The June solstice occurs at 10:07 UTC. The North Pole of the earth will be tilted toward the Sun, which will have reached its northernmost position in the sky and will be directly over the Tropic of Cancer at 23.44 degrees north latitude. This is the first day of summer (summer solstice) in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of winter (winter solstice) in the Southern Hemisphere.
The warm nights of June are perfect for sky watching. Don’t miss the constellations Boӧtes (the Herdsman), Corona Borealis (the Northern Crown), and Draco (the Dragon)—or the planets Venus, Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn, all of which grace the night sky this month.
From the full disk of Jupiter, to Saturn’s iconic rings, the May evening sky is filled with things to find. As the evenings grow warmer, head outside to peer deep into the sky for a view of the Sombrero Galaxy in Virgo and the Whirlpool Galaxy in Canes Venatici.
This May 8th, the giant planet will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun.
The Eta Aquarids is an above average shower, capable of producing up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak.
The planet Mercury reaches greatest western elongation of 27 degrees from the Sun. This is the best time to view Mercury since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the morning sky. Look for the planet low in the eastern sky just before sunrise.
The Lyrids is an average shower, usually producing about 20 meteors per hour at its peak.