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Major meteor shower, Saturn’s rings, highlight celestial events in June


This June, sky watchers in Toronto are in for an impressive array of captivating celestial events. From a spectacular full moon to Saturn’s rings, a Mercury show and a mesmerizing meteor shower, the night sky promises to offer plenty of visual treats for both seasoned astronomers and casual stargazers alike.

The Strawberry Moon: June 21st

One of the highlights of June’s celestial calendar is the Strawberry Moon, set to grace the night skies of Toronto starting at 9:26 pm on June 21st. This full moon is named after the strawberry harvesting season in North America and will cast a warm, inviting glow over the summer landscape. It’s an ideal time to step outside and enjoy the moonlit night, perhaps even with some freshly picked strawberries. Also note the Strawberry full moon should appear 99% full on the 21st, 99.8% on the 22nd and 98% full on the 23rd.

Earthshine Nights: June 3rd and 4th

Early June will bring the enchanting phenomenon of “Earthshine Nights” on the 3rd and 4th. During these nights, the crescent moon will be softly illuminated by sunlight reflected from Earth, creating a delicate and beautiful glow on the unlit portion of the moon. This subtle display is a lovely reminder of the interconnectedness of our planet and its satellite.

The Bootid Meteor Shower: June 27th

For those seeking a bit more excitement, the Bootid meteor shower is the event to watch. Peaking on the night of June 27th, this meteor shower is known for its unpredictable outbursts. While typically yielding a modest number of meteors, the Bootids have been known to surprise observers with sudden bursts of activity. The best viewing time is after midnight, in a dark sky far from city lights.

Saturn’s Rings in Full View

June also provides a fantastic opportunity to observe Saturn and its magnificent rings. The planet reaches opposition on June 10th, making it visible all night long and providing the best views of the year. Even a small telescope will reveal the stunning rings, a sight that never fails to amaze.

Venus at Its Brightest: June 4th

On June 4th, Venus will reach its greatest eastern elongation, making it shine brilliantly in the evening sky. Often referred to as the “Evening Star,” Venus will be exceptionally bright and easy to spot just after sunset. It’s a perfect chance to admire our closest planetary neighbor in all its glory.

Mercury’s Morning Show: June 20th

Towards the end of the month, Mercury will make a notable appearance in the pre-dawn sky. On June 20th, the elusive planet will reach its greatest western elongation, offering a rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of it at its highest point above the horizon before sunrise. It’s an event worth waking up early for, especially with a pair of binoculars.

Wrapping Up

Whether you’re captivated by the full moon, intrigued by meteor showers, or eager to observe the planets, June 2024 provides a wealth of astronomical phenomena to enjoy. These celestial events not only highlight the beauty and mystery of our universe but also offer moments of reflection and wonder. So, mark your calendars and prepare to be amazed by the wonders unfolding in the Toronto night sky this June.

by Ryan Howse-Hackl, Sheridan College

lead photo by NASA on Unsplash

Other articles from totimes.ca – otttimes.ca – mtltimes.ca

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