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Here's what you can see in the starry sky in June 2023


Highlights: The sun as a pacesetter heralds the astronomical summer in June. Several planets can be seen in the sky and also the "antagonist" of Mars. The Big Dipper – part of the constellation Great Bear – can only be seen when you stretch your head upwards. There are no significant stars shooting up in the month of June – the only bootids could come up on July 2 (June 22 to July 2 could be the full moon, June 4 is a new moon, and few stars are shooting up)

What can be seen in the starry sky? The monthly overview shows it. © imago/StockTrek Images

The sun as a pacesetter heralds the astronomical summer in June. Several planets can be seen in the sky and also the "antagonist" of Mars.

Frankfurt – Even though only a few people are consciously aware of the celestial bodies today, there is an important clock generator above our heads: the sun. On June 21, it reaches the highest point of its orbit in the course of the year – it is the longest day and the shortest night, and the astronomical summer also begins. This can be seen well in the eastern sky: The stars Deneb (constellation Eagle), Vega (constellation Lyra) and Atair (constellation Eagle) rose there on June 1 from about 23 p.m. Together, the three of them form the Summer Triangle.

The Big Dipper – part of the constellation Great Bear – stands high in the sky and can only be seen when you stretch your head upwards. The constellations Virgo in the southwest and Leo in the west are more comfortable to observe because they are lower. Also high in the sky - about above Virgo - is the constellation Bearkeeper. In it, one star shines particularly conspicuously: Arcturus, the third brightest star in the entire night sky. Since Sirius is no longer visible in June and the second brightest star Canopus can only be seen in the southern hemisphere, Arcturus is currently the brightest star in the sky.

Starry sky in June: Venus continues to be the brightest object in the sky

However, this does not mean that it is the brightest object in the night sky. This title still belongs to the planet Venus, which has dominated the evening sky in the west as the "evening star" for months. Only the moon and the sun shine brighter than Venus. Venus has already passed its highest position of the year, but its brightness continues to rise. "Venus will approach Mars at the end of June, but will turn back at the beginning of July. This will be interesting to follow from day to day," explains Sven Melchert of the Association of Star Friends to of IPPEN. MEDIA. "The eye-catcher is on June 21, the day of the beginning of summer, when the narrow crescent moon is right next to Venus and Mars."

With Antares, the "antagonist" of Mars will be on the celestial stage in June

Mars has lost much of its brightness over the past few months, but can still be seen in the sky. In June, it is located in the west, near Venus. Meanwhile, its "antagonist" sneaks onto the celestial stage in the evening in the east: The star Antares (translated: "counter-Mars") in the constellation Scorpio is about 600 light years away from Earth and shines reddish in the sky – very similar to the planet Mars. The star is a red supergiant in the autumn of its life. At some point in the future, it will explode as a supernova.

Antares is about 10,000 times as bright as our Sun and radiates about 65,000 times as much energy as our host star. It forms a binary star system with the star Alpha Scorpii B – its companion also has 170 times the luminosity of the Sun.

Looking at the starry sky: The gas giants Saturn and Jupiter are back

While the planets Mercury and Uranus cannot be seen in the sky in June and Neptune can only be found in the morning sky with a telescope, the gas giants Saturn and Jupiter are back again. The ringed planet Saturn, where researchers have just discovered 62 new moons, can be seen in the southeast in the second half of the night. In the course of June, it gains brightness. Astronomy has just discovered that Saturn's large ring system is probably much younger than the planet itself.


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Jupiter rises in the east just before sunrise at the beginning of the month. The further June progresses, the sooner Jupiter rises and can be seen longer and longer before the brightness of the Sun causes it to fade.

Starry sky in June: full moon, new moon and few shooting stars

June 4 is a full moon, new moon is June 18. There are no significant streams of shooting stars in the month of June – only the June bootids (June 22 to July 2) could come up with some meteors. The starting point of the shooting stars, the so-called radiant, is high in the sky above the constellation Bearkeeper all night, but a special eruption of the June Bootids is not expected in 2023. (tab)

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-05-29

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