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Mars, Jupiter and Saturn Visible in June Sky

Jun 06, 2016 05:00 AM EDT
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The Solar System is parading some of its planets to the Earth sky this June. Visible to the naked eye throughout most of the month are Jupiter, Saturn and Mars.

This June, there will be a "celestial extravaganza" to look forward to. Mars, Saturn and Jupiter, accompanied by four of its moons, will be visible everywhere during the night, according to Space.com.

 

The three planets will be visible from June 1 to 30 this month as soon as sunset occurs, according to NASA. Jupiter will be visible in the western sky all evening, to the left of the moon. But that's not all, four of its moons are also visible this month but binoculars and telescopes have to be used to identify Europa, lo, Ganymede and Calisto. The moons are all lined up perpendicular to Jupiter.

Meanwhile, the Mars opposition, the closest approach of the red planet on Earth, occurred on May 30. As the month of June passes by, Mars slowly starts to fade away as it goes farther away from Earth, giving the limelight to Saturn, which will be the brightest planet visible from Earth this month.

"This month Saturn reaches opposition, when Saturn, Earth and the Sun are in a straight line, with Earth in the middle, providing the best and closest views of the ringed beauty and several of its moons," said Jane Johnson of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in a report.

Cream and butterscotch color will be predominant when Saturn shows itself in the sky. When using a telescope, a more detailed view of Saturn's ring is possible. The gap between Saturn's ring is called Cassini division and it can also be explored when using a telescope. The gap and NASA's spacecraft were both named after the person who discovered both, Giovanni Domenico Cassini. The Cassini spacecraft will orbit the ringed planet until 2017.

Some of its moons can be spotted using a telescope, including Titan, which is 50 percent bigger than Earth's moon. These planets will be visible in the night sky anywhere in the world according to a report by Boston Globe.

And if the parade of planets is not enough for space and galaxy enthusiasts, the comet PanStarrs is also visible this month, according to NASA.

The brighter and the nearer these planets to Earth are, the easier they are to see. Scientists advise students and professionals alike to take advantage of this month's celestial show to study Mars, Jupiter and Saturn while they are still visible from the Earth.

 

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