Backyard Astronomy: June 2014

June 7: Conjunction of the Moon and Mars. Conjunction is when two celestial objects line up along the line of sight from the Earth. For instance, during the New Moon phase, the Moon is in conjunction with the Sun. During this month’s Moon-Mars conjunction, the two objects will come within two degrees of each other in the sky. It’s not super-close — by way of comparison, the angular size of the Moon is just half a degree — but it makes for a nice pairing for binoculars or a telescope.

Moon - Mars conjunction


June 22 – July 2: June Boötids meteor shower. As far as meteor showers go, this one’s pretty wimpy. The expected rate is one to two meteor per night, though on rare occasions there can be strong outbursts. Unlike most meteor showers, this one is best viewed in the evening hours.