Published: Thu, June 28, 2018
Research | By Jennifer Evans

This week's night sky: Saturn shining with full moon

This week's night sky: Saturn shining with full moon

Saturn will be at its closest point to Earth this week, allowing stargazers a pretty good look at the gas giant.

Other names for June's full moon include the Hot Moon for its association with the year's highest temperatures, and the Rose Moon for coinciding with blooming flowers.

Thought to have formed some 4.51 billion years ago from debris left over after an impact between Earth and a Mars-sized body called Theia, the Moon is the second-brightest regularly visible celestial object-after the sun.

Sky watchers in the Puget Sound area could be in for a sweet treat this week when June's fat full moon makes a rosy appearance on Wednesday night.

The Strawberry Moon marks the sixth full moon of 2018, the previous ones occurred on January 1, Jan. 31, March 1, March 31, April 29 and May 29. Both the Moon and Saturn will be in Sagittarius.

The best time to see the full moon is 8:05 p.m. ET on the east coast, and 7:51 p.m. PT on the west coast.

Some of Saturn's moons might also be visible with a telescope, NASA said.

It won't appear red with speckles of black seeds, but the first full moon of summer will take on a reddish tint and appear unnaturally large. At that time the Saturn could be seen effectively from the Earth, rising during the sunset and setting at the time of sunrise on the morning of Wednesday 27 June. "It's the most colorful of all full moons".

"Cloud-free conditions will lead to uninterrupted views of Saturn for much of the western and central United States on Wednesday night", the website reports.

At midnight, as 27 June becomes 28, the Moon will be full. This constellation is not the easiest to identify, because its stars are rather faint and it never rises high in the United Kingdom sky.

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