Starry Heavens Newsletter
Hope you saw these in May
Total Lunar Eclipse May 26, 2021 Manoa taken by Dr. Ciotti
Kau ka i ka lolo May 2021 WCC taken by Dr. Ciotti
Reasons for Looking Up In June
June 1: Conjunction of the moon and Jupiter
. Just one day before reaching last-quarter phase, the waning gibbous moon will swing about 5 degrees to the south of Jupiter in the dawn sky. Bear in mind that an adult human fist takes up about 10 degrees of sky so one finger approximates 2 degrees of sky. Thus, the Moon and Jupiter will be just over two fingers apart.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket
will launch a Dragon
cargo resupply mission (CRS-22) to the International Space Station. It will lift off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The new moon
arrives at 12:53 a.m. HST (1053 GMT).
The Moon at apogee at 4:27 p.m. (farthest from the Earth)
An annular solar eclipse
, also known as a "ring of fire" eclipse, will be visible from parts of Russia, Greenland and and northern Canada. The eclipse will not be visible from Hawaii. Skywatchers in Northern Asia, Europe and the United States will see a partial eclipse.
The conjunction of Venus and the Moon (1.5 degrees apart will occur at 7:45 p.m.)
June 13: Conjunction of the moon and Mars
. The waxing crescent moon will swing about 3 degrees to the south of Mars in the evening sky from 7:45 to 9:45p.m.
The Waxing Half Moon occurs at 5:54p.m.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket
will the U.S. Space Force's fifth third-generation navigation satellite for the Global Positioning System
(GPS 3 SV05). It will lift off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, in a three-hour launch window that opens at 6 p.m. EDT (2200 GMT).
arrives at 5:32 p.m. HST (0332 June 21 GMT), marking the first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of winter in the Southern Hemisphere.
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket
will launch the STP-3
rideshare mission for the U.S. Space Force. It will lift off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
The full moon of June, known as the Full Strawberry Moon
, arrives at 8:39 a.m. HST
The perigean Spring aka King Tides occur at 4:27p.m.
June 27: Conjunction of the moon and Saturn
. The waning gibbous moon will swing about 4 degrees to the south of Saturn in the dawn sky.
June 28: Conjunction of the moon and Jupiter
. The waning gibbous moon will swing about 4 degrees to the south of Jupiter in the dawn sky.
A Russian Soyuz rocket
will launch the Progress 78P
cargo resupply spacecraft to the International Space Station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Also scheduled to launch in June (from Spaceflight Now):
- A U.S. Air Force and Northrop Grumman Minotaur 1 rocket will launch a classified spy satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office in a mission called NROL-111. It will lift off from Pad 0B at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia.
- An Arianespace Vega rocket, designated VV19, will launch the Pléiades Neo 4 Earth observation satellite for Airbus. The mission will lift off from the Guiana Spaceport near Kourou, French Guiana.
The summer and winter solstices have been celebrated throughout the world for centuries. The Summer Solstice
has long been an important and mystical event for Earth marked by the lighting of bonfires in many countries to mark not only the longest day of the year but also the shortest day of the year. For those who live north of the Equator the Summer Solstice marks the longest day of the year and the beginning of summer. For those who live south of the Equator it marks the shortest day of the year and the beginning of winter.
The science behind the solstice depends on the tilt of Earth’s rotational axis. The date of the solstice occurs when Earth’s axis tilts towards the sun, usually between June 20 and June 22 in the northern hemisphere. Our 24-hour clock is based on the average length of the solar day throughout the year. Because the actual length of a solar day varies, the earliest sunrises of the year occur just before the actual summer solstice, and the latest sunsets of the year occur just after the solstice.
But let’s think about this for a minute. Earth really starts moving toward the Summer Solstice the day after the Winter Solstice
, the shortest day of the year when the Earth experiences the least daylight. From the winter solstice, which occurs around Dec. 20, daylight increases by approximately one minute each day until January 7, when we add approximately two minutes of daylight (one at sunrise and one at sunset as sunrise is one minute earlier per day and sunset one minute later each day) until the summer solstice. Of course, the opposite is true in the southern hemisphere. This year in Hawaii, the summer solstice occurs June 20, at 5:32 p.m. HST).
However, in ancient times the science was explained with fanciful stories by shamans and storytellers that are as delightful today to those who are scientifically minded as they were then to the ancient keen observers of the world about them who wondered what was happening to the Sun.
At latitudes where the tilt of the Earth causes the Sun to dip very low, tales are told where the threat to the Sun is mortal so the people must come forward in its defense. Closer to the Equator, we sometimes see the Sun as losing interest in performing its task and needing a forceful reminder. Here are two of my favorite Solstice tales.
Maui Captures the Sun
When the ancient Polynesians saw the Sun beam forth its rays that touched the ground, they thought they were seeing the legs of the Sun. The Demi-God, Maui, could not help but notice that the Sun hurried across the sky so quickly that there was barely enough time for work to be done. The fishermen no sooner had tossed out their nets that it was time to pull them in and return home. Plants did not have time to ripen before the light was gone, His mother could not finish the making of the kapa cloth. Maui being most concerned for his mother announced that he would remind the Sun of its obligations.
To help him his grandmother who cooked the Sun’s breakfast gave him sixteen ropes, one for each of the Sun’s legs and a net. She also showed him the tree where he would need to hide.
Hiding in the tree his grandmother had shown him Maui lassoed the Sun's legs and emerged from the tree with a magic club. He used the magic club to break eight of the Sun’s sixteen legs. That is why for half the year the Sun moves swiftly across the sky and the days are short for the Sun is on its good legs. The other half of the year the Sun limps along on its broken legs making the summer days of Kau wela long enough to work and play.
Here is another Solstice story that explains the relationship between the winter and summer solstices.
For the Druids and the Celtic people, the forest was the cathedral of the holy. Each tree became known to hold a type of power, to represent a certain constant, to have influence over certain areas. Seasonally, certain trees gained prominence while others faded away until their time returned. The Oak tree, significant for its towering height and its magnificent strength became the symbol of long life and wisdom – a tree of kings. The stretching of its mighty branches over the lesser trees of the forests was seen as protective. The Oak was considered to represent the season of growth. Alongside the Earth Mother – the Oak King ruled the land as crops and flowers and livestock flourished under the Summer Sun.
The Oak King had a brother, the Holly King. They are twins and it is not an uncommon theme in myth that twins cannot both flourish at once. As in the case of the Oak and Holly Kings, only one can be in his prime at a time. Each represents the missing half of the other, they are one but not the same – they are light and mystery – one reaching up and one in decline.
At midsummer, the summer solstice, the brightest moment of the year – the Oak King is slain by the Holly King, the dark king representing the decline of the Sun and the return of the world into dormancy and darkness. From that longest day onward the year is dying and each day is getting shorter.
The evergreen nature of the Holly is particularly significant in the Winter months. When the leavesdrop from the great Oak and strip it bear to the icy winds of winter, the Holly tree remains fully cloaked in its coat of sharp and thorny green leaves. Thus, the Holly tree represents immortality and victory beyond death, beyond darkness but in the form of the Holly King it also represents the dying side of the year.
At Winter Solstice the Oak King rises once again from slumber and slays the Holly King. Thus, the Oak King emerges to reign and guarantee the promise of days getting longer and the knowledge that the forests will flourish with the sound of rustling leaves and the Oak King’s companion, the Robin, harbinger of Spring and the Oak King’s return.
Our Online Resources Update
Hokulani Star Stories
A new star story - Ka Lupe O Kawelo, the great kite of Kawelo will be uploaded to the website during the month of June.
For information about Imaginarium shows and events contact:
Manager, Dineene O‘Connor, at 808-235-7350 or email@example.com
Our admission prices are:
Please pick up and pay for tickets at the Imaginarium Box Office at least 15 minutes prior to showtime.
- $8 General admission
- $7 WCC students, military, seniors (65 years or older), with ID
- $6 Children (ages 4-12 years)
- Free for children under 4 years of age (1 per paying adult), and WCC faculty or staff with university ID
- CASH & CHECK ONLY.
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As always, we welcome your feedback or questions, feel free to phone (808) 235-7350 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like information regarding our Adopt-a-Show sponsorship program
please click here
Manager, Hōkūlani Imaginarium
Windward Community College
Hale Imiloa 135A
Office (808) 235-7350