Visible Planets June 2015 – Mercury and Venus

PlanetsIn April and May, we wrote about which planets we would be able to see in the sky.  This is June’s post and I hope we get to use it.  It has been a useful post and we even took our own Jupiter photo in May!

Here is our post about the visible planets: Visible Planets.

Here are the links for July: Visible Planets July 2015 – Mercury and Venus and Visible Planets July 2015 – Mars, Jupiter and Saturn

Mercury

Mercury
Mercury

Mercury’s colour is yellowish, orange or pinkish.  Its hue comes from the sunrise or sunset sky colours.  It is a pinpoint of light, almost star like.

Planets do not usually twinkle or scintillate.  Mercury is an exception to this.  It’s a small planet and closer to the Sun than Earth. When it is low in the sky and very close to the horizon light pierces the atmosphere at an acute angle.  This makes the light scatters more. Mercury scintillates because of this.

Mercury – as at June 2015

Mercury close to horizon
Mercury close to horizon

Mercury is the innermost planet and so is closest planet to the sun.

For us, in Northern Latitudes Mercury is visible early morning after 22nd/23rd June.  It is at its longest elongation from the Sun on June 24th.

As we are in the Northern hemisphere we are unlikely to see Mercury.  It is visible very early and is likely lost in the summer sun’s strong glare.

You may find it if you look with binoculars.  It will be too early for us and we won’t look into or near to the sun’s glare with binoculars, the risk of eye damage is something I’d rather avoid.

Mercury is in the morning sky until July 23rd, after which it moves to the evening sky.  Those in the Southern hemisphere will then see Mercury.  For us, Mercury will return in August as an evening star.

Venus

Venus
Venus

Venus is the closest planet in size to Earth.

It reflects sunlight with a bright silver color. It is the brightest object in the night sky after the moon and is sometimes mistaken for a UFO.  It’s the brightest planet because it is the closest to Earth.

Venus is a yellowish, white colour.

The best time to see Venus is just after sunset and right before sunrise. It is closer to the Sun than Earth, so like Mercury the sun’s glare obscures it during the day and it is not usually seen late at night.

Venus – as at June 2015

Moon, Venus and Mercury
Moon, Venus and Mercury

Venus is in the west from dusk until mid to late evening. It is the brightest object in the sky other than the sun and moon.  

Venus is visible for 2/3 hours after sunset.  It is close to Jupiter and gets closer throughout June.  Jupiter and Venus are in close conjunction at the end of June.

Venus is visible after dark near us (Northern Latitude).  It is near to the moon, look for Venus close to the moon on June 18th or 19th.

Jupiter is above Venus at the moment, so I have seen Venus, Jupiter and the moon so far.  Although, Kam hasn’t it’s been way past his bedtime!

A Note to You and Me

These notes are for Kam and I to find planets.  It’s tough for him at the moment as it gets dark after bedtime, especially as he would have loved Venus, Jupiter and the Moon.  We write them on our blog to easily refer to them.

Mercury and Venus are two of the five visible planets from Earth.  We have another post for Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, I’ll update the link when we’ve written it.

As always, thanks for reading and if you like it, can add to it or would like to say hello, please do so below.  x

 

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