We often don’t think about the sky above us as a part of the ecosystem other than when weather is involved. But it is! People have used stars and other objects in the sky for thousands and thousands of years to help them navigate, tell time, know when to plant crops, and create folklore and art. In fact, many animals use the sky for travelling and telling time!
Of course, the sky is also home to our Moon, an important force in many aspects of life on Earth. The Sun is also a vital part of life, as it gives energy to the planet.
Learn with us, with help from Jeff Hutton, an avid astronomer and Berea community member, about the sky above us and how it connects to the ecosystem and ourselves.
Click HERE for astronomical activities Jeff has written and shared with us.
June’s four principal phases of the moon
What Can You See on the Moon?
We’ve all looked at the Moon. Maybe we’re on a long car trip and it suddenly appears from
behind a hill, keeping pace with you. If you’re a passenger, you might stare at it for a while and
think about something else. What if you really looked at the Moon: what would you notice?
Well, you might notice that it isn’t a full moon, only a sliver of light against the evening or
morning sky. If the sky is dark you might think you are seeing more than just the bright sliver.
Can it be that you can see a whole sphere or are your eyes playing tricks on you? Nope. You
are seeing the entire face of the Moon. The dim part that seems to round out this little world is
being lit by light reflecting off the dayside of the Earth! The thing you are really seeing is
There’s lots to see on the Moon even if you don’t use a telescope or binoculars.
This is a naked-eye vies of the Moon. Around the last week of June, see how many of these
features you can spot by just using your eyes!
We’ve all heard of the Man on the Moon. This is known as a Pareidolia. This is a word that
describes something we think we see but isn’t really there.
Can you see these other figures that seem to be on the moon?
If you have a telescope or binoculars try using this guide to find as many of these features as you can.
Of course, some of our best times with the Moon is just watching it rise!
Join us at the Forestry Outreach Center on June 19 for our first in-person star-gaze in over a year. We’ll be using telescopes to look at the Moon and hopefully Mars and Venus before they set! We’ll also get to know some of the bright constellations of the early summer. See you then!
Attractions in June
Look to the west at dusk to catch a glimpse of the thin crescent Moon appearing
just a finger or so away from the planet Mars. Don’t forget to look for lunar
Star Gaze! The gibbous Moon appears just a couple of fingers away from the beautiful bright blue star named Spica.
Happy Summer Solstice! Now the duration of daylight gradually shortens until
the Winter Solstice on December 21. (Yay, more time to see the night sky!)
Binocular Alert! Find orange Mars low in the southwestern sky as it appears
right in front of the Beehive star cluster in the constellation Cancer.
Get up early and catch the Moon between the planets Jupiter and Saturn. Binoculars will make this trio even more beautiful.