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Kiss the Sky Tonight -- Month of June 2018

Posted by Guy Pirro   05/28/2018 04:03PM

Kiss the Sky Tonight -- Month of June 2018

The Great Hercules Cluster NGC 6205, also known as M13, contains about a million stars. The cluster is about 150 light years in diameter. As in most globular clusters, the stars held within its gravitational embrace are all very old. This image was obtained with the wide-field view of the Mosaic camera on the Mayall 4-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory. (Image Credit: T.A. Rector - University of Alaska Anchorage and H. Schweiker - WIYN and NOAO/AURA/NSF) (Video Credit: NASA and the Office of Public Outreach - STScI)



Welcome to the night sky report for June 2018 -- Your guide to the constellations, deep sky objects, planets, and celestial events that are observable during the month. The warm nights of June are perfect for sky watching. Don’t miss the constellations Bootes (the Herdsman), Corona Borealis (the Northern Crown), and Draco (the Dragon) -- or the planets Venus, Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn, all of which grace the night sky this month. The night sky is truly a celestial showcase. Get outside and explore its wonders from your own backyard.


Brilliant Venus dominates the western sky at dusk, joined by the crescent moon during the middle of the month. With a backyard telescope, Venus looks like a miniature moon. It is clear that we see only part of the sunlit side of the planet.


Jupiter dominates the southern sky, shining in the dim constellation of Libra, the scales. A backyard telescope readily reveals its cloud bands and orbiting moons.


Saturn rises later in the evening, and on June 27th it comes into opposition. On this night, Saturn lies opposite the Sun in the sky -- at its brightest, rising with the full moon at sunset, and visible throughout the night. During opposition, Saturn is closer to Earth than at any other time of year. Appearing at its largest for the year, its rings and perhaps a faint cloud band or two may be visible with a modest telescope.



High overhead lies Bootes, the Herdsman. Find it by looking for its prominent kite shape, which was noted by many ancient cultures. Arcturus is the fourth-brightest star in the night sky. The star Epsilon Bootis is also known as Izar. In binoculars, Izar resolves into one of the finest double stars in the sky. The color contrast between the stars is striking.


Just to the left of Bootes lies the Northern Crown, Corona Borealis. This lovely circlet of stars represents the wedding crown of Ariadne, the daughter of King Minos of Crete. While the stars are not very bright, their pattern is easy to pick out.


The mythical strongman Hercules is also found high in the summer night sky, wielding his mighty weapons. The constellation is rather dim. Look for its lopsided square of four stars, called the Keystone.


The Keystone in Hercules is the “key” to finding one of the brightest globular star clusters in the summer night sky. The wonderful Hercules Cluster, also known as M13, contains about a million stars. Outside the Keystone lies another magnificent globular cluster of stars, M92. Globular clusters are collections of closely packed, gravitationally bound stars.


Draco, the Dragon, winds his way through the northern sky. The Dragon’s head is a skewed square of stars. Look for the dimmest of the corner stars. In binoculars, it resolves into two stars, which look like a bright pair of headlights.


Mars, shining like a bright, red coal in the constellation Capricornus, rises around midnight. As Mars approaches opposition next month and the distance between it and Earth shrinks, its image grows larger. It may be possible to see large-scale details on the surface.






The night sky is always a celestial showcase. Explore its wonders from your own backyard.

The following Deep Sky Objects are found in constellations that peak during the month. Some can be viewed with a small telescope, but the majority will require a moderate to large telescope. The following is adapted from my personal viewing list: "The Guy Pirro 777 Best and Brightest Deep Sky Objects."



Constellation: Bootes

NGC 5248                    Galaxy C45,                 Herschel 400 H34-1

NGC 5466                    Globular Cluster          Herschel 400 H9-6

NGC 5557                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H99-1

NGC 5676                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H189-1

     - NGC 5660             Galaxy             Paired with H189-1

NGC 5689                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H188-1



Constellation: Corona Borealis





Constellation: Draco

NGC 3147                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H79-1

NGC 4125                    Galaxy                         P26

     - NGC 4121             Galaxy             Paired with P26

NGC 4236                    Galaxy                         C3

NGC 5866                    Galaxy                         M102, Herschel 400 H215-1

NGC 5906                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H759-2

NGC 5982                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H764-2

NGC 6503                    Galaxy                         P80

NGC 6543                    Planetary Nebula        C6, Herschel 400 H37-4 Cat’s Eye Nebula

NGC 6832                    Open Cluster               P27



Constellation: Hercules

IC 4593                        Planetary Nebula        P158 White Eyed Pea Nebula

NGC 6205                    Globular Cluster          M13 Great Hercules Cluster

NGC 6207                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H701-2

NGC 6210                    Planetary Nebula        P34

NGC 6229                    Globular Cluster          Herschel 400 H50-4

NGC 6341                    Globular Cluster          M92



Constellation: Libra

NGC 5897                    Globular Cluster          Herschel 400 H19-6



Constellation: Ophiuchus

IC 4634                        Planetary Nebula        P168

IC 4665                        Open Cluster               P36

NGC 6171                    Globular Cluster          M107, Herschel 400 H40-6

NGC 6218                    Globular Cluster          M12

NGC 6235                    Globular Cluster          Herschel 400 H584-2

NGC 6254                    Globular Cluster          M10

NGC 6266                    Globular Cluster          M62

NGC 6273                    Globular Cluster          M19

NGC 6284                    Globular Cluster          Herschel 400 H11-6

NGC 6287                    Globular Cluster          Herschel 400 H195-2

NGC 6293                    Globular Cluster          Herschel 400 H12-6

NGC 6304                    Globular Cluster          Herschel 400 H147-1

NGC 6309                    Planetary Nebula        P236 Box Nebula

NGC 6316                    Globular Cluster          Herschel 400 H45-1

NGC 6325                    Globular Cluster          P169

NGC 6333                    Globular Cluster          M9

NGC 6342                    Globular Cluster          Herschel 400 H149-1

NGC 6355                    Globular Cluster          Herschel 400 H46-1

NGC 6356                    Globular Cluster          Herschel 400 H48-1

NGC 6366                    Globular Cluster          P37

NGC 6369                    Planetary Nebula        Herschel 400 H11-4 Little Ghost Nebula

NGC 6401                    Globular Cluster          Herschel 400 H44-1

NGC 6402                    Globular Cluster          M14

NGC 6426                    Globular Cluster          Herschel 400 H587-2

NGC 6517                    Globular Cluster          Herschel 400 H199-2

NGC 6572                    Planetary Nebula        P38 Emerald Nebula

NGC 6633                    Open Cluster               Herschel 400 H72-8



Constellation: Scorpius

NGC 6093                    Globular Cluster          M80

NGC 6121                    Globular Cluster          M4

NGC 6124                    Open Cluster               C75

NGC 6139                    Globular Cluster          P53

NGC 6144                    Globular Cluster          Herschel 400 H10-6

NGC 6153                    Planetary Nebula        P189

NGC 6178                    Open Cluster               P111

NGC 6192                    Open Cluster               P190

NGC 6216                    Open Cluster               P210

NGC 6231                    Open Cluster               C76

NGC 6242                    Open Cluster               P54

NGC 6249                    Open Cluster               P191

NGC 6259                    Open Cluster               P112

NGC 6268                    Open Cluster               P192

NGC 6281                    Open Cluster               P55

NGC 6302                    Planetary Nebula        C69 Butterfly Nebula

NGC 6318                    Open Cluster               P249

NGC 6322                    Open Cluster               P56

NGC 6374                    Open Cluster               P193

NGC 6383                    Open Cluster               P57

NGC 6388                    Globular Cluster          P58

NGC 6396                    Open Cluster               P194

NGC 6400                    Open Cluster               P195

NGC 6404                    Open Cluster               P250

NGC 6405                    Open Cluster               M6 Butterfly Cluster

NGC 6416                    Open Cluster               P59

NGC 6425                    Open Cluster               P113

NGC 6441                    Globular Cluster          P114

NGC 6451                    Open Cluster               Herschel 400 H13-6

NGC 6453                    Globular Cluster          P115

NGC 6475                    Open Cluster               M7 Ptolemy Cluster

NGC 6496                    Globular Cluster          P60



Constellation: Serpens Caput

NGC 5904                    Globular Cluster          M5

NGC 6118                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H402-2 Blinking Galaxy





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