Some daily events in the changing sky for June 22 – 30.
Friday, June 22
Saturday, June 23
Sunday, June 24
Monday, June 25
Tuesday, June 26
Wednesday, June 27
Thursday, June 28
Friday, June 29
Saturday, June 30
Want to become a better amateur astronomer? Learn your way around the constellations. They're the key to locating everything fainter and deeper to hunt with binoculars or a telescope. For an easy-to-use constellation guide covering the whole evening sky, use the big monthly foldout map in each issue of Sky & Telescope, the essential magazine of astronomy. Or download our free Getting Started in Astronomy booklet (which only has bimonthly maps).
Once you get a telescope, to put it to good use you'll need a detailed, large-scale sky atlas (set of maps; the standard is Sky Atlas 2000.0) and good deep-sky guidebooks (such as Sky Atlas 2000.0 Companion or the enchanting though somewhat dated Burnham's Celestial Handbook). Read here how to use them most effectively.
More beginners' tips: "How to Start Right in Astronomy".
This Week's Planet Roundup
Mercury is hidden in the glare of the Sun.
Venus (magnitude –4.5, at the Cancer-Leo border) is the brilliant "Evening Star" in the west during twilight. Watch fainter Saturn closing in on it each day! See "Saturn" below.
Mars (magnitude +0.8, crossing from Pisces into Aries) is gradually getting higher in the eastern sky before dawn. In a telescope, it's still just a tiny blob 6 arcseconds wide.
Jupiter (magnitude –2.5, in southern Ophiuchus) was at opposition on June 5th. It glares in the southeast at dusk and dominates the south by 11 p.m. daylight saving time. Antares, less bright, sparkles 6° to Jupiter's lower right. These two will be evening companions all summer.
Saturn (magnitude +0.6, in Leo) is in the west during evening, closing in on dazzling Venus from the upper left. The gap between them shrinks from 6° on the 22nd to just 0.7° at their conjunction on the 30th!
Regulus, less bright at magnitude +1.4, is 8° to Saturn's upper left. And look north (upper right) of Regulus by 8° for 2nd-magnitude Algieba (Gamma Leonis).
Uranus (magnitude 5.8, in Aquarius) and Neptune (magnitude 7.9, in Capricornus) are well up in the southeast and south, respectively, before the first light of dawn.
Pluto (magnitude 13.9, in the northwestern corner of Sagittarius) is not far from Jupiter in the south in late evening (it was at opposition on June 18th). Finder charts for Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are in the July Sky & Telescope, page 60.
All descriptions that relate to your horizon — including the words up, down, right, and left — are written for the world's midnorthern latitudes. Descriptions that also depend on longitude (mainly Moon positions) are for North America. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) equals Universal Time (UT, UTC, or GMT) minus 4 hours.
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