Namibia's Night Sky In June: Three Planets In The Early Morning

4 Jun 2024

As in May, the starry sky over Namibia in June is also more interesting in the early morning than in the evening. Three planets of our solar system can be seen. You can also observe shooting stars again and experience dawn of the shortest day after the longest night of the year.

One of the highlights in Namibia's night sky: The Southern Cross. 
Photo: Wikipedia

 

Saturn rises in the east at around 1.20 a.m. With binoculars you can even see that it is surrounded by a ring. Of course, a good telescope is required to make out several rings. Some accommodations in Namibia have telescopes and guides who are familiar with the starry sky.

From around 3.40 a.m., the red planet Mars appears above the eastern horizon. Jupiter, the largest of our planets, does not follow until around 6.00 a.m. in the north-east. By the time the sun rises at around 7.30 a.m., it will reach an altitude of just 14 degrees. If there are mountains in the north-east, you may not be able to see it.

Meteor shower over the eastern horizon

The same applies to the shooting star shower, which can be observed from Namibia until 24 June. Its centre rises on the eastern horizon from around 5.10 am. The so-called Arietit meteor shower reaches the peak of its activity on 10 June.

Meteors are fragments of former celestial bodies. They burn up in the Earth's atmosphere dozens of kilometres before they reach the ground. We perceive the burning up as streaks of light.

You can find out more about the starry sky in June in the Astro-News by Lutz von Dewitz in the news section on the website of the Namibia Scientific Society.

From 20 to 21 June, the southern hemisphere experiences its longest night of the year, followed by the shortest day. In Namibia, the sun sets at around 6.15 pm and does not rise again until 7.30 am.

The northern hemisphere, on the other hand, can look forward to its longest day on 21 June. However, the day marks a turning point: Summer solstice for the northern hemisphere and winter solstice for the southern hemisphere.

Sven-Eric Stender

 

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