Monthly Skywatchers' Page

For London and the UK

Sun And Nine Planets
The Sun and eight major planets (plus KBO Pluto) to scale. Earth is third planet from the left.


Introduction

The location of the stars and constellations can be learnt throughout a single year from books, mobile phone or planetarium software. Each month of the year, the same stars are visible from a given location. Different stars and constellations are visible as the year progresses. For example, in London, the constellation of Orion is always visible in the evenings of winter months of January and February. Scorpius is visible in the summer months of June and July around midnight.

The planets resemble stars except that, generally, they do not twinkle. Unlike the stars whose patterns are fixed, planets wander through the sky changing their positions amongst the starry background. This means that their periods of visibility change as the relative position of the Earth, Sun and planet vary. In one year Mars may be visible in August at midnight. In another year it may be behind the Sun and invisible from Earth during August.

This page gives the details of visibility for the five naked eye planets: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. It also gives information about comets, meteor showers and non-regular phenomena like eclipses, transits and occultations.

The Observers' Glossary explains the terms used. Alternatively run the mouse cursor over terms in maroon.


The descriptions below are for viewers in the Northern Hemisphere, especially London and the United Kingdom.
The planetary information is valid for any location at the same or similar Latitude (51.5°N).
Note that a degree in the sky is twice the apparent diameter of the Moon.

All times on this page are London (UK) times. This is normally GMT (Greenwich Mean Time also known as Universal Time).
In the United Kingdom, the clocks go forward by one hour for British Summer Time (BST) between mid March and late October.
A 24 hour clock is used so that 7pm is written 19:00.


June 2022

Mercury

Mercury

Mercury is too close to the Sun to be visible this month.

Venus

Venus

Venus is a brilliant morning object rising over an hour before the Sun to the North of East.

The planet begins the month among the stars of Aries moving into Taurus on 18th.

By the end of the month Venus will be rising more than an hour and a half before sunrise to the right of the Pleiades star cluster in the morning twilight.

The planet will be above the crescent Moon on 26th.

Mars

Mars

Mars begins the month in Pisces to the left of the much brighter Jupiter, rising at around 2:30am. During the month, Mars moves away from Jupiter.

Mars is the faintest of four morning planets with Venus to its left and Jupiter and Saturn to its right.

The planet crosses into Cetus on 3rd returning to Pisces on 10th.

Look for the red star-like Mars close to the Moon on 23rd.

During the month the planet gets brighter as it approaches the Earth.

By the end of June Mars will be rising at 1:30am.

The four morning planets
Looking East - South East at 3:45am on 16th we can see the four morning planets.
Brilliant Venus can be seen on the left close to the Pleiades star cluster. Mars is higher in the centre with bright Jupiter to its right. Saturn can be seen on the far right.

Jupiter

Jupiter

Jupiter rises around 2:30am at the beginning of June with the fainter Mars rising to its left a few minutes later. The two planets move apart during the month.

Jupiter is among the faint stars of Pisces.

The planet will be close the Moon on 21st.

By the end of the month the planet will be rising around 1am.

Even a small telescope will show the four largest of its Moons, changing positions from night to night.

Saturn

Saturn

Saturn rises at 1:30am at the beginning of the month among the stars of Capricornus.

Saturn is part of a line of planets visible in the morning with Jupiter, Mars and Venus to its left.

The famous rings are easy to see through even a small telescope.

Saturn will be above the Moon on 18th and to its right on 19th.

By the end of the month the planet will be rising around 11:30pm.

Sun

The Sun

Since December the Sun has been moving northwards and the days have been getting longer.

On 21st June at 10:13, the Sun reaches its furthest point North. This marks the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere). On this day the sun rises at its furthest north, reaches its highest altitude at noon (just after 13:00 as we put the clocks forward in March), and sets at its furthest north. The longest day will be just over 16 hours 38 minutes (in London) as compared to 7 hours 49 minutes in late December.

As seen from space the Earth's North Pole is tilted at its maximum to the Sun.

At the beginning of June, local noon will occur at 12:58 but this moves forward throughout the month and June will end with midday occurring at 13:04. Remember the clocks went forward last March so midday is around 13:00. Midday will be at exactly 13:00 around the 12th and this only occurs four times a year. When this happens, sundial time is identical to clock time.

The moving forward of the time of midday has the effect of shunting the daylight from the morning into the afternoon by a small amount. An interesting effect results from this movement. In June 2022 the longest day is on 21st. However, the earliest sunrise (04:42) occurs four or five days earlier around 14th. Conversely, the latest sunset (21:21) occurs on 30th, several days after the longest day.

The Sun begins June in Taurus moving into Gemini on 21st.

2000 years ago when the current Zodiac constellations were finalised by the Romans, the Summer Solstice began with the Sun among the stars of Cancer, hence the name of the Northern Tropic. After 2000 years the dates have drifted back by one day every 70 years. In 2022 the Summer Solstice occurs with the Sun "in" Gemini

Note that the astronomical Zodiac dates (the actual Zodiac dates that you can see by observation) do not tie in with astrology as astrologers are using dates from two thousand years ago.

Date Sunrise Midday Sunset Length of Day Sun's Noon Altitude Notes
01-Jun
04:49
12:58
21:08
16h 19m
60.6°
 
02-Jun
04:48
12:58
21:09
16h 20m
60.7°
 
03-Jun
04:47
12:58
21:10
16h 22m
60.8°
 
04-Jun
04:46
12:58
21:11
16h 24m
61.0°
 
05-Jun
04:46
12:59
21:12
16h 25m
61.1°
 
06-Jun
04:45
12:59
21:13
16h 27m
61.2°
 
07-Jun
04:45
12:59
21:14
16h 28m
61.3°
Evening Half Moon
08-Jun
04:44
12:59
21:14
16h 30m
61.4°
 
09-Jun
04:44
12:59
21:15
16h 31m
61.5°
 
10-Jun
04:43
12:59
21:16
16h 32m
61.5°
 
11-Jun
04:43
13:00
21:17
16h 33m
61.6°
 
12-Jun
04:43
13:00
21:17
16h 34m
61.7°
 
13-Jun
04:43
13:00
21:18
16h 35m
61.7°
 
14-Jun
04:42
13:00
21:18
16h 35m
61.8°
Full Moon (Ophiuchus) at 12:52
15-Jun
04:42
13:01
21:19
16h 36m
61.8°
 
16-Jun
04:42
13:01
21:19
16h 37m
61.9°
 
17-Jun
04:42
13:01
21:20
16h 37m
61.9°
Earliest sunrise
18-Jun
04:42
13:01
21:20
16h 37m
61.9°
Moon close to Saturn
19-Jun
04:42
13:01
21:21
16h 38m 11s
61.9°
Moon close to Saturn
20-Jun
04:42
13:02
21:21
16h 38m 19s
61.9°
 
21-Jun
04:43
13:02
21:21
16h 38m 22s
61.9°
Solstice at 10:13 - Longest Day
Morning Half Moon
Moon close to Jupiter
22-Jun
04:43
13:02
21:21
16h 38m 18s
61.9°
 
23-Jun
04:43
13:02
21:21
16h 38m 08s
61.9°
Moon close to Mars
24-Jun
04:43
13:02
21:21
16h 37m 
61.9°
 
25-Jun
04:44
13:03
21:21
16h 37m
61.9°
 
26-Jun
04:44
13:03
21:21
16h 37m
61.8°
Moon close to Venus
27-Jun
04:45
13:03
21:21
16h 36m
61.8°
 
28-Jun
04:45
13:03
21:21
16h 35m
61.8°
Latest sunset
29-Jun
04:46
13:04
21:21
16h 35m
61.7°
New Moon at 03:52
30-Jun
04:46
13:04
21:21
16h 34m
61.7°
 

Moon

The Moon

The Moon will be close to Saturn on 18th.

The Moon will be close to Saturn on 19th.

The Moon will be close to Jupiter on 21st.

The Moon will be close to Mars on 23rd.

The Moon will be close to Venus on 26th.

This month's Full Moon occurs on 14th.

The Full Moon is always opposite the Sun. The Sun is at its highest for the Northern Hemisphere on 21st. This month's Full Moon will be low in the sky.

The Full Moon will rise in the South East and will climb very low above the horizon setting in the South West.


It is easy to depend on astronomy or CMMS software to perform daily computational activities and to keep track of data. Astronomy enthusiasts can choose from a wide variety of software options, while facility managers may have fewer options if they require CMMS software for their business.


Next Month

Venus, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn in the morning. Aphelion.


All times on this page are London (UK) times.

Sources: Astronomy Now magazine, Cybersky, Starry Night Pro, USA Naval Observatory and UK Nautical Almanac Office.

© 2022 KryssTal
All sky images by Starry Night Pro Plus 6
Eclipse predictions (maps) courtesy of Fred Espenak, NASA's GSFC


Books From Amazon.co.uk


Observers' Glossary

An explanation of the terms used by sky observers. Includes descriptions of how the objects of the solar system behave in the sky as seen from Earth (especially the Northern Hemisphere high latitudes).


KryssTal Related Pages

Tables and data about the Sun, Earth, Moon, planets, asteroids and comets. All terms used are explained.

An account of how various properties of stars can be measured by studying starlight. Includes brightness, distance, luminosity, temperature, mass, radius, density and an introduction to the H-R Diagram.

A table containing a list of the 20 brightest stars in the Earth's sky. Explanations of all the associated terms like magnitude, spectral type and radial velocity.

A detailed account about eclipses, transits and occultations. These are irregular phenomena that can be observed in the sky. Includes eclipse trips around the world with photos and well as photos of recent transists of Mercury and Venus.

An easy-to-understand scaling of the Universe in space. Distances in space are represented by the time light takes to travel there.

An easy-to-understand scaling of the Universe in time. The chronology of the Universe is compared to a real year.

How humanity came from believing Creation Myths to postulating the Inflationary Big Bang Theory. The key stages in our understanding of our place in the cosmos and the people who broadened our understanding.

What do we mean by the words day, week, month, year? Who invented our calendar? When did the third millennium begin? The relation between time and astronomy.

The force that moves apples and planets. A short introduction to the ideas of Kepler and Newton that culminated with the theory of Universal Gravitation.

A look at the mathematics of a sphere with a section on sundials and the equation of time.


External Skywatching Links

These links will open in a separate window

StarDate Online
An excellent online skywatchers' magazine featuring detailed monthly information about astronomical events.

Astronomy Picture of the Day
A different image each day with an extensive archive and explanations.

Telescope House
A London based source of astronomical equipment, telescopes, software, maps and books.

Starry Night Pro
Superb planetarium software. Simulate the sky from anywhere on the Earth and any time.