By: April Carson
The shortest nights of the year occur in June across the Northern Hemisphere, but there will still be plenty to see during the brief periods when the sun is below the horizon, including a spectacular planetary alignment that won't happen for decades.
The month of June is not only about the celestial events, but it's also about the weeks around the June solstice when Earth-bound clouds that can't be seen at other times of year may be observed.
The highest clouds in the planet's atmosphere, noctilucent clouds, float 50 miles above the ground and come close to but do not quite reach the limit of space, which starts at 62 miles. This is higher than most other clouds, which form 10 miles below the surface.
The noctilucent clouds, which are associated with the sun's angle just before sunrise and after sunset, are most prevalent in higher latitudes around the summer solstice. When the conditions are correct, they may be seen across parts of northern United States, such as Oregon or Michigan.
During the middle of the month, a special moon will rise, marking the first in a series of supermoons. It'll be the first full moon in nearly a year.
A supermoon is a full moon that appears significantly bigger and brighter than usual, with the difference between a supermoon and a regular full moon being hard to detect without side-by-side photos. On June 24, 2021, the last large supermoon rose in the night sky.
The Strawberry Moon is a name given to the full moon in June, which occurs when the sun and moon are in conjunction. Some people refer to this happening as a Super Strawberry Moon, owing to its resemblance to a strawberry moon.
On Thursday, June 24, 2021, the strawberry full moon rises behind the ancient marble Poseidon temple at Cape Sounion, about 70 kilometers (45 miles) south of Athens. This supermoon will offer night sky watchers the best viewing conditions of the year.
The moon will appear bigger than normal to the naked eye, but its brightness will make it difficult to see any detail. The best time to view the supermoon is just after sunset when the moon is low on the horizon.
The supermoon that will appear on Monday, June 13, and Tuesday, June 14, will be the first of three this year. The second supermoon will shine on Wednesday, July 13, before 2022's last supermoon occurs Thursday, Aug. 11.
Areas of the United States have already experienced at least a taste of summerlike weather, although the real arrival of astronomical summer is fast approaching.
The June solstice, which this year falls on Tuesday, June 21 at 5:13 a.m. EDT, will mark the transition from one season to the next. This is in contrast with meteorological summer, which begins on June 1 every year.
The June solstice marks the start of astronomical winter and the shortest day of the year across the Northern Hemisphere, while it marks the longest day and shortest night of the year south of the equator.
The days will gradually grow longer and the nights will gradually become shorter across the Northern Hemisphere until December's winter solstice, when the days will slowly get shorter and the nights will similarly lengthen.
The last month will bring forth a fantastic show, thanks to a unique combination of five planets, but only for those who are up before the dawn's crack.
From the second half of June to mid-July, the six classical planets—Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn—will appear in sequence in the pre-dawn sky. People who wish to witness the planets in this formation may check the AccuWeather app and pick a morning with a clear forecast to enjoy the celestial spectacle.
On Friday, June 24, the crescent moon will appear to fall in line exactly between Venus and Mars, making this a great morning to observe the alignment.
The rings of Saturn cannot be seen without a telescope.
The planet's movement will be most apparent approximately an hour before sunrise, which for many people translates to getting out of bed well before 5 a.m. local time.
This alignment may be seen without the aid of a telescope since all five planets may be viewed with the naked eye, albeit Mercury is difficult to spot since it is the dimmest of all the planets and will appear quite low in the sky. The next time the five planets will appear to line up will be in August of 2040.
This post was originally published on Yahoo News.
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About the Blogger:
April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav
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