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Gazing at the June Night Sky


Andrew Yee, astronomer
June 3, 2012 — Stargazing is a challenging activity in June because of very long days as the summer solstice arrives on June 20th. Astronomer Andrew Yee has more.


This month, stargazers will be able to see both Mars and Saturn in the night sky
This month, stargazers will be able to see both Mars and Saturn in the night sky

This is particularly true for northern Canada, because many places the sky either doesn't get dark completely or the sun doesn't set.

For places that do experience sunset, look to the southwestern part of the sky to find Saturn and Mars in the twilight sky. Saturn is the higher and brighter of the two objects.

Starting mid-month, stargazers will be able to see Mercury appearing in the sky as well after sunset, low above the horizon. However, this event is primarily only visible for the southern part of Canada. In areas at 60 degree latitude and north, Mercury appears quite close to the horizon in the deep part of the twilight sky, so it will be quite challenging to see that.

Later this month, stargazers will be able to see both the moon and Jupiter
Later this month, stargazers will be able to see both the moon and Jupiter

In the morning sky, Jupiter will make an appearance for the first time in a couple of weeks. It will appear low in the sky before sunrise. Above Jupiter, the star cluster Pleiades will be visible. On June 17th, there will be a crescent moon sitting next to Jupiter making for an excellent photography opportunity.

Towards the end of the month, we will find Venus. Venus will make a historic crossing across the moon earlier in the month, but in the latter half of the month it will make an appearance in the morning sky in the same spot as Jupiter.

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