What’s Up June 2024

A monthly look at astronomical events in the sky and on Earth

Compiled by Steve Sawyer

Welcome to Junes what’s up. I hope you all managed to see the Aurora last month, if not there may be a chance this month as the giant sunspot that caused last months event becomes Earth facing again. Here’s hoping for a bit less rain and some clear skies for summer!

So what’s on this month?

As we approach the summer solstice on June 20, the night sky in southern England and Ireland experiences a unique phenomenon: twilight persists throughout the night. In Scotland, the sky remains so light that most fainter stars and constellations become invisible. Even the brighter stars, such as the familiar asterism of the Plough in Ursa Major, are challenging to see except around midnight.

Despite the persistent twilight, some highlights are still visible. The constellation of Libra lies almost due south. To the east of the meridian, the red supergiant star Antares in Scorpius can be seen, although its ‘tail’ or ‘sting’ remains below the horizon.

Higher in the sky, the large constellation Ophiuchus, known as the ‘Serpent Bearer’, stands out. It lies between the two halves of the constellation Serpens: Serpens Caput (‘Head of the Serpent’) to the west and Serpens Cauda (‘Tail of the Serpent’) to the east. Notably, Serpens is the only constellation divided into two distinct parts. The ecliptic crosses Ophiuchus, with the Sun spending more time in this constellation than in the traditional zodiacal constellation of Scorpius, which is situated between Libra and Ophiuchus.

Sky Diary

Astronomy Events for June

Date Time Event Magnitude
01 02:54 Neptune 0.0°N of the Moon 7.9
02 07:16 Moon at perigee = 368,102 km  
02 23:37 Mars 2.4°S of the Moon 1.1
04 10:00 Jupiter 0.1°N of Mercury -2.0, -1.1
05 00:37 Uranus 3.7°S of the Moon 5.8
05 14:25 Jupiter 4.7°S of the Moon -2.0
05 18:28 Mercury 4.7°S of the Moon -1.2
06 04:21 Aldebaran 9.9°S of the Moon  
06 12:38 New Moon  
09 08:00 Pollux 1.7°N of the Moon  
12 03:41 Regulus 3.3°S of the Moon  
14 05:18 First Quarter  
14 13:25 Moon at apogee = 404,077 km  
16 18:11 Spica 1.2°S of the Moon  
20 11:11 Antares 0.3°S of the Moon  
22 01:08 Full Moon  
27 11:30 Moon at perigee = 369,286 km  

This table organizes the celestial events by date and time, listing each event’s details for easy reference.
This table captures the astronomical events for April, including phases of the moon, planetary alignments, and other notable occurrences.

Sky Maps

Looking South on the 15th at 22:00

Looking North on the 15th at 22:00

The two charts above show all DSOs of magnitude 6.0 or brighter. They are both taken from
SkyViewCafe.com and correct for the 15th of the month. For a clickable list of Messier objects with images, use the Wikipedia link.

Junes Objects

The Sun

Well it’s been a little bit active over the past few weeks and then this happened!
Photos taken up on the moors at the Hole of Horcum car park. iPhone handheld for approx. 10 seconds

So it was a pretty spectacular sight. The question is, especially if you missed the Aurora , is will it happen again?
Well! The sunspot (AR3664) that caused last months historic auroras is becoming Earth facing again. The sunspot isn’t as big as it was, but it’s already released an X class solar flare which may impact Earth on the 1st and more CME’s are certainly possible. So keep up to date using the forecasting sites and tools listed below and keep your fingers crossed.


For more info on the sun and solar weather look here : –

Space Weather Enthusiasts Dashboard | NOAA / NWS Space Weather Prediction Center

Auroa Forecasts

A bit US centred but still useful

Aurora Dashboard (Experimental) | NOAA / NWS Space Weather Prediction Center

And our own Met-office have an excellent space weather forecast page here Space Weather – Met Office

The Moon

May’s moon calendar from Sky View Café (skyviewcafe.com)

Moon Feature

The Lunar X

One fascinating and relatively rare lunar feature you can observe is the Lunar X. Also known as the “Werner X,” this is an optical feature that becomes visible for a few hours just before the first quarter Moon phase. The Lunar X appears as a prominent letter “X” on the Moon’s surface and is created by the sunlight illuminating the rims of the craters Blanchinus, La Caille, and Purbach.

When to Look:

  • The Lunar X is best viewed just before the first quarter Moon, which occurs on June 14th this year. Aim to observe the Moon on the evening of June 13th or 14th.

Where to Look:

  • Look along the lunar terminator, the line between the illuminated and dark sides of the Moon. The X will be visible near the lunar equator, slightly south of the center of the visible face of the Moon.

Viewing Tips:

  • Use a telescope with at least moderate magnification to clearly see the Lunar X.
  • Check online astronomy resources or apps for the exact timing of the Lunar X appearance, as it only lasts for a few hours.

See the sky diary for this months lunar events as there are some nice viewing opportunities .

A full yearly lunar calendar can be found here :-




Another not great month for planet spotters. Most are morning objects and not easily viewable in Junes bright skies.


Best later in the month appearing in the evening sky from the 17th


Not visible this month


A morning object at the start of the month and not easily visible in the morning light.


Not great this month either another morning planet


Not really viewable, slightly better towards the end of the month


Lost in dawn twilight


Not viewable

Meteor Showers

1. Arietids

  • Peak Date: June 7
  • Radiant: Near the constellation Aries
  • ZHR (Zenithal Hourly Rate): 50-60 meteors per hour
  • Visibility: Best viewed during pre-dawn hours
  • Description: The Arietids are one of the strongest daylight meteor showers, but they are difficult to observe due to the brightness of the morning sky. However, some meteors may be visible just before dawn, especially if observed from a location with a clear horizon and minimal light pollution.

2. June Bootids

  • Peak Date: June 27
  • Radiant: Near the constellation Boötes
  • ZHR (Zenithal Hourly Rate): Variable, historically between 0-100 meteors per hour
  • Visibility: Best viewed after midnight
  • Description: The June Bootids are known for their unpredictability. While they have produced strong displays in the past, they can also be very weak. The shower’s activity can vary greatly from year to year. If there is an outburst, it can be quite a treat for observers.

3. Daytime ζ-Perseids

  • Peak Date: June 9
  • Radiant: Near the constellation Perseus (daytime shower)
  • ZHR (Zenithal Hourly Rate): Around 5-10 meteors per hour
  • Visibility: Difficult to observe due to daylight
  • Description: This is another daylight meteor shower, making it challenging to observe. However, keen observers might catch a glimpse of a few meteors during the brief period before sunrise.


Junes comets. Go here for detailed locations and finder charts Visual Comets in the Future (Northern Hemisphere) (aerith.net)

Comets Visible in June

Time Comet Magnitude Hour
Evening 13P/Olbers 6 12
Evening C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan- ATLAS) 8 49
Evening 479P/2023 WM26 (Elenin) 11 17
Evening C/2021 S3 (PanSTARRS) 11 40
Evening C/2023 V4 (Camarasa- Duszanowicz) 12 21
Evening C/2022 E2 (ATLAS) 12 11
Evening C/2021 G2 (ATLAS) 13 24
Midnight C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan- ATLAS) 9 16
Midnight C/2021 S3 (PanSTARRS) 11 63
Midnight C/2023 V4 (Camarasa- Duszanowicz) 12 7
Morning 154P/Brewington 11 14
Morning C/2021 S3 (PanSTARRS) 11 66
Morning C/2023 V4 (Camarasa- Duszanowicz) 12 6

Deep Sky (DSO’s)

1. NGC 6826 – The Blinking Planetary Nebula

  • Constellation: Cygnus
  • Description: This planetary nebula gets its name from the way it seems to blink in and out of view when observed directly versus indirectly. It’s a fascinating object for small to medium telescopes.
  • How to Observe: Look for a bright central star with a faint surrounding nebula. Alternating between direct and averted vision can enhance the “blinking” effect.

2. NGC 7000 – The North America Nebula

  • Constellation: Cygnus
  • Description: This emission nebula resembles the shape of the North American continent. While it is faint and requires dark skies to see well, it is a rewarding target for astrophotography.
  • How to Observe: Best viewed with a wide-field telescope or binoculars under dark skies. The nebula’s shape can be better distinguished with a long-exposure photograph.

3. NGC 6210 – The Turtle Nebula

  • Constellation: Hercules
  • Description: A small but bright planetary nebula named for its resemblance to a turtle. It appears as a small, blue-green disk in the eyepiece.
  • How to Observe: Use higher magnifications to resolve the structure and colour of the nebula.

4. NGC 6633 – Open Cluster

  • Constellation: Ophiuchus
  • Description: An often overlooked open cluster that is large and bright, containing about 30 stars. It provides a beautiful sight in binoculars or a small telescope.
  • How to Observe: Best viewed with low magnification to capture the entire cluster within the field of view.

5. NGC 6572 – The Blue Racquetball

  • Constellation: Ophiuchus
  • Description: This planetary nebula appears as a small, bright blue disk. Its striking colour makes it stand out against the background stars.
  • How to Observe: A small to medium telescope with moderate magnification will reveal its vivid hue and compact size.

6. IC 4665 – Open Cluster

  • Constellation: Ophiuchus
  • Description: A large, sparse open cluster that is easily visible with binoculars. It contains around 30 stars arranged in a loose grouping.
  • How to Observe: Use binoculars or a low-power telescope to fully appreciate the spread of the cluster.

ISS and other orbiting bits

The ISS isn’t visible during the early part of June, check the link below for sightings viewable towards the end of the month.

Use the this NASA website for exact timings for York overpasses. York, England, United Kingdom | Sighting Opportunity | Spot The Station | NASA

Useful Resources








Top 10 Winter Sky Targets for Skywatchers | Space

and of course the sky at night magazine!

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