• Mel Hulbert

What’s in the Sky - June 2020

Moon Phase:

Full Moon 6th

Last Quarter 13th

New Moon 21st

First Quarter 28th

Winter Solstice 21st


Apart from Mercury in our evening skies, all the planetary action this month is in the morning sky.

Mercury is in the western twilight sky after sunset. It reaches its greatest angular distance from the Sun on the 24th before starting to move back towards the western horizon.

Venus returns to the eastern morning sky mid-month in the constellation Taurus.

Mars is high in the northern morning sky. The red planet rises just before midnight at the start of the month and by month’s end is rising about 11:20pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST).

Jupiter is in the eastern evening sky, rising just after 8pm AEST at the start of the month. However, it is high in the sky and good for viewing in the morning predawn sky.

Saturn is in the eastern evening sky, rising almost 30 minutes behind Jupiter. Like Jupiter, it is high in the sky and good for viewing in the morning predawn sky.

Worth a Look:

9th: The waning gibbous Moon is beside Jupiter in the west just before dawn. Saturn is also nearby making a lovely sight in the early morning sky.

14th: Mars and Neptune are 1.6 degrees apart. Binoculars will be needed to see Neptune. In a telescope the wonderful contrast of the red Mars and dark blue Neptune will be worth a look and a great opportunity for planetary imagers.

15th: Combining with the orange giant star Aldebaran, Venus gives the appearance of a second eye to the bull in the eastern morning twilight. Could make for an interesting widefield image!

21st: A partial solar eclipse is visible from Darwin, Northern Territory. CAUTION: It is dangerous to watch or photograph any solar eclipse without the correct special solar glasses and telescope/camera filters. Eleven percent of the Sun’s disk will be covered by the Moon. A clear view to the west horizon is essential as the eclipse will begin at 5:33pm Australian Central Standard Time (ACST), mid-eclipse is at 6:05pm ACST and sunset is at 6:30pm ACST while the eclipse is still occurring. With the correct camera/telescope filters this is a great photographic opportunity.

22nd: The thin waxing 1-day old crescent Moon will be below and to the right or north of Mercury. A clear view of the western horizon will be essential to view the pair. A good opportunity for widefield photographers as their closeness to the horizon will make for a lovely image.

You can download a star map for June here.

Clear Skies!