All month: Mars qualifies easily for the June ``planet-of-the-month'' award. With the approach of the opposition in July, it is virtually as bright as Jupiter by month's end. Both are morning stars, so you can compare them visually throughout the month. Before Mars rises, the evening sky is dominated by brilliant Venus, also near its greatest brilliancy. The best sky shows of the month appear in the morning late in the month when the moon joins Jupiter (high in the south) and Mars (setting in the west).
Events described in the calendar below are in local time unless indicated otherwise.
June 1: The crescent moon and Jupiter rise about an hour and a half after midnight and remain to greet the dawn.
June 2-5: The moon rises later in the morning daily, slimming noticeably.
June 6-7: Apogee moon (farthest from Earth) is on the 6th, new moon on the 7th (at 9 a.m. Eastern Standard Time).
June 9: Mars begins its westerly (retrograde) swing through Sagittarius, anticipating the forthcoming opposition from the sun.
June 13: Leo's Regulus is the bright star near the moon.
June 15: First quarter moon checks in at 7 a.m. EST. The slightly gibbous moon is very near the Autumnal Equinox at dusk, high in the south.
June 17: After passing Spica during the day, the moon paces slowly away from the star (to the left) while both creep westerly across the sky.
June 19-20: Saturn is above and to the moon's left on the 19th, to its right on the 20th. The reddish star nearer the moon on the 20th is Antares in Scorpius.
June 21: The beginning of summer is triggered in the Northern Hemisphere at 11:30 a.m. EST, when the sun arrives at the Summer Solstice in Gemini. Perigee (nearest Earth) and full moon (at 10:42 p.m. EST) also occur, raising tides tonight and tomorrow. The two reddish objects that bracket the moon are Mars (the brighter) and Antares.
June 22-23: Mars and the moon dominate the sky on both nights, highlighting the constellation Sagittarius.
June 25: Mercury's greatest easterly elongation locates it favorably as an evening star. Look low in the west.
June 27-28: Jupiter and the moon rise together after midnight, near the border of Aquarius with Pisces.
June 28-29: Last quarter moon is at 7:53 p.m. EST, but the moon rises after midnight in Pisces.