The planets seem especially busy this month, entering and exiting the dawn and dusk skies. Venus ends its reign as the Morning Star, dropping too low into the dawn twilight to see. Mars nears the end of its long and brilliant run over the last year as it drops lower in the sky each evening. It has a brief encounter with Mercury, which loops into view in the western sky for a good part of the month. Mighty Jupiter, on the other hand, lords over the sky all night.
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In the Sky This Month
June 15: Moon and Company
The Moon has two bright companions tonight. The star Antares stands to the lower right of the Moon as night falls, with the brilliant planet Jupiter about the same distance to the lower left of the Moon.
June 16: Beautiful Pairings
The full Moon and the planet Jupiter keep company tonight. Jupiter looks like a brilliant star to the upper right of the Moon at nightfall. Both worlds align opposite the Sun right now, so they qre in view all night.
June 17: Cygnus
Cygnus, the swan, is beginning its climb to prominence in the summer sky. It is low in the east and northeast a couple of hours after sunset. Its long, graceful body runs parallel to the horizon, with its wings stretched to either side.
June 18: Moon and Saturn
The planet Saturn appears just a whisker above the Moon as they climb into view in late evening. The giant planet looks like a bright star. It will be a little farther to the right of the Moon at first light tomorrow.
June 19: Messier 10
The star cluster Messier 10, in Ophiuchus, the serpent bearer, is in the southeast as night falls, well to the upper left of the brilliant planet Jupiter. Through binoculars, it looks like a hazy smudge of light.
June 20: Summer Solstice
Summer arrives in the northern hemisphere tomorrow morning. At that moment, known as the summer solstice, the Sun will stand farthest north for the entire year. It marks the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere.
June 21: More Solstice
While the northern hemisphere enjoys the beginning of summer today, the southern hemisphere is heading into winter. The June solstice is the longest day of the year north of the equator, but the shortest day south of it.