What’s visible in June 2013?

British Summer Time came into effect on 31st March 2013 – times below have been adjusted and are in BST!
What's visible in the sky above Liverpool in June 2013? Map is valid for: 1st June 2013 at 00:00 BST 15th June 2013 at 23:00 BST 30th June 2013 at 22:00 BST

What’s visible in the sky above Liverpool in June 2013?
Map is valid for:
1st June 2013 at 00:00 BST
15th June 2013 at 23:00 BST
30th June 2013 at 22:00 BST

The Sun

31st May 2013 5th June 2013 10th June 2013 15th June 2013 20th June 2013 25th June 2013 30th June 2013
Sunrise 04:51 BST 04:47 BST 04:44 BST 04:43 BST 04:43 BST 04:45 BST 04:47 BST
Sunset 21:29 BST 21:35 BST 21:39 BST 21:42 BST 21:44 BST 21:45 BST 21:44 BST

Summer Solstice occurs on Friday, 21st June 2013 at 06:04 BST (05:04 UTC) when the Sun’s apparent Northerly motion in the sky reaches a standstill in Gemini. This is the longest day of the year, and marks the start of Summer in the Northern Hemisphere. After this point, the days start getting shorter and the Sun begins to sink back to the South until the Winter Solstice in December.

The Moon

Simple Lunar Phase: Last Quarter Simple Lunar Phase: New Simple Lunar Phase: First Quarter Simple Lunar Phase: Full Simple Lunar Phase: Last Quarter
Last Quarter New Moon First Quarter Full Moon Last Quarter
Date 31st May 2013 8th June 2013 16th June 2013 23rd June 2013 30th June 2013
Time 19:59 BST 16:57 BST 18:24 BST 12:33 BST 05:54 BST

The Moon reaches Perigee – the closest point in its orbit to us – on 24th June. This particular Perigee is the closest of 2013, with the Moon’s distance being 355,439km – this is less than 21 times the distance from Liverpool, UK to Sydney, NSW, Australia.
Click here to learn more about lunar Perigee and Apogee.

Planets

Mercury

Mercury Venus Moon
Date Time (BST) ALTITUDE ° AZIMUTH ° ALTITUDE ° AZIMUTH ° ALTITUDE ° AZIMUTH °
June 5th 2013 21:25 BST 7.0° 303° 3.7° 307°
June 10th 2013 21:30 BST 6.2° 303° 3.8° 307°
June 11th 2013 21:31 BST 6.2° 302° 4.0° 306° 4.6° 290°
June 12th 2013 21:32 BST 5.8° 302° 4.0° 306° 8.5° 280°
June 15th 2013 21:34 BST 4.5° 303° 3.8° 306°
June 20th 2013 21:36 BST 2.0° 304° 3.7° 305°

Mercury starts the month relatively high in the sky – in fact, higher than Venus – peaking on about June 7th. Its position in the sky is much the same as last month, so the charts given in May 2013’s “What’s Visible?” can be used as a guide along with the more precise table above this paragraph.

Venus

Venus spends most of the month lower in the sky than Mercury, not overtaking it until 21st June when the two planets have a conjunction. Unfortunately they will be quite low in the sky (see table above) and close to the Sun, and this event will be difficult to observe.

Mars

Mars is still lost in the morning twilight during June 2013, and observing it will be quite difficult

Jupiter

Jupiter reaches Solar Conjunction on 19th June and so cannot be observed this month.

Saturn

Saturn passed Opposition on April 28th, however it is still very well placed for observing. Look for it quite high in the South at about 22:00 BST.

Neptune

Neptune is slowly becoming a viable object for observing again, rising at about 01:02 BST by the 15th June 2013. The planet reaches Opposition in August 2013.

The general location in the sky of Neptune on 15th June 2013 at 02:00 BST

The general location in the sky of Neptune on 15th June 2013 at 02:00 BST

The precise location in the sky of Neptune on 15th June 2013 at 02:00 BST

The precise location in the sky of Neptune on 15th June 2013 at 02:00 BST

Asteroids

Near Earth Asteroid 1998 QE2 made its closest approach to Earth on May 31st, and while not a particularly bright object for visual observation at a predicted magnitude of 10.5 to 11, it is of interest to those making radar observations, such as NASA.

Comets

Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON)

Comet ISON spends June within the orbit of Jupiter and outside the orbit of Mars, as it approaches the inner Solar System. It is still extremely faint, and is expected to be so for some time yet.

Comet C/2011 L4 (Pan-STARRS)

Comet C/2011 L4 (Pan-STARRS) begins the month about 6° from Polaris, and during June crosses Ursa Minor and passes into Draco, reducing in (predicted) brightness from about magnitude 9.5 to almost magnitude 11 as it goes.
On 19th June 2013 Comet Pan-STARRS will pass within a degree of the star Kocab (β-Ursae Minoris).

Comet C/2012 F6 (Lemmon)

Comet C/2012 F6 (Lemmon) is very faint now, although much higher in the sky now than it was during May. Between about the 11th and 12th of June, it passes within 5° of M31 (the Andromeda Galaxy).

Meteors

Name of Shower Date of Peak Favourability Notes
Ophiuchids 10th June 2013 Favourable
(Close to New Moon)
First peak.
Expected rates of ~5 meteors/hour.
20th June 2013 Unfavourable
(Close to Full Moon)
Second peak.
Expected rates of ~5 meteors/hour.