Starwalks: Brilliant Gatherings
June begins with a full moon on the second. The bright, red star Antares, named the Rival of Mars and the Heart of the Scorpion, rises just after sunset and just before the moon. Saturn will be in the eastern sky already, just above the highest of the three stars forming the forehead of the Scorpion, or, more prosaically, the crosspiece of the big ‘J’ also formed by the stars of this constellation. This beautiful group of stars will be visible in the skies at nightfall, dominating the summer’s skies as the constellation Orion dominates the winter’s.
The evening sky’s western horizon will be a dramatic sight on June 19 when the three-day-old crescent Moon hangs below brilliant Venus, and above them shines the second brightest planet, Jupiter. At the eleven o’clock position you can observe the star Regulus, the Heart of the Lion in the constellation of Leo the Lion.
Both Antares and Regulus are Royal Stars. They once marked the Equinox and the Solstice, along with their fellow stars Aldebaran, the Eye of the Bull and Fomalhaut, the Mouth of the (Southern) Fish. Coincidently, the Sun and Mars—which is now invisible because it is behind the Sun—are in the vicinity of Aldebaran on the day of the full moon. Jane Sellers, Egyptologist, in her book
theorizes that Antares and Aldebaran were the Egyptian gods Seth and Horus, or Darkness and Light. Now you too can see this symbolic stellar battle.