SKY REPORTER: Season of the Sun main content.

SKY REPORTER: Season of the Sun

by Steve Beyer on


Solar coronal mass ejection
Combined view of coronal mass ejection on May 17, 2013 at 5:36 am EDT. Center superimposed image is the Sun’s disk with surface details. The black “doughnut” is caused by an occulting disk in the SOHO telescope blocking excess light thereby allowing the outer image to be obtained showing CME material flowing into space.
Credit: NASA/SDO/Goddard, ESA & NASA SOHO

Summer begins in the northern hemisphere at 1:04 am EDT Friday June 21. At that time the center of the Sun’s disk is on the Northern Tropic, directly above a point on Earth’s surface at latitude 23o 26’ N, longitude 104o 10 E, in the Chinese Province of Yunnan. On that date we also have our longest day of the year, with sunrise in New York City occurring at 5:25 am and sunset arriving at 8:30 pm.

We are in the midst of the most active part of the Sun’s 11-year sunspot cycle. On the 17th of last month NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory and NASA & ESA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory obtained images of a coronal mass ejection from the Sun’s surface that headed in our direction. Billions of tons of subatomic particles streamed across space on a passage that took three days to reach Earth.

The Moon

New Moon June 8, 11:56 am
First Quarter June 16, 1:24 pm
Full Moon June 23, 7:32 am
Third Quarter June 30, 12:53 am



Mercury sets about a half hour after the fading of evening twilight around mid-month. Venus, although bright as usual, is rather low in the western sky during early evenings of June. Both Mars and Jupiter are too close to the Sun for convenient viewing this month; however Saturn is well placed in the southern evening sky.

The planets for June 15, 2013:

Mercury Sets 10:08 pm Gemini
Venus Sets 10 pm Gemini
Mars Rises 4:30 am Taurus
Jupiter Sets 8:37 pm Taurus
Saturn Sets 3:01 am Virgo
Uranus Rises 1:49 am Pisces
Neptune Rises 12:19 am Aquarius