Astronomy Essentials

Visible planets and night sky guide: June 2022

June offers us a rare chance to see all five bright planets in the sunrise direction. Mercury will be lowest in the sky; Venus continues its early morning dominance as it slides lower towards the horizon; Mars brightens, making it easier to spot and identify; Jupiter gleams high in the sky as dawn approaches; and Saturn finishes out this amazing planet parade. Read more about the visible planets below.

In this article:

Night sky guide for June 2022

June mornings: See 5 bright planets at once

Green line with a bunch of dots representing all 5 visible planets.
The month of June features an unusual planetary configuration with all 5 bright planets lying in order from the sun in the morning sky: First, Mercury hugs the morning horizon (starting around June 10), then brilliant Venus, followed by red Mars, bright Jupiter and finally, Saturn. And, don’t forget a 6th (3rd) planet, the one you are standing on, Earth! You’ll be able to see the 5 planets until Mercury slips away in the morning twilight in early July. Chart via John Jardine Goss.

A wonderful capture of the planets parade

Wide angle image of dark twilight with planets and moon across the sky.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Mike Shaw in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, captured this wonderful planetary parade image on June 17, 2022, and wrote “This rare alignment of the visible planets in their order from the sun has been in the news lately, including several articles by EarthSky… Once I knew Mercury was a few degrees above the horizon, I started shooting images for the panorama … I then assembled the corresponding images into the panorama that you see here. ” Thank you, Mike!

Late June evenings: The latest sunsets happening now

Beautiful orange-to-blue sky after one of the year's latest sunsets, with high clouds and sun pillar.
The latest sunsets occur after the summer solstice and are around now. Peter Gipson in Stowmarket, Suffolk, England, captured this June sunset – one of the year’s latest sunsets – in 2018. The vertical streak is what’s called a sun pillar. Thanks, Peter! Submit your image to EarthSky here.

June 30 evening: A young crescent moon near Castor and Pollux

Green line that goes to the left. The moon and 2 stars are on the right side.
On the evening of June 30, the thin waxing crescent moon glows in the bright twilight to the upper left of the stars Castor and Pollux in the constellation Gemini the Twins. Notably, they all lie close to the horizon soon after sunset.

Visible planets and night sky guide for July 2022

On mornings in early July, you can still see all five bright planets: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. But Mercury becomes increasingly tougher to see as the mornings pass (it’ll show up again in the evening sky before July ends). Venus, the brightest planet, continues its early morning dominance as it moves closer to the horizon. Mars brightens and appears redder; it’s getting easier to spot and identify. Jupiter – 2nd-brightest only to Venus – gleams high in the sky as dawn approaches. Saturn is fainter and in many ways the hardest of the five planets to spot. But Saturn is also becoming more prominent as it approaches opposition in August. Plus, a line between the other planets points to Saturn.

Planetary lineup: How long can you see it?

Green line with a bunch of dots representing all 5 visible planets.
The first few days of July continues the opportunity to see an unusual planetary configuration with all 5 bright planets lying in order from the sun in the morning sky. Mercury hugs the morning horizon, then brilliant Venus, followed by red Mars, bright Jupiter and finally, Saturn. And, don’t forget our planet, the one you are standing on, Earth! You’ll be able to see the 5 planets until Mercury slips away in the morning twilight in early July. Chart via John Jardine Goss.

July 1-3 evenings: Moon near Regulus

The crescent moon near star and long sloping line.
On the first 3 evenings in July, the waxing crescent moon, complete with earthshine, moves near Regulus, the brightest star in Leo the Lion. Chart via John Jardine Goss.

July 4: Earth at aphelion

Large yellow circle on horizon.
Earth reaches aphelion – our farthest point from the sun – at 7 UTC on July 4. We are 94,509,598 miles (152,098,455 km) from the sun. That’s in contrast to our average distance from the sun: about 93,000,000 miles. This composite image shows the size of the sun at aphelion (farthest point) and perihelion (closest point). The composite shows an unmistakable size difference of the sun as viewed from Earth, across our yearly orbit. Image via Peter Lowenstein in Mutare, Zimbabwe. Read more about this photo.

July mornings: Jupiter lies in Cetus

Jupiter labelled in the constellation Cetus.
In July, Jupiter moves in a corner of the non-zodiacal constellation Cetus the Whale. Chart via John Jardine Goss.

July 7 evening: Moon near Spica

The moon labelled near Spica.
On the evening of July 7, the waxing gibbous moon glows next to Spica, brightest star in Virgo the Maiden. Spica is often said to represent an Ear of Wheat held by Virgo. Chart via John Jardine Goss.

July 10 evening: Moon near Antares

Waxing gibbous moon and Antares labelled.
On the evening of July 10, the bright waxing gibbous moon moves just above Antares, the brightest star in Scorpius the Scorpion. Fiery Antares represents the Heart of the Scorpion. Notice its red color and rapid twinkling! Chart via John Jardine Goss.

July 11 and 12 evenings: Manhattanhenge

A crowd of people looking down the street, lined with buildings and a rising sun at the end.
Every year people in New York City look forward to Manhattanhenge. It’s a phenomenon where the sunset aligns perfectly with east-west oriented streets of Manhattan, particularly along 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd and 57th Streets. This year’s Manhattanhenge is on the evenings of July 11 and 12. The full solar disk appears at the horizon on Monday, July 11, 2022 at 8:20 p.m. EDT. Then, the half disk alignment occurs the following day, Tuesday, July 12, at 8:21 p.m. EDT. This image shows Manhattanhenge on July 12, 2016, at 42nd Street. Tourists blocked an entire section of 42nd Street, including its intersection with 6th Avenue, to take pictures of the sunset. Image via Fred Hsu/ Wikimedia Commons.

July 13 overnight: No planets, but a Full Moon … it’s a supermoon!

July's full moon with Saturn and star labelled.
The July 2022 full moon comes on July 13. You’ll find it ascending in the east after sunset, its light overpowering all but the brightest stars. It’ll be up all night. This July 13 moon is also the closest full supermoon of 2022. In other words, it’s an exceptionally close full moon. On July 13, the moon will lie 222,089 miles (357,418 km) from Earth. That’s in contrast to its average distance of about 240,000 miles (385,000 km). Read more about the closest supermoon. The bright star Altair in the constellation Aquila the Eagle can be found near the moon on this night. Saturn will be rising not long after the moon. Chart via John Jardine Goss.

July 14 and 15 overnight: Saturn near moon

Saturn and the waning gibbous moon labelled.
On the nights of July 14 and 15, Saturn lies next to the very bright waning gibbous moon. Chart via John Jardine Goss.

In mid-July, with binoculars: Saturn near 2 stars in Capricornus

Saturn's east to west motion with 2 stars.
Saturn moves westward throughout July. In binoculars the planet can be seen slowly moving near 2 moderately bright stars in Capricornus: Gamma Capricorni and Delta Capricorni. Chart via John Jardine Goss.

July 18 and 19 mornings: Jupiter near the moon

Jupiter and the waning gibbous moon labelled.
The waning gibbous moon moves near Jupiter on the mornings of July 18 and 19. Chart via John Jardine Goss.

July 18-22 mornings, with binoculars: Venus near M35 cluster

Venus near M35, labelled.
In the mornings from July 18-22, Venus lies in the same binocular field as the delicate star cluster M35 in Gemini the Twins. Chart via John Jardine Goss.

July 21 morning: Mars next to the moon

Moon next to Mars, labelled.
In the early morning hours of July 21, red Mars lies directly next to the waning crescent moon. Viewers in Japan, northeast Russia, northwest Alaska, Svalbard and north Greenland see a lunar occultation; that is, the moon passes in front of the planet. Click here for info about the occultation. Chart via John Jardine Goss.

July 23 and 24 mornings: Moon near Aldebaran and Pleiades

Crescent moons near a star cluster and bright star.
On the mornings of July 23 and 24, the waning crescent moon is near the bright reddish star Aldebaran in Taurus the Bull with the delicate star cluster Pleiades close by.

July 25 and 26 mornings: Moon near Venus

Circles of crescent moon near a red star and star cluster.
On the mornings of July 25 and 26, the waning crescent moon, along with earthshine, is near Venus. In addition, the bright reddish star nearby is Aldebaran in Taurus the Bull. Plus the beautiful star cluster Pleiades twinkles above all of them.

Late July and early August: Delta Aquariid meteor shower

Star chart showing the Great Square of Pegasus to Fomalhaut to the Delta Aquariid radiant point.
The nominal peak of the Delta Aquariid meteor shower is July 29. But the reality is that these meteors ramble along steadily throughout late July and early August. Delta Aquariid meteors radiate from near the star Skat, aka Delta Aquarii, in the constellation Aquarius the Water Bearer. This star is near bright Fomalhaut in our sky. In late July to early August, Fomalhaut is highest around 2 a.m. (no matter where you are). It’s southward from the Northern Hemisphere, closer to overhead from the Southern Hemisphere. Fomalhaut appears bright and solitary in the sky. To find it, draw a line roughly southward through the stars on the west side of the Great Square of Pegasus.

July 30 and 31 mornings, planets with binoculars: Mars next to Uranus

Mars near dim Uranus, labelled.
In the early mornings of July 30 and 31, Mars can be seen in binoculars next to Uranus, the 7th planet from the sun. Uranus appears as a dim star. Chart via John Jardine Goss.

July 30 and 31 evenings: Mercury and the moon (Southern Hemisphere)

Mercury and crescent moon, labelled.
For Southern Hemisphere viewers on July 30 and 31, Mercury can be spotted hugging the horizon 40 minutes after sunset. On July 30 it lies below the thin waxing crescent moon, complete with earthshine. Mercury hugs the horizon in the Northern Hemisphere so may be very difficult to spot. Chart via John Jardine Goss.

Photos of planets from EarthSky’s community

Wide, twilit sky with five labeled planets above a tiny, distant lighthouse.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Miguel Sala in Alicante, Spain, captured this panorama of the bright planets on June 24, 2022. Miguel wrote: “The solar system: At sunrise on June 24, the planets visible to the unaided eye appeared aligned in the same position as they are in the solar system. Even the waning moon seemed to represent Earth’s position in the solar system.” Thanks, Miguel!
The planets are aligned between some buldings and trees.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Matthew Chin in Hong Kong, China, captured this stunning photo of the 5 bright planets and the moon on June 23, 2022. Matthew wrote: “2022 five planets – celestial parade, in Yuen Long, Hong Kong. The order of the planets in the solar system, starting nearest the sun and working outward is the following: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus.” Thank you, Matthew!

June-August 2022 heliocentric solar system planets

The sun-centered charts below come from Guy Ottewell. You’ll find charts like these for every month of 2022 in his Astronomical Calendar. Guy Ottewell explains:

In these views from ecliptic north, arrows (thinner when south of the ecliptic plane) are the paths of the four inner planets. Dots along the rest of the orbits are five days apart (and are black for the part of its course that a planet has trodden since the beginning of the year). Semicircles show the sunlit side of the new and full moon (vastly exaggerated in size and distance). Pairs of lines point outward to the more remote planets.

Phenomena such as perihelia (represented by ticks) and conjunctions (represented by lines between planets) are at dates that can be found in the Astronomical Calendar. Gray covers the half of the universe below the horizon around 10 p.m. at mid-month (as seen from the equator). The zodiacal constellations are in directions from the Earth at mid-month (not from the sun).

Circle with sun at center, planets around, and zodiac names on outer edge.
View larger. | Heliocentric view of the solar system, June 2022. Chart via Guy Ottewell.
Circle with sun at center, planets around, and zodiac names on outer edge.
View larger. | Heliocentric view of solar system, July 2022. Chart via Guy Ottewell.
Circle with sun at center, planets around, and zodiac names on outer edge.
View larger. | Heliocentric view of the solar system, August 2022. Chart via Guy Ottewell.

Some resources to enjoy

Don’t miss anything. Subscribe to daily emails from EarthSky. It’s free!

Visit EarthSky’s Best Places to Stargaze to find a dark-sky location near you.

Post your own night sky photos at EarthSky Community Photos.

Translate Universal Time (UTC) to your time.

See the indispensable Observer’s Handbook, from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

Visit Stellarium-Web.org for precise views from your location.

Visit TheSkyLive for precise views from your location.

Back by popular demand! Guy Ottewell’s Astronomical Calendar for 2022.

Great resource and beautiful wall chart: Guy Ottewell’s zodiac wavy chart.

A modern chair, a large plant and the zodiac wavy chart on the wall.
Guy Ottewell’s Zodiac Wavy Chart is a 2-by-3 foot (0.6 by 0.9 meter) poster displaying the movements of the sun, moon and planets throughout the year. You can purchase it here.

Bottom line: June 2022 is a month for seeing five planets in the morning sky. Late in June, watch for the moon near the morning planets.

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Posted 
June 1, 2022
 in 
Astronomy Essentials

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