This month starts and ends with a new Moon (first and thirtieth), and a last glimpse of Venus as a morning "star." Mars and Jupiter (in Pisces) remain in the pre-dawn sky and Saturn is our sole evening "star," in Virgo, and near bright Spica. Aphelion (the farthest planet Earth is from the Sun) occurs on July 4.


Speaking of Spica, that star forms the southern-most end of a line of "pointer stars," from the "handle" of the Big Dipper (Ursa Major the big bear) through Arcturus, in Bootes (the herdsman) and ending at Spica. Notable constellations this month include the Corona Borealis (the Northern Crown), between Arcturus and Vega, in Lyra (the harp). Draco (the dragon) skirts the northern perimeter. Nearer the southern horizon is Scorpio (the scorpion), with its reddish star, Antares. Other zodiacal constellations of the scorpion are the nebulas of M6 and M7, easily visible through binoculars. See you next month!