June’s Night Sky Guide (June 2022)

Here is a list of planetary events to look for in June. All times and positions are listed in Eastern Daylight Time, 40° north of the equator.

June’s sky will be full of stars and bright planets, especially in the early morning hours. Don’t miss a rare event on June 24: All of the “naked-eye” planets (planets you can see without a telescope) will be together in the morning sky, along with the crescent Moon. This has not occurred for 100 years! See more information about it below.

Bookmark this page so you can easily refer to it over the next few weeks and click on any of the links to learn more. If you’re interested in locating particular planets in the sky throughout the year, be sure to consult our visible planets guide.

June 1 — Mars And Jupiter

Mars and Jupiter still make an eye-catching duo this morning (following their conjunction on May 29). Find them low in the east-southeast sky about 90 minutes before sunrise. Yellow-orange Mars sits almost two degrees to Jupiter’s lower left. As June progresses, the two planets continue to separate from each other at about one half of a degree per day. By month’s end they will be almost 20 degrees apart (about the size of two fists held together, outstretched from your body. See our handy guide at the bottom of the page to understand space distances).

June 7 – First Quarter Moon at 10:48 a.m.

The first quarter Moon will rise on the eastern horizon at approximately noon. Curious about more phases of the Moon? Bookmark this link: Moon Calendar.

June night sky guide
A first quarter Moon is visible during the daytime.

June 8-13 – Look for Leo

At nightfall, look high in the southern sky to see the constellation of Leo, a prominent star pattern in the sky. Learn more about Leo.

Leo in the June night sky.
Leo will be especially noticeable in the night sky during the second week of June.

June 14 – Supermoon! Full Strawberry Moon at 7:52 a.m.

The full Moon is on June 14, 2022. June’s full Moon is known as the Strawberry Moon. This year, it is a Supermoon!

June 16 – Venus and Mercury

Venus has been a prominent morning star since mid-January and will continue to be a prominent morning object until late August. Look for this beauty 45 minutes before sunrise, when it will be about 15 degrees above the east-northeast horizon. About 15 minutes later (a half hour before sunrise) Mercury will appear, about 10 degrees to Venus’s lower left. When June began, Mercury was too dim to see in the dawn sky, but by today you may catch a glimpse! 

June 18 – Saturn with Waning Gibbous Moon

As dawn arrives, look southeast or south-southeast to see a moderately bright yellowish-white “star” hovering about six degrees above (and slightly to the left) of the waning gibbous Moon: Saturn. Fun fact: Saturn halted its eastward motion in Aquarius on June 5 and began its annual retrograde loop (westward, back through Capricornus). Saturn retrograde will last until October 24. Learn more about what retrograde means.

June 20 – Last Quarter Moon at 11:11 p.m.

The last quarter Moon rises at midnight and sets at noon.

June 21 – Summer Solstice at 5:14 a.m. And Jupiter

Today, summer solstice, is the longest day of the year. The Sun remains above the horizon for almost exactly fifteen hours and reaches its most northerly declination of the year, then begins its six-month return south. The solstice marks the astronomical start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere and winter in the Southern Hemisphere. Learn more about summer solstice.

Sumer Solstice
Summer solstice is June 21, 2022 at 5:14 a.m.

If you’re up early, awaiting the first sunrise of summer, look toward the Moon. Nearly five degrees to its upper left, you’ll see mighty Jupiter, dazzling at magnitude -2.4! (Magnitudes are described in the footnote at the bottom of this page.)

June 22 – Mars And The Moon

This morning, between the hours of 3 and 5 o’clock, the Moon pays a visit to Mars. You’ll find it sitting five degrees to the Moon’s left. After dawdling in the dawn for the first half of this year, the red planet is finally beginning to call attention to itself as it approaches the Earth and continues to brighten. It now shines at magnitude +0.5; a match for Achernar, the ninth brightest star.

June 24 – Rare Sky Event! “Parade of Planets”

Catch a glimpse of a rare sky event on this Midsummer morning. All five “naked-eye” planets—along with the Moon—will be visible in the sky at once! Step outside at approximately 40 minutes before sunrise and look towards the southern and eastern sky. The most interesting part? They will be arranged in their true order from the Sun: Mercury, Venus, the Moon, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn! The last time that a similarly compact parade of planets graced our skies was in 1864!

Sun, moon, planets, stars in the June night sky.
Rare event: Approximately 40 minutes before sunrise on June 24, all five “naked-eye” planets—along with the crescent Moon—will be visible in the sky together at once!

June 26 – Venus and Pleiades

This morning, early risers will be treated to an exquisite pairing of Venus with a slender crescent Moon, with Venus sitting about two degrees to the Moon’s lower right. Binoculars will help you to see the Pleiades six degrees north of Venus (before morning twilight gets too bright). Learn more about the mythology of Pleiades.

Venus and Pleiades in June night sky.
Look for the Pleiades star cluster otherwise known as “the seven sisters” on the morning of June 26.

June 27 – Mercury, Crescent Moon, And Aldebaran

If you’re up for a challenge, here it is: About 30 to 40 minutes before sunrise, use binoculars and scan along the east-northeast horizon in the brightening dawn twilight and see if you can catch Mercury, which has now brightened to magnitude -0.4. Three and a half degrees to its upper left (about three fingertips-width) you might also get a glimpse of the very thin crescent Moon, only illuminated three-percent. And as a bonus, see if you can pick out the orange first-magnitude star Aldebaran, situated about seven degrees to the left of Mercury.

June 28 – New Moon at 10:52 p.m.

When the Moon is “new” that means it is almost aligned with the Sun in the sky. Therefore it is invisble to the naked eye.

June 29 – Jupiter

On a morning of excellent atmospheric conditions, seeing Jupiter in greater detail may be possible in a medium-sized telescope. Visibility of its dark belts and bright zones will steady as dawn brightens. You may also notice that the western edge of the planet is slightly shadowed, making a gibbous Jupiter (similar to the appearance of a last quarter Moon).

This is because, on this day, Jupiter is at western quadrature. This means it is 90° west of the Sun. (Relative to the Earth, it has made one quarter of its orbit around the Sun.) This is significant in that it marks the spot in the sky toward which Earth will be hurtling in its orbit. Every second of the day in June we will draw approximately 15 miles nearer to Jupiter. As a result, Jupiter seems to swell in diameter by eight perecent.

Our schedule is adapted from “Skylog,” a regular feature appearing in Natural History magazine written by Mr. Rao since 1995.

Footnote: We use degrees to define the angular separation of two celestial objects, such as the Moon and a planet. It’s possible for you to estimate these distances by using your hand. For instance, your fist—held at arm’s length—approximately measures 10° of space.

Measuring degrees of separation between celestial objects.
Distances in outer space are easier to grasp with our handy chart!

We also mention magnitudes, which refer to the luminescence of an object. The lower the number, the more dazzling it is. Bright stars are 1 or 0 magnitude. Fainter ones are 5 or 6.Super bright stars are in negative numbers. For instance, Sirius is -1.4. (For reference, the full Moon is -12.7 and the Sun is -26.7.)

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