Venus and Mars highlight the early evening sky as they draw closer together throughout the month. Both pay a call on M44, the sparkly Beehive Cluster, although you really need binoculars to see many of its stars buzzing around the brighter planets. Scorpius clatters into full view in the southsoutheast at twilight’s end by the end of the month, with Sagittarius following it into view a little later.
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In the Sky This Month
June 3: Moon and Antares
Antares, the heart of the scorpion, is close to the full Moon tonight. Antares is one of the most colorful stars in the night sky, shining reddish orange. The color indicates that its surface temperature is much lower than the temperature of the yellow Sun.
June 4: Summer Triangle
The Moon is just a day past full tonight, so it overpowers the fainter stars. But some bright stars shine through. Among them are the points of the Summer Triangle, Vega, Deneb, and Altair, which are in the east and northeast as twilight fades.
June 5: Earliest Sunrise
The year’s earliest sunrises in the northern hemisphere occur over the next few days. The date varies by latitude, with southern locations getting that extra sunlight first. The longest day of the year is the summer solstice, June 21.
June 6: Vega
One of the most brilliant stars is a dominant presence from late spring through autumn. Vega is the fifth-brightest star in the night sky. It is about a third of the way up in the east-northeast at nightfall now, and climbs high overhead later on.
June 7: Menkent
Centaurus wheels low across the south on June nights. Much of the constellation stays below the horizon. The brightest star in Centaurus that’s visible from most of the United States is Menkent, a name that means “shoulder of the centaur.”
June 8: Moon and Saturn
The planet Saturn appears near the Moon in the wee hours of tomorrow morning. It stands to the upper left of the Moon at first light, and looks like a bright golden star.
June 9: More Moon and Saturn
Saturn, the second-largest planet in the solar system, will stand close to the upper right of the Moon at dawn tomorrow. The planet looks like a bright star. Its brightness is enhanced by its icy rings, which reflect most of the sunlight that strikes them.
Full June 3, 10:42 pm
Last June 10, 2:31 pm
New June 17, 11:37 pm
First June 26, 2:50 pm
Times are U.S. Central Time.
Perigee June 6
Apogee June 22
The full Moon of June is known as the Flower Moon, Strawberry Moon, Rose Moon, or Honey Moon.