This July 12th, the planet Mercury reaches greatest eastern elongation of 26.4 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 evening sky. Look for the planet low in the western sky just after sunset.
On July 27, Mars reaches its long-awaited opposition—and is visible all night. Look for its south polar cap and dark features that shift as the planet rotates. This month, you will also spot constellations Scorpius and Sagittarius, globular cluster M4, and the annual Delta Aquarid meteor shower.
Find out more about what you can see from your backyard, front stoop, or local park by viewing this monthly program. “Tonight’s Sky” is produced by HubbleSite.org, online home of the Hubble Space Telescope.
This June 28th, the Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated.
This June 27th, the ringed planet will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. It will be brighter than any other time of the year and will be visible all night long. This is the best time to view and photograph Saturn and its moons. A medium-sized or larger telescope will allow you to see Saturn’s rings and a few of its brightest moons.
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.
The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated.
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.