From a Planet Pyramid to a Strawberry Moon — Here Are 6 Can’t-miss Astro Events This Month

There's so much in store for June's night sky.

Getty Images
Getty Images

We’ve had quite a showing of planets in the first half of the year, and June’s lineup shows no signs of slowing. The month brims with night-sky and early-morning sights, from a moon and Saturn meetup the weekend of June 9, to a pyramid of two planets and the moon just after sunset on June 21.

Speaking of June 21, this month marks the official start of summer in the northern hemisphere — peruse our favorite 2023 summer getaways if you’re planning a warm-weather escape.

Ready to kick off your month of stargazing? Here are June’s hottest astro happenings.

June 3: Venus reaches greatest eastern elongation

After sunset on June 3, Venus will hover at its furthest separation from the sun — 45 degrees east of it — making this a perfect night to spot our solar system’s brightest planet. Look toward sunset to catch it, according to It will be at its official greatest elongation at 3 a.m. EST on June 4. Twilight is the best time to admire its full glow; according to stargazing app SkySafari, it will brighten even more between now and August.

June 3: Full Strawberry Moon

Don’t miss the month’s full moon, known as the strawberry moon — a nickname it earned from the Indigenous Algonquian, Ojibwe, Dakota, and Lakota communities. They named the month’s moon after June’s prolific strawberry harvests, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Unfortunately, the name doesn’t correlate with the color — but we will welcome the year’s first supermoon next month, on July 3.

June 9: A Moon and Saturn Meet-up

Before dawn the morning of Friday, June 9, stargazers can watch the gibbous moon and Saturn travel within 10 degrees (or the diameter of a fist) of each other, according to SkySafari. It’s the perfect distance to snap a photo of the meet-up, while the following morning, June 10, will provide an even better vantage point. At that point, you can simultaneously catch the moon and Saturn in your stargazing binoculars.

June 20: Crescent Moon, Venus, and Mars Hang Out After Sunset

While many of the month’s best planet sightings require an early wakeup, you can catch the dramatic crescent moon, Venus, and Mars all at once just after sunset on June 20. The moon will move out of frame by around 10 p.m. ET. Look low in the western sky to find them.

June 21: Summer Solstice

It’s officially summer in the northern hemisphere — a celebration of the sun crossing its northernmost route in the sky, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac. It’s the day with the longest stretch of sunlight, and one that’s been celebrated for time immemorial. Some of the best-known summer solstice events include Stonehenge in England and Fairbanks, Alaska, home to the Midnight Sun Festival, which takes place on June 24 this year. Summer solstice brings the all-hours midnight sun to Arctic destinations like Iceland and Norway, while in the southern hemisphere, June 21 marks the beginning of winter.

June 21: A Moon, Mars, and Venus pyramid

Summer solstice isn’t the only happening on June 21. This evening, look to the western sky for a view of the waxing crescent moon, Venus, and Mars creating a wide night-sky pyramid. According to SkySafari, stargazers in the Americas can view the trio at once via binoculars, with Mars on the left, Venus at the bottom, and the moon as the point on the triangle’s right. You can admire the moon and Venus right after sunset, but you’ll need to wait for the skies to darken for bright-orange Mars to emerge. The planet pyramid will stick around until around 11 p.m. when it sinks beneath the horizon.

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