Tour June’s Sky! | April 17th, 2012

This month offers a lovely tapestry of bright evening planets and stars — and two celestial treats.

Before dawn on June 4th, the full Moon slips partially into Earth’s shadow, an eclipse best seen from the western half of the Americas and the Pacific Rim.

How to find Hercules and Corona Borealis
Draw an imaginary line between the bright stars Vega and Arcturus to identify the constellations Hercules and Corona Borealis.
Sky & Telescope diagram
One day later, there's another eclipse of sorts: The planet Venus crosses the face of the Sun, its long-awaited transit. Do not fail to see this if you can, because you won’t get another chance in your lifetime — it won’t happen again until December 2117.

Meanwhile, Mars and Saturn are the two bright planets in the evening sky. They're joined by a host of springtime sparklers, including Arcturus (overhead at dusk) and Vega.

Between Arcturus and Vega lie two lesser-known constellations, Hercules and Corona Borealis. To find them — and many other sky sights during the month — download June's audio sky tour. It's a 6-megabyte MP3 file that's 6½ minutes long.