Read our June sky notes to find out what’s in the night sky this month!
These constellations are well placed in the evening this month, but many more can be seen. Check the star map for more.
Aquila can be seen throughout the night, appearing in the eastern sky at sunset and rising high in the south over the course of the night. Its brightest star is Altair, at the northernmost tip of the constellation.
Virgo appears in the south western sky at the beginning of the month, moving to set due west before sunrise. It can be seen from sunset, but appears lower as the month goes on, therefore setting earlier at the end of the month. Look for the bright blue star, Spica.
Hercules can be seen from sunset, appearing near the zenith. It then moves towards the west during the night, and will be visible right up until sunrise. It is located between Lyra and Boötes, which contain 2 bright stars: Vega and Arcturus.
Mercury will be below the horizon at night during this month. It undergoes 2 unobservable events, aphelion on the 10th and inferior solar conjunction on the 11th.
Venus sticks close the Sun this month, only appearing a few degrees above the horizon immediately after sunset, so is not readily visible. Venus will be in conjunction with the Moon and at perihelion on the 12th.
Mars appears above the western horizon at sunset, but not for long. It will be in the sky longest at the beginning of the month, but you will need a clear horizon to see it. Mars will be in conjunction with the Moon on the 13th.
Jupiter can be seen low in the south eastern sky in the early hours of the morning this month. It rises earlier as the month goes on, becoming visible just before midnight by the end of the month. Jupiter will be in conjunction with the Moon on the 1st and the 28th. It will enter retrograde motion, where it moves in opposition to the motion of the stars, on the 20th.
Saturn is slowly moving apart from Jupiter, but still appears close to it this month. Look for it low in the south eastern sky in the early hours of the morning. Best viewing will be at the end of the month, when it rises nearer to midnight. Saturn will be in conjunction with the Moon on the 27th.
Uranus is too faint to be seen with the naked eye. It stays below the horizon for most of the night, rising slightly before the Sun. It rises later as the month goes on, so is better viewed later in the month. Look for it low in the eastern sky just before dawn.
Neptune is too faint to be seen with the naked eye. It rises due east in the early hours of the morning, and will be highest in the sky just before dawn. Neptune enters retrograde motion, where it moves in opposition to the motion of the stars on the 25th.
Active from 14th April to 24th June, the Daytime Arietids reach their peak on the 10th. The radiant (apparent origin point) of the meteors is in the constellation of Aries, which will be above the horizon between 02:24 and dawn. Meteors will only be visible during this time. Best displays are likely to be just before dawn, when Aries is at its highest point. The shower produces about 50 meteors per hour, but due to the low position of Aries you will likely see about 10 per hour.
Active from 22nd June to 2nd July, the June Boötids reach their peak on the 27th. The radiant (apparent origin point) of the meteors is in the constellation of Boötes. This is a circumpolar constellation, so will be above the horizon all night allowing meteors to be seen. Best displays are likely to be just after nightfall, as the radiant point is highest in the sky at 22:00 BST. The Moon will be close to full, so provides a lot of interference.
Full Moon: 24th
Last Quarter: 2nd
New Moon: 10th
First Quarter: 18th
The Moon reaches perigee, its closest point to the Earth, on the 23rd and apogee, its furthest point from the Earth, on the 8th. This effect is not visually apparent.
The Moon reaches perihelion, its closest point to the Sun, on the 9th and aphelion, its furthest point from the Sun, on the 25th. This effect is not visually apparent.
Points of Interest
There will be an annular solar eclipse on the 10th, mainly visible from Canada and Greenland, but there will be a partial eclipse visible from Woking. It will be visible between 10:16 and 12:16 BST, with the Moon covering 20% of the Sun at its peak. You must use solar filters or eclipse glasses to view the Sun safely. Sunglasses are NOT sufficient.
The June Solstice is on the 21st. This marks the longest day of 2021 in the northern hemisphere and the beginning of shorter daylight hours.
Visit https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/sightings/ to find out when the International Space Station will be visible from your location.