It never truly gets dark this month. For the sky to be completely dark, the Sun must get at least 18 degrees below the horizon and this never happens in June from Ireland. The summer solstice occurs this year on 20th June. The summer solstice is the longest day of the year, in terms of daylight, at 17 hours 10 seconds in Ireland. One of the highlights in June are noctilucent clouds which can be seen some evenings shining in the north after sunset and before sunrise. I have another post about noctilucent clouds and the link is below:
Sun and Moon
|Date||Sunrise (Irish Time)||Sunset (Irish Time)|
Mercury is hard to see as it is so close to the Sun. Make sure the Sun has set before looking for it. It is possible to see Mercury after sunset in the northwest for the first half of the month. From around mid month, Mercury’s brightness has reduced too much to be seen.
At the start of June, Venus is too close to the Sun to be seen. Venus lines up with the Sun on 3rd June in an event called inferior conjunction. After that, Venus appears in the morning sky before sunrise and by the end of the month rises 1 hour 30 mins before the Sun. It will be a very bright star in the east in the early morning. A small telescope will show a crescent shape.
Visible low in the morning sky. It will look like an orange star. Look for it in the south-east after around 3.15 am at the start of the month, and from around 2 am at the end of the month.
Visible in the early morning sky at the start of the month but as the month goes on it rises earlier each night. Very bright and appears close to Saturn which is dimmer. Look for it in the south-east from around 1.30 am onward at the start of the month or midnight onward at the end.
Visible in the early morning sky but also rises earlier each night. Appears close to Jupiter but is dimmer. Look for it in the south-east from around 1.30 am onward at the start of the month, or midnight onward at the end.
Stars and Constellations
The above sky chart is for 23:00 on 15/06/2020. You can click on the chart to open a new tab and bring you to Heavens Above. On this website you can generate a custom chart for the time and date you wish. The spring constellations of Leo (the lion), Bootes (the herdsman) and Virgo (the virgin) take prominence overhead. An interesting fact about the constellation of Virgo is that the galaxy M87 is located in Virgo. M87 contains the supermassive black hole which astronomers managed to image the shadow of in 2019.
Over in the east we can see the summer constellations. Cygnus (the swan), Lyra (the liar) and Aquila (the eagle). The brightest stars in these constellations are Deneb, Vega and Altair and they make up the Summer Triangle which we will see rise overhead in June and July. Hercules (the hunter) is also to the east at this time of year.
In the south at this time of year is the constellation of Scorpius (the scorpion). This is the direction of the centre of our galaxy, the Milky Way. It never rises very high in the sky from Ireland, but if you look in the direction you should be able to make out that it is almost misty or milky with stars.