Between the brightest star in the skies this evening, Arcturus, high in the south at 10:30 PM, and the second brightest, Vega, slightly lower in the east, the faint stars of Hercules offer a challenge to view. Many people look for the bowtie pattern, marking his knees to the upper left, and his shoulders to the lower right.

June starts with all the visible planets either in the Sun’s glare, or visible in the early mornings, the earliest of the year. Tomorrow morning, starting shortly after 3 o’clock, the thinning Crescent Moon joins the red planet Mars, the pair lifting higher for better views near 4 o’clock, then fading in the brightening blush of morning twilight.

Early risers will catch Mars to the right of a very thin waning Crescent Moon, best viewed from 3:50 to 4:10 AM, while the much brighter Saturn looks on well to the right, about one quarter of the way up in the southeast. Saturn rises about 4 minutes earlier each night, just before midnight by the end of the month.