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