New SpaceX satellites launched, all part of this week's astronomy highlights

Published: May. 31, 2020 at 10:31 PM EDT
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It was an amazing week for astronomy fans. The SpaceX Dragon was sent out of this world in the first manned launch to space in over a decade, and the first commercial manned launch to space.

SpaceX makes headlines again this week as they launch another round of StarLink satellites. Here's a list of other sky happenings during the week of June 1, from Tony Rice, NASA JPL solar system ambassador.

- Mercury reaches the highest point in the evening sky. 20 degrees above the horizon. Look for it about 10 degrees below Gemini's stars Pollux and Castor

- Venus is leaving the evening sky as her orbit takes her to close to the Sun to safely observe, she'll emerge in the pre-dawn sky late next week.

- Take note of the Big Dipper, last week it was horizontal, this week, diagonal, in another ten days it will appear to be hanging from its handle.

MONDAY Jun 1: look for the bright star Spica near the waxing gibbous Moon in the southern sky after sunset.

Wed: SpaceX launch of another batch of Starlink satellites. The L-3 Launch Weather Forecast looks pretty good with just 80% probability of violating launch weather criteria.

WEDNESDAY, Jun 3 08:55 PM EDT (00:55 UTC) SpaceX plans the launch of Starlink-8 from the Cape Canaveral AFS in Florida

THURSDAY Jun 4: look for the bright orangey star Antares near the waxing gibbous Moon in the southern sky after sunset.

FRIDAY Jun 6 Full Strawberry Moon

The penumbral lunar eclipse (17:45Z - 21:04Z) will NOT be visible from North America.


June 3, 1965: Gemini IV launch, Ed White takes first American space walk

June 4, 1974: construction of Space Shuttle Enterprise begins