Tonight's Sky - Kirkpatrick Planetarium at Science Museum Oklahoma
Tonight's Sky - Kirkpatrick Planetarium at Science Museum Oklahoma

Tonight's Sky

Explore the night sky each month with Kirkpatrick Planetarium Director Tom Arnold! Each month Tom will provide a sky chart, created using Digistar Technology, and a viewing guide with labeled constellations that are visible from inside Oklahoma City. You’ll be able to locate which prominent stars and planets are located in the evening sky and learn about the month’s astronomical events.
 
Tom has had a life-long passion for the night sky, with his early fascination leading to a professional career in astronomy. Whether you consider yourself an astronomer or not, we hope that by exploring Oklahoma’s night sky and learning how to identify stars and constellations, you find a similar sense of wonder. Below you will find information to discover our universe, just by looking up. 

To use the monthly star chart, hold the chart overhead, with the chart’s north marker pointing north.

Download the chart!

Tonight's Sky: Mars

The Sky in June

Wed. 2nd Last Quarter Moon
Thurs. 10th New Moon (Annular Solar Eclipse in Canada: Quebec & Ontario)
Sun. 13th Mars just south of the Moon
Fri. 18th First Quarter Moon
Mon. 21st Summer Solstice (Summer begins & longest daylight hours of the year.)
Wed. 26th Mars is in Cancer in the Beehive Open Cluster.
Thurs. 24th Full Moon
Mon. 28th Saturn just north of the Moon

 

Saturn - Tonight's Sky - Kirkpatrick Planetarium

The Planets in June

Mercury
Mercury is too close to the sun to be seen this month.

Venus
Venus will shine brightly in the west after sunset this month, setting about 90 minutes later. On June 11 and 12, it will be near the crescent moon.

Mars
Mars will be low in the WNW evening sky and moving out of Gemini into Cancer, passing into the open cluster of the Beehive on June 23.

Jupiter
Jupiter will dominate the morning sky this month in Aquarius, rising five hours before sunrise on June 30.  

Saturn
Saturn is also a morning planet this month in the constellation of Capricorn and will be close to the moon on June 28.

Celestial Object of the Month: The Milky Way

Normally seen as a hazy band of light under dark skies, the Milky Way galaxy is the home for our planet, sun and solar system as well as hundreds of billions of other stars and planets. About three-fourths of the way out from the center is the location of our solar system, far from the intense radiation and dense star clouds of the central core.

During the summer it can be seen in the evening sky far from city lights, with the brightest part well above the southern horizon this month. This bright mass is created by the vast star clouds toward the center of the galaxy and is home to a massive black hole possibly four million times the mass of our sun.

Our galaxy is around one hundred thousand light-years across, fifty thousand light-years thick and classified as a barred spiral among galaxy types.

The reddish color seen in the photograph is due to enormous clouds of hydrogen gas and represents the birthplaces of stars. The large mass seen of the lower right is the core of the Milky Way. On the top, just left of center is a bluish fork of stars that are part of the giant Cygnus arm of the galaxy. Normally seen visually as a hazy band of light, long exposure photography will reveal the Milky Way in all its splendor.