Editor’s Note: Each month, the astronomers of the Burke Baker Planetarium shed starlight on the night’s sky happenings. Take note of what’s out there for June 2022.
Venus remains in the morning sky this month. Venus outshines everything except the Sun and the Moon, so you can try to find it low in the east at dawn. Venus remains a ‘morning star’ for most of 2022.
Mars is low the morning sky this month. The Red planet pulls away from Jupiter this month.
Saturn is now low in the south before dawn.
Jupiter is also in the morning sky this month. You can see it in the east at dawn.
Spring stars are high in the south and west. A distinct backwards question mark shape outlines the mane and forepaws of Leo, the Lion. Three stars forming a right triangle are to its upper left; they mark Leo’s hindquarters. The Big Dipper is as high as it ever gets in the north at dusk. You can extend the curve of its handle to ‘arc to Arcturus’ and then ‘speed on to Spica’. These stars high in the east and south, respectively, by dusk tonight. Arcturus, by the way, is the fourth brightest star we ever see at night, but the brightest one Americans ever see in all of June and July.
In the east, look for the enormous Summer Triangle, consisting of the stars Deneb, Vega, and Altair. This triangle is up all night long in June and July, hence its name. Scorpius, the Scorpion, is in the southeast at dusk. Sagittarius, the Archer, known for its ‘teapot’ asterism, rises just after dusk on June 1, but is up by nightfall on June 30.
Moon Phases in June 2022:
1st Quarter June 7, 9:48 a.m.
Full June 14, 6:52 a.m.
Last Quarter June 20, 10:11 p.m.
New June 28, 9:52 p.m.
At 4:14 am on Tuesday, June 21, the Sun is directly overhead as seen from the Tropic of Cancer. This means that Earth’s north pole is tilted as much as possible towards the Sun, making this our summer solstice. On this date the midday Sun is as high as possible in our sky—virtually overhead—and we have more daylight than on any other day of the year. Below the equator, the opposite is true. There, the midday Sun is as low as possible in the sky, and there is less daylight than on any other day of the year. For them, June 20 is the winter solstice.
Missed May’s sky happenings? Find them here.