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Kiss the Sky Tonight -- Month of June 2022

Posted by Guy Pirro   06/04/2022 05:15PM

Kiss the Sky Tonight -- Month of June 2022

M92 is located 27,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Hercules, this globular cluster — a ball of stars that orbits our galaxy’s core like a satellite — was first discovered by the German astronomer Johann Elert Bode in 1777. With an apparent magnitude of 6.3, M92 is one of the brightest globular clusters in the Milky Way and is visible to the naked eye under good observing conditions. The cluster is very tightly packed with stars, containing roughly 330,000 stars in total. As is characteristic of ancient globular clusters — of which M92 is one of the oldest — the predominant elements within M92 are hydrogen and helium, with only traces of others, so it belongs to a group of metal-poor clusters. To astronomers, metals are all elements heavier than hydrogen and helium. [Video and Content Credits: NASA, the Office of Public Outreach – Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), JPL – Caltech, Preston Dyches, Christopher Harris, and Lisa Poje] [Image Credit: Jason Boyce, Astromart supporter].

 


Kiss the Sky Tonight -- Month of June 2022

Welcome to the night sky report for June 2022 -- Your guide to the constellations, deep sky objects, planets, and celestial events that are observable during the month. Though the nights are shorter in June, they are filled with fine sights. Look for the Hercules constellation, which will lead you to a globular star cluster with hundreds of thousands of densely packed stars. Globular cluster M13 (the Hercules Cluster, NGC 6205) is best observed with a telescope, but binoculars will reveal it as a fuzzy spot. You can also spot Draco the dragon, which will point you to the Cat’s Eye Nebula (C6, NGC 6543). The morning quartet of Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, and Mars continues to shine, though they will spread farther apart over the next couple of months. And the constellation Lyra is easily located thanks to its brightest star, Vega.

The balmy nights of June are short, but filled with fine sights for the backyard stargazer. Look for the Big Dipper riding high in the northwest. Its handle points toward Arcturus: the fourth-brightest star in the night sky. Arcturus is part of the constellation Bootes, the herdsman.

Bootes also contains a double star called Epsilon Bootes, or Izar. The striking pair of stars appears yellow-orange and bluish in a modest telescope.

To the left of Bootes sits a semicircle of stars known as Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown.

 

 

 

Next to Corona Borealis, we find the dim constellation of Hercules, the strongman of Greek mythology. June is an excellent time to observe one of the best-known globular star clusters – M13, also known as the Hercules Cluster. Globular clusters are spherical collections of stars, tightly packed together in their centers. M13 itself contains several hundred thousand stars. 

Globular clusters are also extremely old. The stars in M13 are thought to be around 12 billion years old, which is approaching the age of the universe itself. Our home galaxy, the Milky Way, is known to have about 150 globular clusters. They orbit outside the galaxy's disk, traveling tens of thousands of light-years above and below its spiral arms and most of its stars.

The Hercules Cluster is best observed with a telescope, and larger telescopes will allow you to see more of the cluster's stars. But you can also find it with a pair of binoculars, where it'll look like a hazy little spot.

Find M13 in the constellation Hercules, which is high in the east in the first couple of hours after dark in June. First look for the bright stars Vega and Arcturus. Then find the four stars that comprise "the Keystone," which is the pattern making up the central part of Hercules. You'll find M13 about a third of the way between the two stars on the western, or leading, side of the Keystone.

Just outside the Keystone sits another globular cluster: M92 (NGC6341). M92 is more distant than the Hercules Cluster, and looks smaller and fainter through a telescope. An image from Hubble shows many bright, old red giant stars in its crowded core.

North of Hercules, breathing fire on his feet, lays Draco the dragon. Draco’s long body curls around the Little Dipper. Located along the dragon’s coils is NGC 6543—the Cat’s Eye Nebula, a cloud of expanding and glowing gas from a dying star.

On summer evenings, you may notice a curved grouping of stars crawling across the southern sky, among them a brilliant red beacon. This is the constellation Scorpius, the scorpion, and beginning in June, it's the prime time to look for it.

This grouping of stars has been thought of as having the shape of a scorpion going back to ancient times in the Mediterranean and Middle East. In the Greek myth, the scorpion's deadly sting brought down the great hunter Orion, and that's why – the story goes – we find them on opposite sides of the sky today.

This pattern of stars also been seen as part of a great dragon, in China, and the fish hook of the demigod Maui in Hawaii. That fish-hook shape also forms the tail of the scorpion.

 

 

 

At the beginning of June, if you're in the northern hemisphere, the scorpion's tail might still be below the horizon for you, early in the evening. It rises over the first few hours after dark. But by the end of the month, the scorpion's tail will be above the horizon after sunset for most stargazers.

That bright, beacon-like star in Scorpius is Antares, which is a huge red giant star and one of the brightest in the sky. It forms the blazing heart of the scorpion. So look toward the south and use Antares as your guide to find the constellation Scorpius.

Finally in June, a quick introduction to the constellation Lyra, one of the smaller constellations that's home to one of the brightest stars. It represents a lyre, or harp, played by the musician Orpheus in Greek mythology. In Arab cultures, as well as ancient Egypt and India, Lyra was seen as an eagle. And the Inca of South America saw it as a llama.

Find Lyra by looking for Vega, which is the western-most of the three bright stars in the Summer Triangle. In the Northern Hemisphere, you'll find it halfway up the eastern sky in the first couple of hours after dark in June. Vega is by far the brightest star in Lyra. It's the fifth brightest star in the sky and the second brightest in the Northern Hemisphere, after Sirius. 

A pair of binoculars will help you see the other stars in Lyra, which form a sort of parallelogram hanging beneath it. It's sometimes described as looking a bit like a diamond ring, with Vega as the diamond.

And that's not the only ring in Lyra. It's also home to the famous Ring Nebula, where a star has blown off most of its outer layers, leaving behind a remnant star known as a white dwarf.

The gathering of four naked-eye planets we've been enjoying in the morning sky for the past few months – including several close conjunctions, is beginning to break up. Over the next few months, Saturn, Mars, Jupiter, and Venus will appear increasingly spread out across the morning sky – so much so that Venus and Saturn will make their exits as morning objects for most observers by September.

Look for this increasingly spaced out planetary precession in June, and note that the crescent moon jumps into the lineup on the morning of the 23rd.

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

 NONE

 

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: Lyra

NGC 6720                    Planetary Nebula        M57 Ring Nebula

NGC 6779                    Globular Cluster          M56

NGC 6791                    Open Cluster               P162

 

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

 

For more information:

Northern Latitudes:

https://hubblesite.org/resource-gallery/learning-resources/tonights-sky

https://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov/planner.cfm

https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/skywatching/home/

https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/skywatching/whats-up/

https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/skyreport

http://outreach.as.utexas.edu/public/skywatch.html

https://griffithobservatory.org/explore/observing-the-sky/sky-report/

http://www.beckstromobservatory.com/whats-up-in-tonights-sky-2/

https://www.fairbanksmuseum.org/planetarium/eye-on-the-night-sky

http://dudleyobservatory.org/tonights-sky/

https://cse.umn.edu/mifa/starwatch/2022

http://www.schoolsobservatory.org.uk/learn/astro/nightsky/maps

https://tonightssky.com/MainPage.php

https://www.skymania.com/wp/your-night-sky-this-month/

https://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/visible-planets-tonight-mars-jupiter-venus-saturn-mercury

https://www.pbs.org/seeinginthedark/explore-the-sky/your-sky-tonight.html

https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/night/

https://stardate.org/nightsky

https://www.adventuresci.org/starcharts

https://www.astromart.com/news/search?category_id=3&q=kiss+the+sky&from=&to

 

Equatorial Latitudes:

https://heavens-above.com/SkyChart2.aspx

https://in-the-sky.org/data/constellations_map.php

https://ytliu0.github.io/starCharts/chartGCRS.html

 

Southern Latitudes:

https://www.scitech.org.au/explore/the-sky-tonight/

https://www.stardome.org.nz/astronomy/star-charts/

 

Watch Satellites Pass Over Your Location:

https://james.darpinian.com/satellites/

 

Astromart News Archives:

https://www.astromart.com/news/search?category_id=3&q=.

 

Check out some of my favorite Words of Wisdom:

https://astromart.com/news/show/words-of-wisdom-my-favorite-quotable-quotes

https://astromart.com/news/show/words-of-wisdom-my-favorite-proverbs-from-around-the-world

 

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