The Night Sky for June 2018


New moon; 13th June. Full moon; 28th June.

Summer Solstice; 21st June. Summertime begins.

Longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, and the shortest day in the southern hemisphere.

Mercury appears as an evening object mid-month. Around the 15th   it is visible low in the west for an hour after sunset. By the month’s end it sets around 11pm. It is elusive, luckily it lies below the winter star Pollux in the constellation Gemini. Do not try looking for it until the sun has fully disappeared below the horizon.

Even in the light summer sky Venus makes is a splendid object visible until around midnight this month. It shines at a magnificent magnitude of -4.0. on the 8th it p[asses just below Pollux and on the 16th crescent moon passes nearby, making a lovely photographic object.

Jupiter makes for a lovely night-time sight and is visible from sunset until about 3h30 early in the month and by the end of the month setting at just after 2am. Jupiter is the brightest object in the feint constellation of Libra. The crescent moon passes by on the 23rd to help locate it.

Also visible most of the night is Saturn. It rises around 11pm at the start of the month and sets around 06h30. Towards the end of June it rises earlier at 21h30 and sets earlier at around 5am. It is low in the sky in the constellation of Scorpius. It reaches magnitude 0.0 by the end of the month. On the 28th the Full Moon will be just above the ringed world.

If you want a telescopic challenge try finding Uranus. It is difficult to find, it cannot be seen with the naked eye (it is at magnitude +5.8) and it lies close to the horizon in the morning twilight. Luckily to help you find this remote world the Moon will be just below it on the 10th.

Published in: on June 5, 2018 at 14:19  Leave a Comment