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5 June Astrophotography Targets to Photograph this Month

Things are heating up in June! With summer just around the corner bringing the hottest months of the year, you want to be prepared. Before you set out on the field, have a plan in mind for what image with our suggestions for June astrophotography targets. Find out what they are below!

Best Astrophotography Targets for June

Below are 5 deep-sky objects that are at their highest elevation in June. This is another installment of our special monthly series to help you figure out what to image tonight. For each month we have a list of ideas that you can view for a convenient and quick decision.

Out of the suggestions we put together, the first three objects are easy to photograph for beginners, and we've included two more challenging suggestions for experienced astrophotographers toward the end. There's something for everyone to try out!

5 June astrophotography targets:

  1. Rho Ophiuchi

  2. Messier 13 - The Great Hercules Cluster

  3. Messier 24 - The Sagittarius Star Cloud

  4. IC 4592 - The Blue Horsehead Nebula

  5. NGC 6334 - The Cat's Paw Nebula


Rho Ophiuchi

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.

Rho Ophiuchi Astrophotography with a 50mm lens and star tracker


Messier 13 - The Great Hercules Cluster

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 an Orion 8" 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.

Messier 13 Astrophotography


Messier 24 - The Sagittarius Star Cloud

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 regions 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!

M24 wide field Astrophotography
M24 by Tomas Mazon


IC 4592 - The Blue Horsehead Nebula

Not to be confused with the 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 many narrowband gases within.

One of the most beautiful features of the Blue Horsehead Nebula is a second, much smaller nebula that lies near the "ear" of the horse. We finally had a chance to photograph this horse when Antoine made a solo trip to Death Valley. Due to equipment issues, he did not spend as much time as he wanted but got a stunning result regardless. He used a Meade 70mm APO telescope and QHY600C camera.

The Blue Horsehead Nebula Astrophotography


NGC 6334 - The Cat's Paw Nebula

In our opinion, this is one of the prettiest nebulae in the night sky. When you see NGC 6334, you will know exactly what we mean. Sadly, it does not rise high where we live to get a proper image.

If you live further south of the Las Vegas latitude, you might be lucky enough to capture the insanely gorgeous Cat's Paw Nebula. This is a large object that looks magnificent in both the regular RGB palette and in narrowband. We would love to photograph 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!

The Cat's Paw Nebula Astrophotography wide field
NGC 6334 by George Varouhakis


Final Thoughts

That wraps up the June astrophotography targets, but more summer targets are on the way. If you didn't see a summer favorite, don't worry they're coming! Check out next month's post to see a new list of deep-sky objects you can photograph.

If you'd like a more substantial list of objects, take a look at our top picks for the 15 best summer astrophotography targets.

As always, bookmark this page to come back at a later time and check off every suggestion. If you happen to capture any of the targets listed above, share them in the comments section and give others some motivation!

Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to stay up to date with our work!

Clear Skies,

Galactic Hunter





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