June’s Stars and Planets

The beautiful, ringed planet Saturn rules the night sky this month in the Name A Star Live constellation Virgo.  You can use the Moon to find this astronomical jewel, and use just about any telescope to see its rings!  But be sure to check out the elusive planet Mercury this month as June affords the best view of Mercury for 2013.

Western sky at sunset June 10
On June 10 you can find the planets Mercury and Venus using the thin, crescent Moon which will appear above the western horizon that evening.  All three objects will be in the Name A Star Live constellation Gemini that evening.  On June 12, Mercury will appear at its highest point in the sky for 2013, although by then the Moon will not appear near Mercury.

Saturn is an excellent telescopic object this summer.  For those of you in the northern hemisphere of Earth (e.g., North America, Europe, Japan) Saturn will appear above your southern horizon after sunset.  For those of you in the southern hemisphere (e.g., Australia, New Zealand, South America) Saturn will appear above your northern horizon after sunset.

The Moon and Saturn
The Moon will appear near the bright star Spica and the planet Saturn the evening of June 18.  All three objects appear in the Name A Star Live constellation Spica, shown here.

Finding your star in the night sky

Stars are located within constellations, which are just areas of the night sky. Scorpius, Aries and Taurus are examples of constellations. Your Name A Star Live Star Certificate displays the name of your constellation. You can use our online World Constellation Guide to determine if you can see your constellation during the evening hours (between sunset and midnight). Of course, you’ll need a telescope to see your star. But you can see your constellation without the use of a telescope. You can also find your constellation by using our Virtual Planetarium™ astronomy software. A planisphere is another useful device.

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