BarBQ smoke and dust from the picnic crowds put a haze in the atmosphere this Memorial Day Weekend. Early morning skies have been cloudy. I have not had a chance to set up this past weekend, but might get a chance to see a clear sky in the next couple of nights. There are a lot events ahead in the month of June . Saturn, Mars and Venus line up in June sky. The end of May finds the Big Dipper already pivoted around to hang straight down after the last trace of twilight fades out. Look for it high in the northwest. The dim Little Dipper, meanwhile, is now standing almost vertically on its handle-end, Polaris, lower due north.
If the clouds break Tonight, Uranus is 1 degree to the northeast of Jupiter. Look for Uranus with binoculars or a telescope. Jupiter and Uranus can be seen in the pre-dawn sky. Look to the east and hour and a half before sunrise. Saturn stationary in front of Virgo on May 31
Tuesday, Ceres, the largest and first-discovered asteroid, is just south of the Lagoon Nebula in Sagittarius late tonight (once Sagittarius rises into good view), though light from the waning Moon will be in the sky.
Wednesday, High overhead under the curve of the Big Dipper's handle is Canes Venatici, the Hunting Dogs, with several Messier galaxies that you may be able to log with binoculars. M51 is famous though difficult.
Thursday, Mars has now closed to within just 3° of Regulus, and they're almost the same brightness too. Look for this striking color-contrast pair high in the west after dark. Follow them day by day through their June 6th conjunction. The star above them or to their upper right is Gamma Leonis.
Friday, Last-quarter Moon (exact at 6:13 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time). The faint comet C/2009 R1 (McNaught) is nearing its mid-June period of best visibility, low in the northeast just before the start of dawn. You'll need a telescope or (perhaps) binoculars. See article and finder chart.
Cosmic Engineering and the Movement of Stars
2 hours ago