The solstice sky features the moon and two planets
The June solstice arrives at 14:58 UTC (9:58 AM UTC) today, June 21, 2023. The June solstice marks the first day of summer to the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of winter to the Southern Hemisphere. As you wait during one of the longest days of the year in the north for the skies to darken, you will first spot the crescent moon, followed by the bright light of Venus. Once the sky gets a little darker, you’ll finally spot the final member of this cosmic trio, reddish Mars.
You may also recognize some bright stars nearby. First, look toward the northwest horizon to spot Pollux and Castor in the Gemini Twins before they turn away. Then, in the opposite direction (up and to the southeast), you can spot Regulus in Leo the Lion.
Star chart for the June solstice
Our charts are mostly set for the Northern Hemisphere. To see an accurate view of your location, try Stellarium online. If you were in the Southern Hemisphere on the June solstice, this lineup would tilt in the opposite direction, from lower left to upper right. You can still look for Depression Castor and Pollux near the northwest horizon, followed by the Moon, Venus, Mars, and finally Regulus.
If you get a great picture of this solstice sky, send it to us! Submit your photo to the EarthSky community photo gallery.
Bottom line: On the June solstice, look west to spot a crescent moon near bright Venus and dull, reddish Mars. This cosmic trio is a delight in the solstice sky.
For more videos of amazing night sky events, visit EarthSky YouTube page.
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