Jacksonville, Florida – For daily updates on the tropics: “Talking the Tropics with Mike”…..
As Sky & Telescope calls it – a “Pre-Dawn Planet-Palooza” this month:
The five naked-eye planets will welcome early risers throughout the month of June. While seeing two or three planets close together (in what is called a conjunction) is a fairly common occurrence, seeing five is a bit rarer. And what’s even more remarkable about this month’s programming is that the planets are arranged in their natural order from the Sun.
Starting in early June and throughout the month, step out 30-45 minutes before sunrise to see Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn – in that order – stretch across the sky from lower east higher to the south. Mercury will be harder to spot: At the start of the month, viewers will need a clear eastern horizon as well as binoculars to potentially see the small world. As the month progresses, Mercury rises higher and brightens considerably, making it easier to see and thus completing the planetary range.
The last time the five naked-eye planets crossed the horizon in order was in December 2004. But this month, the gap between Mercury and Saturn is much shorter, just 91 ° on June 4 – and they weren’t that tight. together since 1921.
The key dates of this “planet parade”:
June 3-4: These two mornings, the apparent gap between Mercury and Saturn was the smallest. A clear view to the east maximizes your chances of catching Mercury. There’s less than half an hour from when Mercury first appears above the horizon to when it’s essentially lost in the glow of the rising Sun. Using binoculars helps.
June 24: According to Sky & Telescope magazine, this morning’s planetary programming is even more convincing. First, Mercury will be much easier to spot, which will make the parade of five planets all the more accessible. And you’ll have about an hour to enjoy the view, from the moment Mercury appears above the horizon until the rising sun washes it from the sky. But the real bonus is the waning crescent Moon positioned between Venus and Mars, serving as a proxy for Earth. At this time of the month, the planets are spread farther across the sky – the distance between Mercury and Saturn will be 107°.
The heat is here! Tue. 06/14 temp. officially hit 95 degrees at the JIA, which is hotter than any day in the last year. The hottest days of 2021 hit 94 degrees twice in June and twice in August. But a high of 95+ is more common than not, so ’21 was an anomaly for Jacksonville in a year that had “only” 65 days at 90 degrees – well below the average. of 82 days. A ridge of high pressure appears to be rather persistent for much of the rest of this month over the eastern two-thirds of the country. Depending on its exact location, the result could be a few days without time. close to 100 degrees with fewer afternoon thunderstorms that are typical for this time of year.
Changes underway at the National Hurricane Center. Director Ken Graham was “poached” (I mean kindly) to run NOAA’s National Weather Service. In the meantime, the very capable Jamie Rhome will lead the NHC which will likely include the peak of hurricane season (September). I have worked with and interviewed both and admire and respect their work. It’s a potentially big loss for the NHC but a big “get” for the NWS And Jamie will do a great job as the acting director of the NHC. Speaking of the NHC… the very affable Dennis Feltgen retired on June 1st. Personally, I believe Dennis has single-handedly brought the NHC into the 21st century in a digital sense with a pragmatic approach as a Communications and Public Affairs Officer (“Spokesperson” or PR) over the past 15 years. While Dennis was professionally strict, he also had a great understanding of working with the media (was a former TV weatherman – 28!) mixed with a great sense of humor. Like Ken Graham – big shoes to fill at the NHC. The two photos below are from the National Hurricane Conference in New Orleans in 21 (Ken Graham then Jamie Rhome)…the last photo with Dennis is from this year at Nat. Hurricane Conf. in Orlando:
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