For live links, click to: riverhouses.org/2019-june-sky 😊
On the first Saturday of every month we post educational skywatching notes for the homeschool month ahead. Here’s the monthly northern hemisphere night-sky review for June 2019 from the Hubble Space Telescope’s website:
And here’s another June night-sky review, courtesy of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California — it features some wonderful planetary observations you and your students can make this month:
For serious homeschool skywatchers, the weekly updates from Sky & Telescope magazine provide a wealth of additional detail. Here’s the latest one:
The best stargazing nights in June will be toward the beginning and the end of the month – the moon will be full (and the dimmer stars less visible) on the 17th. As always, you can track the moon’s phases on page 357 in your River Houses almanac (riverhouses.org/books) and also at the excellent timeanddate.com website.
June is the first month of Hercules Term, the fourth of the four three-month terms that make up the River Houses year. Our great star for the month of June is Spica, which we’ll be writing about next week. Print your own River Houses Star Calendar and follow along with us through the year as we learn about twelve high lights of the northern hemisphere night sky.
June is also the month of the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere — the astronomical beginning of summer — which falls this year on Friday the 21st. (In the southern hemisphere the 21st will be the winter solstice — the astronomical beginning of winter.) The summer solstice is the “longest day” of the year: the day with the longest period of daylight and the shortest period of darkness.
What celestial observations will you and your students be making in your homeschool this month? 😊
❡ Watchers of the skies: Teaching your students to recognize the constellations is one of the simplest and most enduring gifts you can give them. The planisphere on the front of your River Houses star atlas (riverhouses.org/books) will let you dial up the northern hemisphere sky for any night of the year, and the descriptions and maps of each constellation will point out the highlights. Find a dark-sky spot near you this month and spend some quality homeschool time beneath the starry vault. 🔭
❡ Star bright: This is one of our regular Homeschool Astronomy posts. Add your name to our River Houses mailing list (riverhouses.org/newsletter) and get great homeschool teaching ideas delivered right to your mailbox every week. 😊