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  • Chris Baker

What's Up? -JUNE 2023

Each month I highlight a few objects you can spot in the night sky without the need for optical equipment.

Despite there being little darkness this time of year - you'll still be able to spot a number of wonderous sights!


Let's start with the planet Venus which is putting on a spectacular showing again this month.


PLANETS


Venus


You may well have already spotted a bright object in the evening twilight sky and wondered what it is - well it's Venus dazzling you!


By mid month it will be at its brightest. Take a look through binoculars and you will see it is phased- mid month around 40%. (Do not use optical equipment while the sun is above the horizon)


Later in the month Venus begins to set earlier so will disappear into the murk -so the earlier the better for your observations.


Take a note of the dates 21st and 22nd June as Venus, Mars and the Moon will appear close together - a beautiful sight.


Venus, Mars and the crescent Moon 10pm on the 21st June - in the west

Courtesy of Stellarium



Mercury

Not visible this month


Jupiter

Jupiter is making a welcomed return this month - as a morning planet. You'll need to be up early - or is it late? - pre dawn anyway. As the birds begin their dawn chorus is about the right time. Look east.


There's a super chance to see Jupiter near the crescent Moon on the morning of the 14th June


Jupiter in the east - close to a crescent Moon on the morning of the 14th June 03:45

Courtesy of Stellarium


Mars

It will be difficult to spot this month as it battles with the twilight but try on the 21st/22nd when it will be close to Venus and the Moon around 10pm in the west.


Saturn

Saturn is also making a welcomed return as a morning object. You'll need to wait until late June to see it at a reasonable altitude but viewing Saturn is always special.


Saturn in the east at around 4am late in the month

Courtesy of Stellarium



Constellation of the month HERCULES

In the vast celestial tapestry, one constellation stands out with its Herculean might. Gaze upwards to behold Hercules, the champion of the heavens! Named after the legendary demigod of Greek mythology, this constellation commands attention with its prominent form. Featuring a striking array of stars, it showcases the strength and valour that defined Hercules' heroic exploits. A beacon of inspiration, this stellar formation reminds us to embrace our inner strength, face challenges head-on, and reach for the stars. Allow the constellations to captivate your imagination as Hercules etches his indomitable mark across the night sky.


Looking south when dark sandwiched between the bright stars of Vega and Arcturus

Courtesy of Stellarium


Hercules - try looking for the four central stars first

Courtesy of Stellarium



Enjoy the night sky this month and let me know about your observations


Thank you for reading this blog and do let me know if there is anything you would like me to add to my Newsletter each month.

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