the last quarter moon.

Jupiter

Jupiter rises in the southeast about three hours after sunset at the beginning of June. But by month’s it’s rising less than an hour after sunset and shines through the fading twilight. Jupiter is approaching a July 14th opposition.

Saturn

Saturn trails behind Jupiter by about 20 minutes. A couple of hours after they rise both planets are fairly well up in the southeast and both are crossing the southern meridian between midnight and dawn. Late on the evening of June 8th, Jupiter and Saturn team up with the waning gibbous moon. Jupiter will be 7° to the upper right of the moon, while Saturn sits less than 4° directly above the moon. The gap separating the two giant planets has widened slightly to 5°.

Venus, our usual morning star has gone into hiding (not visible with the naked eye) for a while, allowing Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars the chance to shine in the predawn limelight. If you’re not an early riser, it’s definitely worth setting an alarm to view these three planets. Enjoy!

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