You can hardly call the period between sunset and sunrise "night" in Northumberland. Between early May and early August it never gets completely dark. But still. There are things to see despite the encroaching twilight. Here is the sky for this month.
Venus and Jupiter are the brightest planets in the sky at the moment. Venus is over in the northwest just after sunset and is visible for a couple of hours before it sets. Jupiter is in the southern sky in the constellation Libra. It too is visible as soon as the sky darkens after sunset. Saturn can be found very low in the southeast after midnight. Telescopes will show the rings easily enough but at such low altitude it will be difficult to make out detail (such as the Cassini ring division) or markings on the disk. Titan and Rhea - the largest and brightest moons - should be visible without a problem. The planet Mars rises a couple of hours after Saturn. Although very low in the sky - it is bright and getting brighter. Mars will be at opposition at the end of July and at its closest to Earth since 2003.
Noctilucent clouds (NLCs) are the highest clouds in our atmosphere and they appear during the summer months around poles. Northern NLC season has started already; the AIM satellite has detected the first clouds of the summer during late May and ground sightings are now coming in. You can read more about NLCs in a blog article at NASTRO I wrote a couple of years ago.
During the month I'll focus on some of the stars and constellations visible during these short summer evenings.
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Dr Adrian Jannetta. Amateur astronomer, maths teacher and science enthusiast.