Moon Watch

The moon was officially full at 9:52 p.m. Wednesday night (June 27) and will appear full again tonight. A full moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun. It rises around sunset and sets around sunrise.


On Thursday, June 28, Venus will be ever brilliant in the western sky after sunset. Around 9 p.m. bright Jupiter is directly south and nearly 45 degrees above the horizon. East of Jupiter is Scorpius the Scorpion with its bright red star Antares at the heart of the Scorpion. In the southeast is the full moon, and 13 degrees above and to the right (west) of the full moon is Saturn.

On June 27, Saturn was at opposition, meaning it was 180 degrees away from the sun on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun. Its face is fully illuminated by the sun, and it is visible all night long. Even a small telescope at low power will show the rings of Saturn and its largest and brightest moon Titan. Saturn has a yellow/white color to the naked eye, and Titan has an orange or red color in a telescope.

Saturn is gorgeous in a small telescope with its rings and cloud bands. The moon and Jupiter rival Saturn in a small telescope, often looking better than any photograph. Unfortunately, while Venus is marvelous to the naked eye, it is a big disappointment when viewed with a telescope. Its thick cloud cover shows no features of interest in even the largest of telescopes.