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Last Week's Stargazing Tips

June 27: New Moon

The Moon will disappear from view tomorrow as it crosses between Earth the Sun, marking its “new” phase. It will return to view as a thin crescent not long after sunset on Thursday.

June 26: The Goose

Anser is the brightest star of Vulpecula, the fox. The star’s name means “the goose.” It comes from the constellation’s original name, the fox and goose. Anser is in the east as night falls. You need fairly dark skies to see it.

June 25: Moon and Venus

Look for Venus at dawn tomorrow. It’s the brilliant Morning Star, quite close to the right of the crescent Moon. The fainter planet Mercury is to the lower left, just above the horizon.

June 24: Moon and Planets

Venus, the Morning Star, is to the lower left of the Moon in the early morning twilight tomorrow, with Mercury to their lower left. Mercury and Venus are the Sun’s closest planets.

June 23: Moon and Planets

At first light tomorrow, Venus stands far to the lower left of the Moon. It’s the Morning Star, so you can’t miss it. Mars is about the same distance to the upper right of the Moon. The orange planet isn’t nearly as bright as Venus, but it’s still an easy target.

June 22: Carbon Factory

CW Leonis, in the constellation Leo, is a carbon factory. The star is blowing a lot of carbon into the galaxy, providing a key ingredient for future stars, planets, and perhaps life. CW Leonis is due west at nightfall, to the lower right of Regulus, the heart of Leo.

June 21: Summer Solstice

The longest season of the year for those of us in the northern hemisphere begins today, with the summer solstice. It’s the first day of summer and the longest day of the year. The season will last 93 days, about four days longer than winter, the shortest season.