What’s in the Sky in June


At this time of the year, as Winter embraces the Southern Hemisphere, the middle of our Milky Way galaxy in the constellation of Sagittarius, is rising in the East.


  • All month Two stars to watch when you have time:

Doomed Star Eta Carinae

Eta Carinae may be about to explode. But no one knows when – it may be next year, it may be one million years from now. Eta Carinae’s mass – about 100 times greater than our Sun – makes it an excellent candidate for a full blown supernova. Historical records do show that about 170 years ago Eta Carinae underwent an unusual outburst that made it one of the brightest stars in the southern sky. Eta Carinae, in the Keyhole Nebula, is the only star currently thought to emit natural LASER light. This featured image brings out details in the unusual nebula that surrounds this rogue star. Diffraction spikes, caused by the telescope, are visible as bright multi-colored streaks emanating from Eta Carinae’s center. Two distinct lobes of the Homunculus Nebula encompass the hot central region, while some strange radial streaks are visible in red extending toward the image right. The lobes are filled with lanes of gas and dust which absorb the blue and ultraviolet light emitted near the center. The streaks, however, remain unexplained.

Credits: NASA, ESA, Hubble; Processing & License: Judy Schmidt

Blaze Star to go nova soon! Here’s how to see it  and anyone could be the first to see it!

Astronomers are keeping a close watch on T Coronae Borealis, which also has the nickname Blaze Star, and is 3,000 light-years away from Earth. It’s a recurring nova with outbursts about every 80 years. its first observed outburst was on the night of May 12 1866. The star was about the same magnitude as alpha , magnitude 2.2, the maximum of 2.0 was reached the same night and then it faded rapidly falling below naked  eye visability within 8 days. Its last outburst was on February 9th 1946 it reached magnitude of 3.0  and soon subsided as beforehand and astronomers believe another will occur sometime between now and September 2024.

The star system, normally magnitude +10, is far too dim to see with the unaided eye. After the nova occurs, it will jump to around magnitude +2.

Once its brightness peaks, it should be visible to the unaided eye for several days and just over a week with binoculars before it dims again, likely for another 80 years.

  • 2nd  Lunar Perigee, closest approach of the Moon for the month 17:19hr AEST, Dist. 368,102.5km.
  • 11th Earliest sunset of the year.
  • 15th Mercury at superior conjunction, it is on the opposite side of the Sun to the Earth.
  • 15th Moon at Apogee, furthest from the Earth this month at 404,078.8 at 23:35hrs AEST.
  • 14th Saturn rising late at night, 23.51hrs AEST, in the constellation of Aquarius and is East of Formalhaut, a double star Mag +1.23 and +24.60 giving an overall magnitude as one star of +1.16 in the constellation Piscis Austrinus, the Southern fish. Neptune is just East of Saturn. Saturn is moving towards, opposition in September, and getting brighter and closer.
  • 18th Jupiter is rising in the early hours of the morning at 03:38hrs AEST  at a distance of 831.0 million km, 46.20 light minutes.
  • 19th The Moon is lowest in the sky on this day, at 28 degrees North of the Equator.
  • 21st The North Solstice, the time when the Sun is at it’s furthest point North, occurs at 06:51hrs AEST. This is the shortest day of the year.
  • 27th Second  Lunar Perigee this month not quote as close as on 2nd June. 21:31hr AEST, Dist. 369,288.8km.
  • 29th This day is the latest sunrise of the year.