The earliest sunrises of the year take place this week, before the longest days of the year. The Earth is farther from the Sun in June, causing it to orbit a little slower. However, it still spins on its axis at the same speed. That means it turns and faces the Sun a little more quickly, helping it to rise and shine earlier.

Facing northwest this evening, you can view the Big Dipper, or its more fleshed-out constellation version, Ursa Major, which appears to be diving toward the horizon. It’s trajectory will flatten out through the night, seemingly coming to rest along the northern horizon by morning.

This evening will find the moon half illuminated and will also see the moon reach its monthly apogee, the farthest it will get from the earth during its current cycle. The half moon will be visible in the southwest late this afternoon, and will set in the west at about 1:15 AM.