Warm nights welcome June’s observers. The month where the school year ends and summer vacation begins is the best month to shake down and tune up telescopes, mounts cameras and auto-guiders. This is also a good time to plan a few good observing sessions by making lists of objects you want to see during these months. Doing it now while there is still time avoids the panic and frustration of going out into the field during July and August with equipment that is working sub-optimally.
Summer nights are short and we often wear ourselves out during the long days taking care of those thousands of things Summer demands. A day at the beach, with eyes exposed to bright reflective sand will make for frustrating observations during the dark of night. Try to shield your eyes as best you can.
Insects are constant summer companions and they seem to prefer perfectly still astronomers as easy targets. Repellents and telescope optics are not a good mix. Make sure you use bug spray well away from your equipment.
Do not forget that the Pocket Sky Atlas has Close Up Charts at the back, Chart “C” might be helpful for some objects this month.
I’ve indexed the object to its star chart page.
The Summer Triangle offers a gateway to many interesting objects.
Vega, Page 63; Deneb, Page 62; and Altair, Page 64 make up the triangle. Deneb also anchors the Northern Cross.
Kornephoros, page 54.
Unukalhai, Izar, page 55
Brocchi’s Cluster, (AKA the Coathanger or Collinder 399) page 65
NGC 5846, NGC 5850, (possible photo op), page 55.
NGC 6309, page 56.
NGC 5548, page 57.
B72 Snake Nebula (possible photo op), Page 58.
NGC 6826, Blinking Planetary Page 62.
Small Scopes and Binoculars
M5, page 55.
M10, M12, page 54.
M57, page 63
IC 4665, page 65.
Stock 1, page 64.
NGC 6118, page 56.
NGC 5897, page 57.
IC 4406, page 59 ( this will be very low ).
NGC 6633, page 65.
NGC 6818, page 66.
NGC 6822 Barnard’s Galaxy, page 66.
Published with permission of John Kulczycki, 2012 all rights reserved.
About the Author
I’ve been a freelance writer for more than 20 years, but I’ve been an amateur astronomer for longer than that. Astronomy is the one science that everyone can try and make significant contributions. All you need to do is take the first step and go outside to enjoy then night sky.
I’ll see you there!