The near-full moon will block a bright double star in the night sky tonight (June 12) and some astronomers may be able to see it happening with binoculars or a telescope.
Weather permitting, astronomers in the northeastern United States and eastern Canada can see the double star Delta Scorpii (also known as Dschubba) as it slips behind the edge of moon attack for about an hour. The exact time of the event varies depending on your specific location, so you’ll want to check a skywatching app like SkySafari or software like Starry Night on the calendar for times. Our picks for the best stargazing apps can help you with your planning.
“In New York, the first dark edge of the moon will cover both stars at 10:19 p.m. EDT. They will emerge from behind the opposite bright limb of the moon at 11:07 p.m. EDT,” writes geophysicist Chris Vaughan, an amateur astronomer with SkySafari Software who oversees Space.com’s Night Sky calendar. “Try to start watching a few minutes before each noted time.”
Related: The brightest planets in the June night sky and how to see them
Delta Scorpii binary star system (Dschubba is the main one) that can be found in the constellation Scorpius. Its occultation by the moon occurs a few days before the full moon, which will take place on Tuesday, June 14.
The June Full Moon is known as the Strawberry Full Moon and will also occur when the moon is near perigee, or its closest point to Earth in its monthly orbit. That will make it a supermoon, according to NASA, earning it the nickname Strawberry Supermoon of 2022.
On Tuesday, you can see a live webcast of the Strawberry supermoon for free, thanks to the Virtual Telescope Project led by astrophysicist Gianluca Masi in Ceccano, Italy. For the rest of June, stargazers who rise before dawn can see a rare alignment of five bright planets, with Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn visible in the early morning sky.
If you’re looking for a telescope or binoculars to view star occultations like tonight’s event, our guides to the best binoculars deals and the best telescope deals can now help. Our best cameras for astrophotography and our best lenses for astrophotography to get you ready to capture the next stargazing spectacle in a photo.
Editor’s note: If you take a photo of the planetary alignment and would like to share it with Space.com readers, send your photo(s), comments, and name and location to email@example.com.