Astronomy EssentialsTonight

Visible planets and night sky guide for June

A half-lit moon against a blue background.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Chuck Reinhart caught the almost-1st-quarter moon last night (June 13, 2024) from Vincennes, Indiana. A first quarter moon can be seen high in the sky at sundown. Like this photo? Go to EarthSky Community Photos and give it a heart! Thank you, Chuck!

June 14: 1st quarter moon at apogee

The instant of first quarter moon fell at 5:18 UTC on June 14, 2024 (12:18 a.m. CDT). A first quarter moon rises around noon your local time and sets around midnight. Watch for it high in the sky at sundown. The moon will also reach apogee – its farthest distance from Earth for this month – at 14 UTC (9 a.m. CDT) on June 14, 2024, when it’s 251,081 miles (404,076 km) away.

June 14: Mercury at superior conjunction

Mercury has been traveling across the sky each day next to the sun. So we can’t see it in our sky now; it’s lost in the sun’s glare. On June 14, Mercury reaches point in its orbit called superior conjunction.. The sun’s innermost planet will emerge into the evening sky the last few days of June.

A dark disk covering a bright sun, with 2 bright spots moving on either side.
Mercury and Venus near the sun on June 13, 2024, as seen by the sun-observing SOHO spacecraft’s LASCO 3 imager. Both are headed for our evening sky. Start watching for Mercury in late June, and much-brighter Venus around mid-July.

June moon phases

Join EarthSky’s Marcy Curran for a 1-minute video preview of the moon phases – and dates when the moon will visit planets – for the month of June 2024.

Jupiter: Mornings looking east

This month, watch for Jupiter in the morning twilight. Jupiter is our sky’s 2nd-brightest planet. It’s now ascending in the east before the sunrise, a little farther from the sun each day. It’s brighter than all the stars! It won’t reach opposition – that’s when Jupiter will be most opposite the sun and best in our sky – until December. But Jupiter is always bright. It will become easier to see as June progresses. It’ll spend the month in front of the constellation Taurus the Bull, shining at -1.8 magnitude most of the month. What fun to see its bright light emerge from the morning twilight! Jupiter rose about 30 minutes before the sun on June 1 and will rise about two hours before sunrise by month’s end. The delicate Pleiades star cluster is nearby. Mars is higher in the sky. The video below previews Jupiter for the coming months.

Our charts are mostly set for the northern half of Earth. To see a precise view – and time – from your location, try Stellarium Online.

Sky chart: Jupiter, Pleiades and Mars close to green ecliptic line in twilight sky.
Chart via EarthSky.
Orange sky with a white, small dot at the left side, over some mountains.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Gemini Brett captured this image from El Sobrante Ridge Trail in California on June 11 and wrote: “Wake up before the light and you will find Jupiter looking back. Welcome, Jupiter, to the morning side. Eyes to the sky!” Thank you, Gemini.

June 15 and 16 evenings: Moon near Spica

On the evenings of June 15 and 16, 2024, the fat waxing gibbous moon will hang near the bright star Spica in Virgo the Maiden. They’ll rise before sunset and be visible through several hours after midnight. Locations including Kazakhstan, western Russia, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan will see the moon pass in front of – or occult – Spica around 18 UTC on June 16. Others may see Spica close to the limb of the moon.

Moon on June 15 and 16 near Spica.
Chart via EarthSky.

Our charts are mostly set for the northern half of Earth. To see a precise view – and time – from your location, try Stellarium Online.

June 19 evening: Moon near Antares

On June 19, 2024, the bright red star Antares in Scorpius the Scorpion will lie close to the fat waxing gibbous. Also, sky watchers in locations including Papua New Guinea, eastern Indonesia, Solomon Islands and Fiji will see the moon pass in front of – or occult – Antares near 11 UTC on June 20. Other locations may see Antares very close to the limb of the moon.

Moon near Antares on June 19.
Chart via EarthSky.

June 20: Solstice

In 2024, the June solstice will fall at 20:51 UTC (3:51 p.m. CDT) on Thursday, June 20.

June 21 evening: Moon near the Teapot

The full moon will lie near the Teapot – an asterism in Sagittarius the Archer – on the evening of June 21, 2024. You can catch the moon and the Teapot until dawn.

Moon on June 21 near the Teapot.
Chart via EarthSky.

June 22: Full moon

The full moon will occur at 1:08 UTC on June 22, 2024, (8:08 p.m. CDT on June 21). It’ll be visible all night.

Our charts are mostly set for the northern half of Earth. To see a precise view – and time – from your location, try Stellarium Online.

June 27: Moon reaches perigee

The moon will reach perigee – its closest point in its elliptical orbit around Earth – at 12 UTC (7 a.m. CDT) on June 27, 2024, when it’s 229,463 miles (369,286 kilometers) away.

June 27 morning: Moon visits Saturn

In the early morning hours of June 27, 2024, the waning gibbous moon will hang close to Saturn. The bright star Fomalhaut will shine nearby. Also, sky watchers in locations including eastern Australia, northeastern New Zealand, Fiji and New Caledonia will see the moon pass in front of – or occult – Saturn near 15 UTC on June 27.

Moon, Saturn and Fomalhaut on June 27.
Chart via EarthSky.

June 28: Last quarter moon

The instant of last quarter moon will fall at 21:53 UTC (4:53 p.m. CDT) on June 28, 2024. It’ll rise after midnight your local time and will set around noon. Look for it high in the sky before dawn.

June 30 mornings: Moon near Mars

On June 30, 2024, the waning crescent moon will lie close to the reddish planet Mars. The lit portion of the moon will point to the reddish planet. Also nearby will be the bright planet Jupiter and the Pleiades star cluster. The moon and Mars will rise about four hours before sunrise.

Moon on June 30 near Mars, Pleiades and Jupiter.
Chart via EarthSky.

Our charts are mostly set for the northern half of Earth. To see a precise view – and time – from your location, try Stellarium Online.

Stars and constellations overhead now

If you’re out stargazing on any evening, look for these stars and constellations overhead in the sky.

Boötes the Herdsman

Almost overhead on June evenings is bright orange Arcturus. It’s in the constellation Boötes the Herdsman. Boötes has the shape of a kite, and Arcturus is at the point where you’d attach a tail. You can’t miss its distinctive shape.

Kite shaped group of stars making up Boötes the Herdsman.
Chart via EarthSky.

The Big Dipper

Ursa Major the Great Bear is home to the Big Dipper. The Big Dipper is an asterism – a well-known group of stars – not an official constellation. You’ll find the Big Dipper high overhead from mid-northern latitudes in the June evening skies. You can use the two outer stars in the Big Dipper’s bowl – sometimes called the Pointers – to find Polaris, the North Star.

The Big and Little Dipper with arrow showing how 2 stars from the Big Dipper point to Polaris.
Chart via EarthSky.

Hercules the Hero and the Hercules Cluster

Hercules is a faint constellation. But its midsection contains the easy-to-see Keystone asterism. You can find Hercules between the bright stars Vega in Lyra the Harp and Arcturus in Boötes the Herdsman. And once you find the Keystone, you can easily locate M13, the Hercules cluster.

Star chart of man-shaped constellation with bent arms and legs.
Chart via EarthSky .

Have fun exploring the sky!

June morning planets

In June 2024, Mars will shine at 1st magnitude, and its disk will grow from 5 arcminutes in diameter to 5.4 arcminutes by the end of the month. The waning crescent moon was near Mars on the mornings of June 2 and 3, 2024. Mars began the month in the dim constellation of Pisces the Fish. And then it’ll move to the faint constellation Aries the Ram. It rose about 2 hours before sunrise on June 1 and will rise around 3 hours before sunrise by the end of June.

Mars in June.

Chart via EarthSky.

Saturn will shine around 1st magnitude in June 2024. Its ring system is closing – they’ll be edge-on in 2025 – and it’s getting farther from Earth. The bright star Fomalhaut shines nearby. Saturn spends the month in the faint constellation of Aquarius the Water Bearer. Saturn ends the month of June with a close pass from the moon. They’ll pair up on June 27. Observers in eastern Australia, northeastern New Zealand, Fiji and New Caledonia will see the moon pass in front of – or occult – Saturn near 15 UTC on June 27. Saturn rose about three hours before the sun on June 1 and will rise around midnight by month’s end.

Dots for Saturn in June near the star Fomalhaut.

Chart via EarthSky.

Jupiter becomes easier to see as the month progresses. It spends the month in the constellation Taurus the Bull. It’s shining at -1.8 magnitude most of the month, but that bright light is washed out in the morning twilight. Jupiter rose about 30 minutes before the sun on June 1 and will rise about two hours before sunrise by month’s end. It had a close pairing with Mercury on the morning of June 4, however they are challenging to spot in the morning twilight. And, the delicate Pleiades star cluster is nearby. Mars will lie higher in the sky.

Jupiter, Pleiades and Mars in June.
Chart via EarthSky.

Mercury slips away in the glare of the morning sun at the beginning of June. It’ll be shining at magnitude -0.8. It will rise about 40 minutes before the sun. Before Mercury disappears from the morning sky, it had a close pairing with Jupiter in the morning twilight on June 4, 2024. The pair lied low on the horizon. Mercury will then emerge in the evening twilight by month’s end.

Mercury and Jupiter on June 4.
Chart via EarthSky.

June evening planet

Mercury emerges in the evening sky at the end of June. Binoculars will help spot this little world. It’ll reach its greatest evening elongation on July 22, 2024, when it’s 27 degrees from the sun. It’ll be shining at magnitude 0.6. This will be the best evening apparition of 2024 for Southern Hemisphere observers. Mercury will be in the constellation Gemini the Twins. It’ll set about an hour after the sun by the end of June.

Mercury on June 28-30.
Chart via EarthSky.

Where is Venus?

Venus is too close to the sun to be visible this month. It’ll emerge in the evening sky by the end of July.

Our charts are mostly set for the northern half of Earth. To see a precise view – and time – from your location, try Stellarium Online.

Thank you to all who submit images to EarthSky Community Photos! View community photos here. We love you all. Submit your photo here.

Looking for a dark sky? Check out EarthSky’s Best Places to Stargaze.

Sky dome maps for visible planets and night sky

The sky dome maps come from master astronomy chart-maker Guy Ottewell. You’ll find charts like these for every month of 2024 in his Astronomical Calendar.

Guy Ottewell explains sky dome maps

Circle constellations, planets, the moon, the Milky Way and celestial lines.
Here is the sky dome view for June 2024. It shows what is above the horizon at mid-evening for mid-northern latitudes. The view may vary depending on your location. Image via Guy Ottewell’s 2024 Astronomical Calendar.

Heliocentric solar system visible planets and more

The sun-centered charts come from Guy Ottewell. You’ll find charts like these for every month of 2024 in his Astronomical Calendar.

Guy Ottewell explains heliocentric charts.

Circle with sun at center, planets around, and zodiac names on outer edge.
Heliocentric view of solar system, June 2024. Chart via Guy Ottewell’s 2024 Astronomical Calendar. Used with permission.

Some resources to enjoy

For more videos of great night sky events, visit EarthSky’s YouTube page.

Watch EarthSky’s video about Two Great Solar Eclipses Coming Up

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.

Almanac: Bright visible planets (rise and set times for your location).

Visit TheSkyLive for precise views from your location.

Visible planets: Illustration of mythological constellations in the sky.
Attention amateur astronomers! Guy Ottewell’s popular and informative Astronomical Calendar for 2024 is available in both electronic and printed versions.

Bottom line: Visible planets and night sky guide for June 2024. Mercury moves behind the sun on June 14th, reaching superior conjunction. Plus, the moon is reaching apogee.

Posted 
June 14, 2024
 in 
Astronomy Essentials

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