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Exploring the Night Sky in June 2024: A Stargazer’s Guide to Southeastern Spain

Greetings, fellow star enthusiasts! It’s June 2024, and I’m thrilled to invite you on a celestial journey through the night skies of southeastern Spain. As the warm summer nights embrace us, the heavens above are set to put on a spectacular show. Whether you’re an experienced astronomer or just beginning to explore the stars, there’s something magical waiting for you. Let’s dive into what we can look forward to this month.

Constellations to Watch

As darkness falls and the first stars appear, one of my favourite activities is identifying the constellations that grace our night sky. In the west, you can spot Leo, the Lion. Leo’s regal shape is unmistakable, with the bright star Regulus marking its heart. I remember the first time I found Leo—it felt like discovering a hidden treasure!

Facing south, you’ll see Scorpius, the Scorpion, with its bright, reddish star Antares shining like a fiery heart. To the east of Scorpius lies Sagittarius, the Archer. This constellation’s teapot shape is not just charming but also a gateway to the Milky Way’s core. Every time I see Sagittarius, I feel a sense of connection to our galaxy’s vastness.lep cpnstellationHigh above, Bootes, the Herdsman, watches over with Arcturus leading the way. Nearby, the Northern Crown or Corona Borealis, arcs gracefully with Alphecca at its center. As you look northeast, the constellation Lyra rises, with Vega, one of the brightest stars in the sky, heralding the coming summer. Vega is always a comforting presence, almost like a celestial lighthouse.

Deep Space Treasures

One of my favorite things about stargazing in June is exploring deep space objects. With a telescope, the universe opens up in ways that never cease to amaze me.

  • The Great Hercules Cluster (M13): This globular cluster,  located in Hercules, is a personal favorite. It’s a dense ball of stars that looks like a sprinkle of cosmic glitter through binoculars. With a telescope, you can see individual stars twinkling like diamonds.
  • The Ring Nebula (M57): In the constellation Lyra, this planetary nebula looks like a tiny smoke ring. It’s the remains of a star much like our Sun, offering a glimpse into our solar system’s distant future.
  • The Lagoon Nebula (M8): Found in Sagittarius, this stellar nursery is where new stars are born. Its vibrant colors and intricate structures are breathtaking through a telescope. I can spend hours just marveling at its beauty.
  • The Butterfly Cluster (M6): This open cluster in Scorpius truly resembles a butterfly with outstretched wings. It’s a delightful sight through binoculars or a low-power telescope and always brings a smile to my face.

Galaxies to Discover

June is also a fantastic month for galaxy hunting. With a telescope, you can explore these distant island universes:

  • The Whirlpool Galaxy (M51): Located near the constellation Canes Venatici, M51 is a stunning spiral galaxy that appears as a swirling pair of galaxies. It’s a spectacular sight through a medium to large telescope.
  • Bode’s Galaxy (M81) and Cigar Galaxy (M82): Found in the constellation Ursa Major, M81 is a beautiful spiral galaxy, while M82 is an irregular galaxy with a starburst core. These two galaxies are close enough to be seen in the same field of view through a wide-angle eyepiece.
  • The Sombrero Galaxy (M104): Situated in the constellation Virgo, M104 gets its name from its resemblance to a sombrero hat, with a bright nucleus and a prominent dust lane. It’s a stunning galaxy to observe, especially under dark skies. 

The Splendor of the Milky Way

June is also an ideal time to marvel at the splendor of our very own Milky Way galaxy. As the night progresses, the Milky Way stretches across the sky from the southeast to the northwest, creating a luminous river of stars. In southeastern Spain, with its low light pollution, the Milky Way appears especially vivid, revealing the intricate dust lanes and star clouds that make up its structure. Lying on a blanket and gazing up at this celestial panorama, you can easily see why our ancestors were so captivated by the night sky. The central region of the Milky Way, near Sagittarius, is particularly rich in star clusters and nebulae, making it a treasure trove for telescope observations.

Lunar Phases and the Full Moon

The Moon adds another layer of enchantment to our nights. This month, the full moon will grace us on June 21, 2024. Its silver light transforms the landscape into a dreamscape, perfect for moonlit strolls and photography. For the best stargazing, especially for deep space objects, plan your sessions around the new moon on June 6, 2024, when the sky is at its darkest.

Special Events

June also brings some special celestial events that are sure to add excitement to our stargazing adventures:

  • June 14: Conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter – In the pre-dawn sky, the Moon will appear near Jupiter in the eastern sky, providing a striking visual pairing.
  • June 21: Summer Solstice – Marking the longest day and shortest night of the year, the summer solstice is an excellent time for evening stargazing celebrations as the sun sets late into the evening.
  • June 23: Conjunction of the Moon and Venus – Just after sunset, look to the west to see the Moon and Venus appearing close together. Venus, the “Evening Star,” shines brilliantly, making this conjunction particularly stunning.
  • June 27: Conjunction of the Moon and Mars – In the early morning hours, the Moon will appear near Mars in the eastern sky, offering another beautiful conjunction to enjoy.


June 2024 offers a celestial feast for us stargazers in southeastern Spain. From the prominent constellations to stunning deep space objects, and the special events that punctuate the nights, there’s so much to enjoy. So grab your telescope, find a cozy spot under the stars, and let’s get lost in the wonders of the universe together. Happy stargazing!

For more tips, events, and stargazing guides, stay tuned to the Astronomy Tours blog. Clear skies, my friends!


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