June 2022 Stargazing Guide

Posted on Wednesday, June 1st, 2022


Orbax appears on purple, blue moving galaxy background.

- [Orbax]: Greetings junior scientists, scientists and citizens of this great big weird wild and wonderful world in which we live. As always I'm your humble science communicator, the great Orbax, coming to you from the Department of Physics at the University of Guelph and I'd like to welcome you to our June 2022 Star Gazing Guide!

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Orbax appears on a background of the Milky Way, with some shooting stars.

- [Orbax]: June. Named for the roman goddess Juno, many consider this month to be the dawn of summer. In fact the summer solstice does take place this month along with a super moon and a planetary lineup that you'll have to see to believe! All this and more is there if you just take some time to look up.

Orbax looks and points up. He shrinks and then fades out. The screen goes black.

Orbax reappears on a very dark starry sky background.

- [Orbax]: It's summertime and the stars are spinning in the sky.

Constellations appear in the background in white, over the dark starry background.

- [Orbax]: Constellations abound and some familiar friends return to our field of view.

Illustration of Cassiopeia and diagram of the constellation appear in the background.

- [Orbax]: Cassiopeia will be visible low in the northern sky at night easily identified by its characteristic 'w' asterism.

Orbax makes a W with his hands.

- [Orbax]: Just above that you'll see Cepheus...

Illustration of Cepheus and diagram of the constellation appear in the background.

- [Orbax]: which actually kind of looks like a drawing of a house, and continuing upwards you'll spot the head of Draco the Dragon -

Illustration of Draco and diagram of the constellation appear in the background.

- [Orbax]: the eighth largest constellation in the sky. If you follow Draco's winding body you'll notice that it wraps around the Little Dipper.

Illustration of Little Dipper or Ursa Minor and diagram of the constellation appear in the background.

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Orbax appears on black background with a full moon. 

- [Orbax]: The full moon takes place this month on June 14th and it's a super moon!

An animation of the moon orbiting the earth appears in the left two thirds of the screen, Orbax is on the lower right.

- [Orbax]: So what's that mean? The moons orbit's not a perfect circle, it's actually an ellipse.

A static diagram of the moons orbit around the earth appears on most of the background, Orbax is small in the lower right.

- [Orbax]: This means there's a point in that orbit where the moon is furthest from the earth (apogee) and a point where it's closest to the earth (perigee).

An animation illustrating the apogee and perigee appears in the background.

Background changes to mostly black with a white full moon.

- [Orbax]: June 14th is not only a full moon but it's also perigee where the moon's actually forty thousand kilometers closer to the earth making it appear huge in the night sky.

The Ojibwe of the Great Lakes region call the June full moon Ode’miin Giizis,  the Strawberry Moon!

Straberries appear in the background behind Orbax.

- [Orbax]: For the Cree Nation it's the Egg-Laying Moon

A goose sitting on eggs appears in the background behind Orbax.

- [Orbax]: because the wild waterfowl lay their eggs this time of year. The Mohawks call it 'the Fruits are Small' moon

Image of tree with small orange berries appears in the background behind Orbax.

- [Orbax]:  while the Cherokee tribes call it 'the Green Corn' Moon,

Background changes to a video of a young corn field with the stalks blowing in the wind.

- [Orbax]:  both signifying that the crops are young and still growing.

Background changes to an aerial video following a stream through the forest.

- [Orbax]: And our Mi'kmaw friends on the east coast refer to the June full moon as 'the Trees Fully Leafed' Moon.

Orbax disappears and the screen fades to black.

Orbax reappears on a black background.

- [Orbax]: The first day of summer is June 21st and it's defined by the summer solstice. The Earth has an axis that we say it rotates about...

An animation of the Earth with axis indicated appears in the background.

- [Orbax]: it's like an imaginary line between the north and the south poles. It takes 24 hours for one full rotation, which is a day.

Annimated Earth tilts to indicate the angle.

- [Orbax]: Now this axis isn't perfectly perpendicular to the plane of our orbit around the Sun, it's actually tipped at 23.5 degrees.

Background animation switches to the Earth orbiting the sun on it's tilted axis.

- [Orbax]: The winter solstice in December marks the day of the year the north pole is actually its furthest possible distance from the sun. The summer solstice on June 21st however is the day that the north pole is tipped closest towards the Sun, and as a result the northern hemisphere experiences the most daylight hours that it receives all year. This is often referred to as the longest day of the year, which is kind of confusing since the day only ever has 24 hours. In reality it's actually the day that we experience the most daylight hours in a year.

Background changes to a starry night sky.

- [Orbax]: As we head towards winter, the daylight hours will now begin to decrease in length while the nighttime hours will extend for even more stargazing.

Screen fades to black.

Orbax reappears with bright pink letters in background spelling PLANETS!

Background changes to black.

- [Orbax]: For the last few months we've been watching the rise of our morning planets. On June 16th Mercury will be its highest point in the sky.

Image of Mercury appears in the background to the right of Orbax.

- [Orbax]: To spot the closest planet to the sun as well as the smallest planet in our solar system, look towards the horizon in the eastern sky.

Background transitions into a sunrise, then to a dark starry sky.

- [Orbax]: This month there's a rare and exciting planetary alignment occurring that you can see with the unaided eye.

An illustration of the planets all in a line appears in the background to the left of Orbax.

- [Orbax]: The visible planets will appear to be in a line in order of their orbits from the sun. Early in the morning, just before dawn in eastern sky, you'll be able to see Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn arranged in a straight line.

A larger illustration of each planet passes behind Orbax as he says their name. Then a larger image of the five named planets fills the background.

- [Orbax]: If you've ever questioned what you're seeing up there is a star or a planet this is an incredible opportunity to set yourself up with some base knowledge that will only help your star gazing in the future. This planetary alignment will take place in the mornings of June 19th to the 27th so you'll have a few days to try and observe the beauty of this celestial dance. AND if you happen to be looking up on June 23rd at 4 am the waning crescent moon will also be part of this alignment!

Crescent moon appears in the image, then background changes to a dark night sky.

- [Orbax]: Here in Canada summer gives us the opportunity to get out there and stargaze without the harsh conditions of the winter months.

The background transitions to an image of mountains reflected in a lake.

- [Orbax]: I can't urge you enough junior scientists to grab a blanket, get some snacks and go find somewhere that you can enjoy a patch of sky and take some time to look up.

Orbax looks and points up. Screen fades to black.

Orbax reappears on a bright orange background. 

- [Orbax]: See you next month and don't forget to have a science-tastic day!

- [Orbax]:Special thanks to Royal City Science's own planetary geochemist Dr. Glynis Perrett for her help preparing our star gazing guide.

Image of Dr. Perrett and a small RCS logo appear. 

- [Orbax]:We'd also like to thank the Skyview App and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

Background transitions to a blue green texture with the Sky View logo and tag line 'Explore the Universe.'

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