So much of the year has passed already and we would be genuinely depressed at the lack of viewing opportunities we’ve had this year, if we weren’t so sickeningly optimistic!
June usually promises much opportunity for stargazing however, so we’ll keep our gear on standby and see what we can do about bringing you some more images and articles to get stuck in to!
As it always helps to have some handy info nearby when planning your observing schedule, below we’ve listed some interesting celestial occasions of note for the coming month. So get outside, crane your necks and keep watching the skies!
Sunday 1st June - This evening the thin crescent Moon can be viewed low down to the West after sunset, close to a bright Jupiter. A crescent Moon is always a great target for photographs, so if your western horizon is flat enough it’s worth a look with some binoculars or a small telescope
Shown to the West just after sunset, the crescent Moon and Jupiter should be clearly visible and a great target for some photos (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium
Tuesday 3rd June - Today the Moon is at Apogee at a distance of 404,955 km (251,627 miles) the furthest point out in its orbit around the Earth
Wednesday 4th June - Remember that now is a good time of year to watch out for noctilucent clouds, which sometimes appear low down in the northwest (after sunset) and northeast (just before sunrise)
Noctilucent clouds as captured over Sweden (click to enlarge) – Credit: P-M Hedén
These clouds are in the upper atmosphere and are usually too faint to see, becoming visible only when illuminated by sunlight from below the horizon while the lower layers of the atmosphere are in the Earth’s shadow
Thursday 5th June - The Moon can be seen at First Quarter phase tonight
Saturday 7th June - Red planet Mars is paid a visit by the waxing gibbous Moon this evening, have a look WSW after nightfall
The Moon appears just below and to the right of Mars this evening, shown below at 21:00 UTC (22:00 BST) to the WSW (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium
Tuesday 10th June - Beautiful ringed planet Saturn appears close to the nearly full Moon this evening. If you look due South at about 21:30 UTC (22:20 BST) they should both be easy to find
A nearly full Moon and Saturn can be seen as close neighbours this evening (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium
Friday 13th June - The Full Moon in the sky today is also sometimes known as the Rose Moon, Lotus Moon or the Moon of Horses
Sunday 15th June - The waning gibbous Moon is at Perigee today at a distance of 362,060 km (224,974 miles), the closest point of its orbit to the Earth
And continuing our recent addition to this guide, below we’ve provided constellation guides for southern and northern skies in June, shown at 00:00 UTC (01:00 BST). These can help you identify the early summer constellations you can see throughout the month
Shown at 00:00 UTC (01:00 BST) on 15th June, both these images are a handy guide for the whole month. This is the view you’ll get looking South (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium
Displaying the night sky midway through the month, this image can help you identify the constellations you’ll see in the northern sky in June (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium
Thursday 19th June - Inner planet Mercury is in Inferior Conjunction today, remaining too close to the Sun for the rest of the month for observation. And this evening our Moon is seen at Last Quarter phase
Friday 20th June – For those that find it difficult to locate dimmer planet Uranus, the Moon lends a helping hand this evening. The ice giant will appear about a Moon’s width from the Moon, so with the help of our guide image below it should increase your chances of spotting it!
Shown low down to the East at 02:00 UTC (03:00 BST) Uranus will be a Moon’s width from the Moon (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium
Saturday 21st June - Today is Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere
Tuesday 24th June - One for the dirty stop outs (or early risers) up before the Sun this morning, a beautiful thin crescent Moon greets bright morning object Venus to the ENE just before sunrise
If you’re up before dawn on 24th June you could do worse than take a look at (or try and get some photos of!) the thin crescent Moon visiting a bright Venus to the ENE (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium
Friday 27th June - The New Moon rises with (and sets just after) the Sun today, so now is a good time to observe deep sky objects when the skies are unaffected by moonlight
Saturday 28th June – Double star Albireo will be very nearly overhead (facing South) at 01:00 UTC (02:00 BST) this evening
Albireo can be located at the tail of the constellation Cygnus, shown above at 01:00 UTC (02:00 BST) due South (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium
Located 430 light years from the Earth, when viewed with the naked eye it appears as a single star. We’ve imaged Albireo twice but will be aiming to have another look for some higher clarity stacked imaging
An image we captured of Albireo in early September 2011, the differing colours of the two stars is clearly defined (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn
Monday 30th June – Today the Moon is at Apogee for the second time this month at a distance of 405,930 km (252,233 miles) the furthest point out in its orbit around the Earth this month
As usual, if you take any photos throughout June you’d like to show us, please tweet them to us using the link below! We’d love to see your efforts and we’ll re-tweet them to your fellow sky-watchers!
Planets visible this month:
Remember, it can take your eyes up to 20 minutes to become properly dark adapted, and anything up to an hour for a telescope to reach ambient temperature outside (to ensure the best image), so give yourself plenty of time to get set up!
To make it easier to find this list of astronomical happenings you can also locate it in the “Monthly Guide” section in the menu bar to the right. Handy! :)
Guide images created with Stellarium
Astronomy Events – May 2014
Astronomy Events – April 2014
Astronomy Events – March 2014