What's in the Sky Tonight?

JUNE 2018

Video Tours of the Night Sky

June 2018
May 2018

Astronomy binoculars for under $75

The Visible Planets
Four planets are up throughout the night. At dusk in the West right after sunset, the brightest star in the sky is Venus. It will be joined by the crescent Moon during the middle of the month. Later in the night, Jupiter will shine — almost as brightly as Venus — in the South.

Around midnight, Saturn and Mars rise up in the eastern sky with the Summer Milky Way. This is the first time in at least half a century that Saturn and Mars can be seen "hanging out" in the Milky Way. Both Saturn and Mars are approaching opposition, which means they will be at their closest position to Earth and will be their brightest of the whole year.

June 13 - New Moon. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.

June 21 - June Solstice.

June 27 - Saturn at Opposition. Saturn will be at its closest approach to Earth, which means it will be brighter than any other time of the year and will be visible through the whole night. This is the best time to observe and photograph Saturn and its moons. A medium or large telescope will reveal Saturn's rings and several of its brightest moons.

June 28 - Full Moon. June's Full Moon was known by early Native Americans as the Full Strawberry Moon because it marked the time of year to gather fruit, particularly strawberries, which are at the peak of their harvesting season.

A mini telescope you can take anywhere

Our Favorite Astronomical Binoculars

Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15x70 Binoculars with Tripod Adapter

$60 range

If you love sky gazing, you have to have a pair of astronomy binoculars! Binoculars are a fantastic alternative to telescopes—inexpensive, lightweight, and portable. For city dwellers where there is a lot of light pollution, binoculars are essential if you want to see much of anything.

Binoculars enlarge and brighten the beauty and immensity of the night sky. You can see the detail of the moon's craters, the phases of Venus, the moons and stripes of Jupiter, the awesome jewels that dot the Milky Way, nebulae, star clusters, and comets when they're passing near.

Our favorite astonomy binoculars is the Celestron SkGiyMaster Giant 15x70 Binoculars. These are excellent as well:


A year-round, real-time sky map

planisphere star locator mapA planisphere is a rotating star chart that allows you to dial in the entire visible sky for any day and time of the year and with great precision. It has been called an analog star computer and was considered magical in ancient times.

Planispheres show the brightest stars, constellations, notable galaxies and nebulae, as well as the path of the Milky Way. The plane of the ecliptic is also shown, which reveals the pathway of the planets as they appear to move across the night sky.


Orion 04110 Star Target Planisphere
Designed for use within 30 degrees North and 50 degrees North latitudes regardless of calendar year - shows locations of 100 star clusters, nebulas and galaxies.
> more info

Night Sky® Star Wheel
Cardboard star wheel chart with moveable dial displays the positions of the stars at any time of the day and on any day of the year; shows only the brightest stars, anywhere between north latitudes 30 and 50.
> more info

Guide to the Stars Map
This 16-inch diameter plastic Guide to the Stars chart can be used anywhere in the world between latitudes 30 and 60 degrees North.
> more info

Star and Planet Locator Map
A roadmap of the night sky and accompanying booklet shows the location of stars, planets and constellations in your night sky when you dial in the exact hour and date.
> more info

Firefly Planisphere: Latitude 42 Degrees North
Sturdy construction, smooth wheel rotation, easy-to-read booklet and protective pocket
> more info