In Manx skies... June 2018 ~ compiled by Dave Storey


13th at 19.44h

First Quarter
20th at 10.52h

28th at 04.54h

Last Quarter
6th at 18.33h

© Copyright

Note: All times are Universal Time (UT)
British Summer Time is now in force. Remember to add 1 hour to any times quoted here to get local IoM time.

Summer Solstice occurs 21st at 10h08m.

There are no Lunar or Solar eclipses this month.


Solar activity is low with solar cycle 24 now in force.


Carrington's Solar Rotation number 2205 starts on the 12th at 15h53m22s.


Is at superior conjunction on the 6th when it passes less than 1° north of the Sun. It will therefore not be visible during the first half of the month being so close to the Sun. It may be possible to locate the planet in the bright twilight sky, low down in the west using a pair of binoculars during the second half of the month. On the evening of the 27th, Mercury will be in a line that joins the two bright stars of Gemini, namely Castor and Pollux.


Will be easily visible in the western sky after sunset, shining at magnitude -3.9 to -4.1. A crescent Moon (14% illuminated) will be 6° to the left of Venus on the evening of the 16th and should be a nice view through binoculars. See the open star cluster Messier 44 upper right of the Moon on the same night. You will need to use binoculars to see the cluster due to the bright twilight sky.


Is in the constellation Capricornus throughout the month, shining at magnitude -1.2 to -2.2.
The disc of the planet as seen through a telescope will increase in apparent diameter from 15.3 to 21.0 arc seconds. The planet is low down in Manx skies and the image as seen through a telescope will be somewhat degraded due to poor seeing conditions. You may however glimpse some of the dusky shadings on the planet.


Rises at 17.58h (in daylight) on the 1st, shining at magnitude -2.5 in the constellation Libra. By the end of the month, the planet will rise mid afternoon and will be past the meridian by the time darkness falls.

The Great Red Spot may be seen using a telescope in good seeing conditions. Using a light blue filter with an eyepiece will help. Opportunities to see the Great Red Spot from Mann occur on a regular
basis. Click here for suitable dates and times.

As the moons orbit Jupiter, there are occasions when the shadow of the moons can be seen upon the surface of Jupiter and the moons can transit across Jupiter's disc. Also, the moons can be seen to be occulted or eclipsed by Jupiter. There are many events throughout the month. See periodicals such as the BAA Handbook, Astronomy Now and Sky at Night magazines for listings.

To help you identify the moons at any particular time, Sky and Telescope have a Java tool that will plot the moon positions. Click Here.


Is at opposition this month on the 27th in Sagittarius. It will be shining at magnitude -0.0
On the 28
th, the very near Full Moon is 2.8° upper right of Saturn.

The brightest moon of Saturn, Titan will be east of the planet on 13th ,14th ,15th 16th ,29th and 30th . It will be west of the planet on 6th ,7th ,8th ,22nd ,23rd and 24th . A telescope will be required to see this moon, shining at magnitude +8.5.


Ophiuchid meteors are active from May to July with two peaks of activity on the 10th and 20th this month. The shower is weak with only 5 meteors per hour at best (ZHR). Radiant for the peak on the 10th is at RA 17h56m Dec. -23° and the radiant for the 20th is at RA 17h20m Dec. -20°.

(Stars Brighter than Magnitude +6.0)

Date Time            ZC#    SAO#           Magnitude. P.A.  Type of event.    Notes

24     23.23:07     2247   159466        5.4             099°   DD     eta Libra
28     22.39:26     2779   187643        3.8             231°   RD     omicron Sgr. D*

For a very detailed list of occultations visible this month, click here. (Data from Occult Software)

Times are UT as seen from IoMAS Observatory. Start to observe these events about 20 minutes before the above times to allow for differences in your latitude and longitude. This will give you time to locate the star that is about to be occulted.

ZC = Zodiacal Catalogue. Type of Event DD = disappearance at dark limb, RD = Reappearance at dark limb. RB = Reappearance on bright limb. PA = Position Angle around limb of the Moon, where 0 degrees is north, 90 degrees is east, 180 degrees is south and 270 degrees is west.
D* = Double Star M*=Multiple Star

The above predictions were calculated from Occult software by David Herald. More information regarding this software may be found at the web site.

Noctilucent Clouds

June is a month where noctilucent clouds may be seen in the northern skies. They appear as glowing electric blue clouds in the middle of the night and some displays can be vary bright. These clouds are at very high altitudes, around 80 km high and it is this high altitude that makes them glow with sunlight illuminating them from below the northern horizon. On the web site, there is a graphic showing showing latest observations from AIM satellite, sent up to investigate these mysterious clouds.


This star drops from magnitude +2.1 to +3.4 in about 5 hours. There are no suitable dates for observing this month. Click here for a star chart for Algol.


There are no predicted bright comets this month.


The international Space Station crosses the Manx skies on a regular basis. For the latest information on when the ISS is due to pass across the sky over the next ten days, visit the link below.

ISS transit Information from Heavens

Bibliography for Manx Night Skies

The Handbook of the British Astronomical Association 2018. BAA. 2017
2018 Stargazing. Heather Couper & Nigel Henbest. Philip's 2017
2018 Guide to the Night Sky. Storm Dunlop & Wil Tirion. Collins 2017
Yearbook of Astronomy 2018. Brian Jones/Richard Pearson. Pen & Sword White Owl. 2017

Observer's Handbook Meteors. Neil Bone. Philip's 1993
Atlas of the Night Sky. Storm Dunlop. Collins. 2005
Constellations. Josef Klepešta and Antonin Rükl. Hamlyn. 1979
Brilliant Stars. Patrick Moore. The Book People Ltd. 1996
Complete Guide to Stargazing. Robin Scagell. Phillip's. 2006
Turn Left at Orion. Guy Consolmango and Dan M. Davis. Cambridge U.P. 2008
Norton's 2000.0 Edited Ian Ridpath. Longman Scientific & Technical. 1989

Planetary data derived from Guide 9 Software.
Picture graphics derived from Stellarium and Guide 9 Software.