If you watch the sky regularly, you may know that June is a great season for planet watching. Mars, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn all make appearances across the sky this month. The Summer Solstice of the Northern Hemisphere–when the sun’s path is most arched, reaching its most northerly point and giving us the longest stretch of sunlight in the year–also occurs on June 21. The June solstice is the astronomical start to the summer for sky-watchers north of the equator.

Celebrate the Summer Solstice with this lovely poem by Rose Styron and check out books about astronomy, space exploration, and (maybe) aliens from the JTCC Libraries.

Goodnight, Great Summer Sky

Goodnight, great summer sky
world of my childhood and the star-struck sea.

White chaise from that ancestral southern
porch my raft,
white goose-down quilt my ballast,
under Orion on the green-waved lawn
I float, high—
new moon, old craft
tide strong as ever to the sheer horizon.

Over the seawall, on the dock
Andromeda their strict and jeweled guard
as tall Orion—seas and lawns ago—
chose to be mine,
our children sleep: Alexandra, Tom
under their folded goose-wing sails
true friends in dream,
the folly wrangle of their sibling day
outshone by starlight.

Calm island evening, never-ending sea—
our lovers’ rages, too, are quiet,
drowned.

Miracle of midsummer, the trust of dark
sails us beyond this harbor.

 

from poets.org

ArtemisArtemis (fiction)
By Andy Weir
Available at Midlothian Science Fiction/Fantasy

 

 

 

 

How to Read the Solar System: A Guide to the Stars and PlanetsHow to Read the Solar System: a Guide to the Stars and Planets
By Christ North & Paul Abel
Available at Chester & Midlothian Circulating Collection QB501.2 .N67 2015

 

 

 

 

Calculating the Cosmos: How Mathematics Unveils the Universe

Calculating the Cosmos: How Mathematics Unveils the Universe
By Ian Stewart
Available at Midlothian Circulating Collection QB981 .S83 2016

 

 

 

 

 

Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy, #1)

Out of the Silent Planet (fiction)
By C. S. Lewis
Available at Chester & Midlothian Circulating Collection PR6023.E926 O54
Audio version also available on Overdrive

 

 

 

 

 

The Aliens Are Coming!

The Aliens are Coming!: the Extraordinary Science Behind Our Search for Life in the Universe
By Ben Miller
Available at Chester Circulating Collection QB54 .M5388 2016

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