By Phyllis Burton Pitluga
Sun: the Sun sets at 8:26pm and rises at 7:02am. The best sky observing is between 9:30pm and 6am. The Sun is highest in the sky at 1:44pm. The summer solstice is on June 20.
Stars: Scorpius is just above the southeast horizon. To the south, the bright stars Alpha and Beta Centauri are just peaking above the horizon with the famous Southern Cross to the right.
Venus: During the past months, Venus has been orbiting around the Sun and coming closer to Earth. Through a telescope Venus has changed phases – from nearly full to a very slender crescent because of the changing angles of sunlight. Now, on June 5 from 5:09 until sunset at 8:22, Venus will pass in front of the Sun so that we see only its nighttime side silhouetted against the Sun. Telescope viewing of this rare event will be at Charco del Ingenio.
Mars: This red planet is about two-thirds up in the southwestern sky.
Saturn. This planet is about two-thirds up in the sky above the south.
Phases of the Moon in June are: 4: Full Moon; 11: Last Quarter, 19: New Moon; and 26: First Quarter.
Warning: Looking at the sun can blind you.
Use special solar filters (not sunglasses) in front of your eyes, binoculars and telescopes.
To see the Venus transit safely, come to El Charco del Ingenio.