June Solstice- Mars & Moon on June 16

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June Solstice- Mars & Moon on June 16

Jul-16, 2016


The June solstice is the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and the Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. The dates vary between June 20 and June 22, depending on the time zone and the year. June Solstice in India is on from Tuesday, June 21, 2016. The June Solstice in Universal Coordinated Time is on from Monday, June 20, 2016

Mars & Moon

On June 16, 2016, you can see the bright waxing gibbous moon soon after sunset. As dusk gives way to darkness, look for the red planet to pop out in the moon’s surrounding area. Mars shines bright enough of this night that it isn’t overpowered by the moon’s light.

At nightfall, watch for the planet Saturn and the star Antares to join up with the moon along with the Mars on this moonlit night. Both Antares and Saturn are noticeably brighter, but neither can come close to the brilliance of Mars. Look for Mars to surpass Saturn, and for Saturn to outshine Antares, the brightest star in the group Scorpius the Scorpion. At present, Mars shines 5 times more vibrantly than Saturn, and about 12 times more brightly than Antares.

We all know that Mars and Saturn are planets, and as such, like the moon, shine by reflecting the light of the Sun. Antares, on the other hand, is a star that shines by its own light. Though Saturn is bigger, Mars shines brighter because distance difference of the Mars’ from us, since it is much closer all the time, and also because of what’s called opposition surge. In its orbit, Mars’ distant point from Earth lies some seven times farther away than at its closest; and at its brightest, Mars shines 50 times more brightly in our sky than it does at its faintest.

Saturn, the farthest world that we can see without any help eye, lies only about 1.5 times more distant from Earth at its extreme point than at its closest point. It the brightest and is about five times brighter than at its faintest.

Saturn’s brightness is not only determined by its distance, but also by the angle of tilt and its highly insightful rings with respect to Earth. Saturn’s greatest brilliancy in our sky happens when Saturn is contiguous to Earth and its rings are maximally tilted our way. This last happened during the opposition of December 31, 2003, and will next happen at the opposition of December 24, 2032.

The Jupiter’s difference in brightness is less than that of either Mars or Saturn. Jupiter is about three and one-half times brighter at its brightest than at its faintest.

On June 16, 2016, use the moon to find Mars, whose difference in brightness far exceeds that of any other bright planet orbiting the sun outside Earth’s orbit. In addition to Mars, the other two bright planets are going to be Saturn and Jupiter.