By Jim Katsifolis

    Hello Star Gazers!

    If you, like me, are fascinated with the night sky then I hope you’ll enjoy our new addition to The Westsider. Each month the Astronomical Society of Victoria (ASV) will share with a map of the night sky detailing the location of all the planets so that you too can be a (citizen) astronomer. Enjoy!


    Mercury (in Aries) can be seen at 15˚ above the north-eastern horizon as morning twilight breaks in early June. It will look like a waxing crescent disc as it moves towards the Sun but will eventually be lost in its glare. It won’t be visible again till mid-July.

    On June 2nd Venus (in Cancer) will be sitting 25˚ above the western horizon an hour after sunset as a bright waning half-lit disc. As we move through June, Venus slowly edges closer to Mars reaching its greatest illumination on 8th July appearing as a waning crescent disc.

    In the early evening sky in early June, Mars (in Cancer) will be seen just above Venus, 30˚ above the north-western horizon, and just below the Beehive Cluster. The red planet continues to trek eastwards dimming slightly and by the end of July you’ll be able to enjoy the planetary dance between Venus, Mars and Mercury, with the help of some binoculars.

    Jupiter (in Aries) rises as a pre-dawn object in the East about 3 hours before the sunrise in early June, sitting well above Mercury. Keep your eye on this one because in July we’ll tell you how to check out its equatorial bulge, latitudinal bands and the Galilean moon dance.

    Saturn (in Aquarius) rises in the east before midnight in early June, and makes for a beautiful sight as it climbs into the north-eastern sky.

    Uranus (in Aries) rises after Jupiter in the north-eastern sky two and a half hours before sunrise in early June, but won’t be at viewing altitudes while the sky is still dark till late July and well into August.

    Rising 2 hours after Saturn, Neptune (in Pisces) rises in the east 90 mins after midnight in early June, reaching good viewing altitudes a few hours later as we approach morning twilight. You should be able to make out its blueish tinge through an 8 inch or larger telescope aperture.

    The Sun
    Keep an eye on the SOHO website ( for up-to-date information on solar phenomena.

    The Earth reaches the Winter solstice on June 22nd at 1am.

    The moon will be full on June 4th, waning to its 3rd quarter on June 11th, to a new moon on June 18th, and then to its 1st quarter on June 26.

    Details of night map: As seen from Melbourne at 9pm, 15 June 2023.

    Credit: Star chart generated by Starry Night Pro Plus 8.1 © Copyright Simulation Curriculum Corp. All rights reserved.

    Check out the first of our monthly maps of the night sky shared by the Astronomical Society of Victoria … now you too can be a citizen astronomer!

    Our content is a labour of love, crafted by dedicated volunteers who are passionate about the west. We encourage submissions from our community, particularly stories about your own experiences, family history, local issues, your suburb, community events, local history, human interest stories, food, the arts, and environmental matters. Below are articles created by community contributors. You can find their names in the bylines.

    Your feedback

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here



    Latest Articles

    Latest edition

    #98 July 2024

    Recent editions


    Become a supporter

    The Westsider is run on the power of volunteers. Your contribution directly contributes to ensuring we can continue serving and celebrating our community.

    Related articles