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See what's up in the night sky for Julyincluding stargazing events and the moon's phasesin this Space. The moon will officially reach its third quarter phase at p. At third quarter our natural satellite always appears half-illuminated, on its western side - towards the pre-dawn sun. It rises in the middle of the night and remains visible in the southern sky all morning. The name for this phase reflects the fact that the moon has completed three quarters of its orbit around Earth, measuring from the new moon.
The ensuing week of moonless evening skies will be ideal for observing deep sky Break in that fishing pole meteor shower tonight. When the waning crescent moon rises in the east at about 2 a. Try to find the planet before about a. After that, the brightening dawn sky will overwhelm it, but will leave the moon visible.
During much of July Mercury will be visible in the pre-dawn sky. On Sunday, July 4, the swiftly-moving planet will reach a maximum angle of 22 degrees west of the sun, and peak visibility for its morning apparition. The best time to see the planet will come just before 5 a. On Monday, July 5 at 6 p. The aphelion distance of 94, miles For a brief period before sunrise on Thursday, July 8, the slim crescent of the old, waning moon will be positioned several finger widths to the left or 4 degrees to the celestial northeast of the bright dot of Mercury.
Look for the pair sitting very low over the east-northeastern horizon from the time they rise at about a. The moon and Mercury will be close enough to see them together through binoculars red circle - but turn your optics away before the sun rises.
The moon will officially reach its new phase on Friday, July 9 at p. While new, the moon is travelling between Earth and the sun. Since sunlight can only reach the far side of the moon, and the moon is in the same region of the sky as the sun, the moon becomes unobservable from anywhere on Earth for about a day except during a solar eclipse. Before they set at about 10 p. On the evenings surrounding Monday, July 12, extremely bright Venus and much fainter Mars will meet in a very close conjunction quite low in the west-northwestern sky.
While both planets have been traveling eastward in their orbits red tracks with labelled dates:timesthe faster motion of inner planet Venus will cause it to catch up to and pass slower-moving Mars from tonight to tomorrow. Look closely! From a location with an unobstructed horizon, start to look for the planets after about 9 p. Binoculars red circle will help — but use them only after the sun has completely set.
Several times a year, for a few hours near its first quarter phase, a feature on the moon called the Lunar X becomes visible in strong binoculars and backyard telescopes. When the rims of the craters Purbach, la Caille, and Blanchinus are illuminated from a particular angle of sunlight, they form a small, bright X-shape.
The peak will be during waning daylight for observers in the eastern Americas - but you can observe the moon in a telescope during daytime, as long as you take care to avoid the sun. The Lunar X will be visible anywhere on Earth where the moon is shining, especially in a dark sky, between and GMT on July When the moon completes the first quarter of its orbit around Earth at a. EDT on Saturday, July 17 or GMT its 90 degree angle away from the sun will cause us to see the moon half-illuminated - on its eastern side.
At first quarter, the moon always rises around mid-day and sets around midnight, so it is also visible in the afternoon daytime sky. The evenings surrounding first quarter are the best ones for seeing the lunar terrain when it is dramatically lit by low-angled sunlight, especially along the terminator, the pole-to-pole boundary between the lit and dark hemispheres. On Saturday, July 17, the dim and distant dwarf planet deated Pluto will reach opposition for On that date, the Earth will be positioned between Pluto and the sun, minimizing our distance from that outer world.
While at opposition, Pluto will be located 3. Telescope-owners inset, yellow circle can focus on a magnitude 7. On Sunday, July 18, the main belt asteroid deated 2 Pallas will halt its regular eastward motion in front of the distant stars, and begin a retrograde loop that will last until early November red path.
On July 18 Pallas will be positioned in the Break in that fishing pole meteor shower tonight sky, less than half a degree to the right or celestial south of the magnitude 6. The asteroid and those stars will appear together in the eyepiece of your telescope. Later missions landed in more rugged regions with complex geology. When the moon approaches the full phase, all of the regions where the astronauts explored are illuminated by sunlight, including the most westerly site, Apollo 12 in Oceanus Procellarum.
For about an hour after sunset on Wednesday, July 21, and very low in the west-northwestern sky, the very bright planet Venus will gleam above the prominent double star Regulus in Leo. Magnitude The duo will be observable in binoculars red circlewith Mars to their lower right, for the entire week. Ensure that the sun has set fully before pointing optics towards the western horizon. The moon will reach its full phase on Friday, July 23 at p.
Because the moon is full when it is opposite the sun in the sky, full moons always rise in the east as the sun is setting, and set in the west at sunrise. Since sunlight is striking the moon vertically at that time, no shadows are cast; all of the variations in brightness you see arise from differences in the reflectivity, or albedo, of the lunar surface rocks. After they finish rising around p. The pair will be visible together in binoculars all night long after they rise in the east-southeast at about 10 p.
The scene will make another nice wide-field photo opportunity by adding Saturn well off to their right. It will peak before dawn on Thursday, July 29, but it is quite active for a week surrounding that date. Unfortunately, the bright gibbous moon shining in the night-time sky on the peak date will severely reduce the of meteors seen — so continue your meteor-watching on the following few nights, when the moon will wane and rise later. White-colored Regulus will shine slightly brighter than reddish Mars. Observers viewing from equatorial and Southern Hemisphere latitudes will see them higher, and in a darker sky.
On Thursday, July 29, observers with telescopes in Central Europe, the Middle East, and most of Asia can see two shadows crossing Jupiter at the same time. At p. About 35 minutes later, at p. For the second time in July, the moon will officially reach its third quarter phase - at a. our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more!
And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community space. Current : The July Night Sky. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer. Chris Vaughan. See all comments 1. I have been tracking and viewing 4 Vesta since Nov when it was in Taurus moving retrograde. I use 10x50 binoculars and my telescope at 31x with a Telrad.
Much fun watching the heliocentric solar system in motion : 4 Vesta distance is slowly increasing from Earth, thus the asteroid is gradually becoming fainter, now near 6.Break in that fishing pole meteor shower tonight
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