Updated: Jun 8
Welcome to June! Here comes Summer with the hottest months of the year! What are some deep sky objects can you photograph tonight? Find out five of our favorite astrophotography targets in the post below.
Below you will find 5 deep sky objects that are at their highest elevation in June. If you don't see a popular object listed below, don't worry! It is most likely featured in a different month as we are doing this guide for every month of the year and are making sure we avoid duplicates.
In order to make sure you find some inspiration no matter your skill level, we will go over three easy objects and will add two more difficult targets for the more experienced amateur astrophotographers at the end.
Make sure to watch our video guide on YouTube for more information and a bit of fun!
Want more inspiration for Summer targets? Read our full guide about the 15 best Summer Astrophotography targets!
5 June Astrophotography targets:
Messier 13 - The Great Hercules Cluster
Messier 24 - The Sagittarius Star Cloud
IC 4592 - The Blue Horsehead Nebula
NGC 6334 - The Cat's Paw Nebula
Rho Ophiuchi is a molecular cloud complex about 400 light years away from Earth. This target is easy to capture wide field without a telescope and is often imaged with a simple DSLR camera and lens on top of a star tracker. To achieve the result below, we used our Canon 50mm lens and tracked the sky using the affordable SkyWatcher Star Adventurer Pro.
Rho Ophiuchi does not rise super high in the horizon, at least from our location in Nevada, so you may want to capture it this month if you haven't already, before it becomes lower and lower.
Messier 13 is one of the brightest and largest globular clusters visible in the northern hemisphere. It is also a great sight through a pair of binoculars. You will need to make sure your mount is perfectly polar aligned and that your guiding is very accurate when you image this cluster. The image below was taken with our $499 reflector telescope.
If you feel like imaging two globular clusters in one night, M13 has a close neighbor that looks very similar to it, Messier 92.
M24, also called the Sagittarius Star Cloud, is not considered a Deep Sky Object but rather just a field of stars. Using a pair of binoculars, the area within the Sagittarius Star Cloud is one of the densest star region in the entire night sky.
The best way to capture M24 is wide-field using a DSLR camera and lens with a tracker. You could also image it with a small telescope and/or do a mosaic if you have the patience!
We have not yet captured M24 ourselves but will update this post when we do!
Not to be confused with the infamous "regular" Horsehead Nebula, The Blue Horsehead Nebula is a magnificent reflection nebula in Scorpius. It is best imaged in LRGB as it does not really have much narrowband gases within.
IC 4592 has been on our bucket list for a long, long time but we never managed to capture it. You can image the Blue Horsehead Nebula widefield with a DSLR camera and telephoto lens, or using a very small telescope. We plan to finally photograph this horse next year with our Meade 70mm APO and QHY128C full frame camera.
We have not yet captured IC 4592 ourselves but will update this post when we do!
In our opinion one of the prettiest nebulae in the night sky, NGC 6334 sadly does not rise much from our location.
If you live South enough, you might be able to capture the beautiful Cat's Paw Nebula. This is a pretty large object that looks magnificent in both the regular RGB palette and in Narrowband. We personally would love to image this one day in the Hubble Palette as seen below.
We have not yet captured NGC 6334 ourselves but will update this post when we do!
And that's it!
Yes, we know, you are wondering where the amazing Summer nebulae like the Eagle Nebula, the Lagoon or the Omega are... It's most likely in next month's guide :)
Make sure to read our pick for the TOP 15 Summer Astrophotography Targets if you want to see more great objects for this season.
Did you capture any of the targets listed above? Add them to the comments section and give others some motivation!
GALACTIC HUNTER BOOKS
Description: Discover 60 Deep Sky Objects that will considerably improve your Imaging and Processing skills! Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced astrophotographer, this detailed book of the best deep sky objects will serve as a personal guide for years to come! Discover which star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies are the easiest and most impressive to photograph for each season. Learn how to find each object in the night sky, and read our recommendations on imaging them in a quick and comprehensive way. Each target in this guide contains our advice on imaging, photos of expected results, and a useful information table. We've also included a few cool facts about each target, a map to find it in the night sky, and more!
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Description: The Constellations Handbook is a logical guide to learning the 88 constellations. Learning the constellations is difficult. Remembering them is even harder. Have you ever wanted to look up to the night sky, name any pattern of stars and be able to tell their stories? This book groups the constellations in a logical order, so that the reader can easily learn them by their origin, and see how their stories interact with one another as a group. The last pages of this book include an index of all 88 constellations, each with a slot where you can write your own personal tips and tricks in order to memorize them with ease. The Constellations Handbook is not just another guide listing all the constellations from A to Z and their location, it is the perfect companion for stargazing, and a learning journey through the ages.