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Astronomy Fact Of The Day

2018
June 30

If you look to the south tonight around 10pm you will find the planet Jupiter. In the southeast you will see Saturn and between these planets you will see the red supergiant star Antares.

June 29

On this date in 1995 the Space Shuttle Atlantis docked with the Mir Space Station. It had been 20 years since something like this had occurred. This type of cooperation led the way to the International Space Station.

June 28

Full moon occurred yesterday just before midnight. As you see the moon rise today it will appear as a full moon even though full moon occurred at 11:53pm on the 27th. Moonrise occurs at 8:55pm.

Full moon occurred yesterday just before midnight.  As you see the moon rise today it will appear as a full moon even though full moon occurred at 11:53pm on the 27th. Moonrise occurs at 8:55pm.
June 27

Today Saturn will reach opposition. During opposition Saturn will appear brighter than any other time of the year. This is due to the opposition affect.

June 26

If you look straight up at 10pm tonight you will find a kite shape of stars and a bowtie shape of stars. The kite is the constellation Bootes and the bowtie is Hercules.

June 25

A year on Saturn lasts 10,759 Earth days. Saturn’s day is only 10.7 Earth hours.

June 24

Earth’s moon is the 5th largest in the solar system. It is Earth’s only natural satellite which came from a chance collision between Earth and another planetary body when the Earth was still young.

June 23

Look south around 10pm and you will find the planet Jupiter next to a waxing gibbous moon. The pair will be separated by about 4°

Look south around 10pm and you will find the planet Jupiter next to a waxing gibbous moon.  The pair will be separated by about 4°
June 22

On this date in 1978, Pluto’s moon, Charon was discovered by James Christy. Today we know Pluto has 5 moons; Charon, Hydra, Nix, Kerberos and Styx.

June 21

Today is the summer solstice marking the beginning of summer. At 1:03pm the sun will reach its maximum altitude for the year as seen from St. Louis. The solar altitude at this time will be 74.6°.

June 20

The sun takes about 225 million years to orbit the central mass of the Milky Way Galaxy. This means that since the sun’s beginning only 20 galactic years have occurred.

June 19

If you look towards the zenith around 11pm you will find a bowtie shape of stars. This is the body of the constellation Hercules. It will be between the Summer Triangle and the kite shape of Bootes.

June 18

On this date in 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman in space. She was one of the STS- 7 crewmembers aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger.

June 17

Looking to the east around 2am you will see four stars that form the Great Square of Autumn. Most of the stars in this asterism are part of the constellation Pegasus.

June 16

On this date in 1963 Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space. This cosmonaut, was launched into space aboard Vostok 6.

June 15

Like Earth, Saturn has auroras. The aurora on Earth and Saturn are both caused by energetic particles from the Sun interacting with gasses in the planet’s atmosphere.

June 14

Tonight the moon will reach perigee. This is when the moon is closest to Earth and is what some call supermoon. Perigee occurs every 27.5 days which is the length of an anomalistic month.

June 13

New moon occurs today starting lunation 1181. It is believed that the moon was created through a collision between Earth and another planetary body about 4.5 billion years ago.

New moon occurs today starting lunation 1181. It is believed that the moon was created through a collision between Earth and another planetary body about 4.5 billion years ago.
Be sure to check out Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission at the Saint Louis Science Center until September 3, 2018!
June 12

Only four spacecraft have visited Saturn. Pioneer 11 and Voyager 1 and 2 flew by Saturn. The Cassini mission stayed in orbit around Saturn studying the ringed planet from 2004 to 2017.

June 11

Light from the Sun takes 83.7 minutes to reach Saturn. This is because Saturn on average is 1,426,666,422 km from the Sun.

June 10

If you look in the southern sky around 11pm you will see a group of stars that look like the letter “J”. This is the popular summer constellation, Scorpius, the Scorpion.

June 9

Tonight Saturn rises at 9:34pm. By 11pm you will also find the famous Teapot asterism just below Saturn in the southeast. This pattern of stars helps us identify the constellation Sagittarius.

June 8

Saturn is the 2nd largest planet in the solar system. It has a diameter of roughly 72,000 miles, which makes Saturn 9 times larger than Earth.

June 7

Did you know that Earth’s atmosphere contains 78% Nitrogen gas and 21% Oxygen gas. The atmosphere of Venus contains over 90% carbon dioxide gas and less than 5% Nitrogen gas. Venus is visible in the west around 9:00 tonight.

June 6

Last quarter moon occurs today. If you would like to find the moon it will not rise until tomorrow morning at 1:27am.

Last quarter moon occurs today.  If you would like to find the moon it will not rise until tomorrow morning at 1:27am.
June 5

Recently it has been discovered that Saturn’s rings may rain organic material such as methane into the atmosphere of the Saturn.

June 4

Did you know that Saturn’s moon, Titan is larger than the planet Mercury? Titan is 3,200 miles in diameter. Mercury is 3,032 miles in diameter. Saturn has a moon that is larger than a planet!

June 3

On this date in 1965, Major Edward White II became the first American astronaut to make a spacewalk. He spent 20 minutes outside the Gemini 4 capsule while orbiting Earth at an altitude of 120 miles.

June 2

Saturn is the 2nd largest planet in the solar system. Its famous ring structure is made up of countless objects most of which are microscopic in size. They are mostly water ice with trace amounts of rocky material.

June 1

Public Telescope Viewing will be held at the James S. McDonnell Planetarium tonight with the St. Louis Astronomical Society.

May 31

The stars tell us summer is almost here! Looking to the east around midnight you see the bright stars of the summer triangle. You will see these stars earlier during summer.

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