Weekly Stargazing Tips

Provided by StarDate.org. Unless otherwise specified, viewing times are local time regardless of time zone, and are good for the entire Lower 48 states (and, generally, for Alaska and Hawaii).

June 24: Orange Triplets

A system of three orange stars is in the south-southwest at nightfall, not far to the lower right of the bright planet Saturn. 36 Ophiuchi looks like a single, faint point of light. It consists of three stars that are smaller and cooler than the Sun.

June 25: Summer Triangle

The Summer Triangle is in good view at nightfall. Its brightest point is Vega, in Lyra, the harp, which is high in the east-northeast. The faintest point, Deneb, is well to the lower left of Vega, with Altair farther to the lower right of Vega.

June 26: June Milky Way

About an hour after nightfall, the Milky Way curves from the northeast to the south-southeast. In the northeast, look for cross-shaped Cygnus immersed in the Milky Way’s glow. And in the south, look for the scorpion and Sagittarius, the archer.

June 27: Moon and Regulus

The star Regulus perches just a whisker away from the crescent Moon this evening. It’s the leading light of Leo, the lion. The name Regulus means “the little king.” The star is also known as Alpha Leonis, 32 Leo, and more than a dozen other names.

June 28: Sagittarius Rising

Sagittarius climbs low across the southern sky on summer nights. Its brightest stars form the shape of a teapot, which clears the southeastern horizon a couple of hours after sunset. The center of the Milky Way galaxy is above the teapot’s spout.

June 29: Future Fireworks

Cygnus, the swan, soars across the east at nightfall. One of its stars may explode around 2022. The system’s two stars are spiraling closer together. They should merge, causing an outburst that will make the system one of the brightest in the night sky.

June 30: Moon and Jupiter

The Moon has a big companion tonight, the planet Jupiter. It looks like a brilliant star quite close to the left of the Moon. Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system — about 11 times the diameter of Earth.