In Skies this Week, check out the Full Moon with the orb at full phase. The Earth will between the Sun and Moon. Native Americans called it the Strawberry Moon and Europeans the Rose Moon. The Summer atmosphere make the globe look yellow or golden, and we have the Honey Moon to thank for all those June brides and grooms taking a honeymoon! Download a free guide to the night sky at Skymaps.com and begin to learn the dot-to-dot patterns of constellations.
Tuesday, June 26
Four planets await you: Venus in the western twilight and early evening darkness; Jupiter high in the south at dark and visible all night; after midnight Saturn is well above the eastern horizon, followed by Mars rising around 2 am and standing high in the south before sunrise at 5 am.
Wednesday, June 27
On this 1982 date in space history, Shuttle Columbia was launched on the 4th mission, STS-4. The last two-man American flight with Ken Mattingly and Henry Hartsfield. On this 1995 date, Atlantis was launched on STS-71, the third mission to Russia’s MIR space station for an exchange of cosmonauts and astronauts.
Thursday, June 28
Full Moon tonight has Saturn below it, drawing all eyes upward this Summer night. Watch as the Moon moves to the west (left) its own diameter (1/2 degree) every hour as our natural satellite rotates around Earth every 28.5 days.
Friday, June 29
On this 1971 date in space history, three cosmonauts were asphyxiated during reentry of their Soyuz 11 spacecraft. The cosmonauts spent 28 days on the world’s first space station, Salyut 1, and the tragedy rocked the Soviet public who watched almost daily televised reports from the spacemen. This was the second and last Russian space tragedy. The first being Soyuz 1 killing cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov in 1967 when the reentry parachutes failed.
Saturday, June 30
On this 1908 date in astronomy history, a comet or meteor exploded over Siberia. Because of this, It leveled hundreds of acres of forest in the area called Tunguska. Shockwaves were felt around the world, and dust thrown up created red sunset for months. So remote is the area, it took 20 years for the first successful expedition to bring back photos of the devastation.
Sunday, July 1
On this 1917 date in astronomy history, the 100-inch mirror for the Hooker Telescope on Mt. Wilson, California was delivered. For three decades it was the most important optical instrument pointed to the stars. On this 1997 date in space history, Columbia was launched on the STS-94 mission on a 15-day Microgravity Science Lab but was cut short to three days when a power-making fuel cell failed.
Monday, July 2
Look south at 11 pm and see left to right, Red Antares in Scorpius the Scorpion, golden Jupiter in Libra the Scales, and white Spica in Virgo the Virgin. Revisit this are on a moonless night and enjoy the Milky Way!