Sky events for June
Sunrise 05:17 a.m. Sunset 8:36 p.m.
June 1: Jupiter directly above the moon; evening sky.
June 2: Paul Michael Konichek (born 1952).
June 5: First-quarter moon; rises at noon standard time.
June 7: Mars just above the moon in the evening sky.
June 10: Saturn just above the moon in the evening sky.
June 11: Fermi Gamma-Ray Telescope launched (2008).
June 13: Full moon; sets at sunrise.
June 13: NuSTAR S-Ray telescope launched (2012).
June 19: Third-quarter moon rises at midnight standard time.
June 21: Sunrise 5:14 a.m. Sunset 8:46 p.m.
June 21: Summer solstice 5:51 a.m.; summer begins.
June 24: Venus just below the moon predawn.
June 27: New moon; passes just below the sun.
June 30: Sunrise 5:17 a.m. Sunset 8:47 p.m.
Seeing all five visible planets
In early June, sky-viewers will be able to see four of the five visible planets at once across the sky, a relatively rare evening display.
The hardest planet to locate is always Mercury. In early June, Mercury gives its best evening appearance of the year. On June 2, the moon can be used to locate Mercury as Jupiter is at the mid-point between Mercury and the moon at dusk. Find the moon in the west; look northwest of the moon to locate the brightest star looking object (Jupiter) than continue a straight line to the northwest of Jupiter, the same distance, to planet Mercury.
Mars will be the red looking star overhead looking south and Saturn will be in the southeast. Actually, Saturn will be near the midpoint of red Mars overhead and a rising bright red star in the southeast called Antares (often mistaken for Mars). Venus is the brightest star looking object in the east, predawn all month.
The whole shebang of light
Sound wise, in the animal kingdom, whales and elephants can hear (and vocalize) down below 1 Hertz (Hz) and mice can hear up to 100,000 Hz, whereas the human range (under age 25) is from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz.
Using these as the lower and upper range of hearing, humans can hear roughly one-fifth of all frequencies in the animal kingdom.
Light wise (considering the whole electromagnetic spectrum of radio, microwave, infrared, visible, ultraviolet, x-ray and gamma rays) human eyes can detect visible light wavelengths in the range of 300 nanometers (nm) to 650 nm – one nm is equal to a billionth of a meter.
The electromagnetic spectrum goes from 10 Mega meters (1 Mm is a million meters) to 1 picometer (1 pm is a trillionth of a meter). So the percentage of the spectrum occupied by visible light is 0.0000000000000000000000000035 percent. Even in the frequency range perspective, visible light is only 0.0035 percent of the light spectrum.
The point is, our human eyes are sensitive to just the tiniest percent of the light that exists. That’s why we’ve made telescopes for every section of the light spectrum.
The top telescopes currently in use for each part of the light spectrum include: radio (the Russian Spektr R); microwave (ESA’s Planck); infrared (WISE, Spitzer and the land based Gemini’s in both Chili and Hawaii); visible (Hubble); ultraviolet (GALEX); X-Ray (NuSTAR); and gamma ray (Swift, and Fermi).
Research the amazing discoveries of each of these telescopes for brain expanding adventures.
Highlights of the Fermi Space Telescope alone will reveal measurements of total starlight, a blazer census, WIMP Dark Matter, Dying Star blast, Galactic Bubbles above and below the center of our Milky Way Galaxy, Dark Lighting making antimatter and much more.
NuSTAR is conducting a census for black holes on all scales (discovered 10 monster black holes lurking in the hearts of distant galaxies), mapping radioactive material in young supernova remnants and observing relativistic jets found in the most extreme active galaxies.
Planck has made the most detailed map ever created of the cosmic microwave background (the relic radiation from the Big Bang) revealing the existence of features that challenge the foundations of our current understanding of the Universe.
Maybe my last article
Yes, I am retiring after 38 years of full-time high school teaching (Pittsville 1976-80, Assumption 1980-96 and SPASH 1996-2014). This article will continue with someone else’s whole new perspective.
It started out when 40 astronomy-related ideas sprang into my mind in one night, but just before those 40 monthly articles were written, another 40 math-related articles came into my mind in a single night, followed by 40 plus physics-related articles.
I hoped you have enjoyed reading the articles as much as I have enjoyed writing them. My hope is that you not only learned at least one nugget of knowledge from each article but that you shared – GNATS (Go Now And Teach Someone) – that knowledge with others. Teaching is actually the best way of learning. GNATS
Editor’s note: Paul Konichek teaches math, astronomy and physics at Stevens Point Area Senior High School. GNATS is the acronym for “go now and teach someone.”