What’s Up in the July Sky

Evening sky, looking south at 22:00 EDT on Saturday, 04 July 2020. Sky Safari star chart annotated (Annotable, Pixelmator & Graphic) by Peter Tagatac

July’s Evening Planets:

Bright Jupiter and dwarf Pluto will be Sagittarius the Archer all night. Saturn will be between Capricornus the Sea-Goat and Sagittarius the Archer. Neptune is in Aquarius the Water bearer as of midnight and rising earlier every night.

July’s Evening Stars:

Spot the Summer Triangle of Vega in Lyra the Harp, Deneb in Cygnus the Swan, and Altair in Aquila the Eagle all night. See Spica in Virgo the Virgin, Antares in Scorpius the Scorpion, and Arcturus in Boötes the Herdsman. Also find the stars of constellations Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Pegasus,   Draco, Virgo, Sagittarius, Libra, Leo, Hercules, Ophiuchus, Ursa Major and Ursa Minor (the Big and Little Dippers).

July’s Morning Planets:

Bright Venus will be in Taurus the Bull as of 4 AM and rising earlier every day until 2 AM by the end of the month. Red Mars will be in Pisces the Fish as of midnight every night.  Saturn will be between Capricornus the Sea-Goat and Sagittarius the Archer. Jupiter will be in Sagittarius the Archer until dawn. In the second half of July, Mercury will be in Gemini the Twins as of 5 AM until sunrise.

Neptune is in Aquarius the Water bearer and Uranus will be in Pisces the Fish until sunrise. Dwarf Pluto will be Sagittarius the Archer until around 5 AM.

July’s Morning Stars:

Find the Summer Triangle of Vega in Lyra the Harp, Deneb in Cygnus the Swan, and Altair in Aquila the Eagle. Look for Capella in Auriga the Charioteer, Aldebaran in Taurus the Bull, along with the stars of constellations Lyra, Hercules, Aquarius, Capricornus, Cetus, Aries, Pegasus, Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Andromeda, Perseus, Draco, Ursa Major and Ursa Minor (the Big and Little Dippers).

July Skylights

  • July   5 Full Moon at 12:45 AM
    • Partial penumbral eclipse, Moon slightly darker
  • July   4 Earth at Aphelion (94.5 million miles from Sun)
  • July 10 Venus at its brightest in 2020, Pre-dawn
  • July 12 Last quarter Moon at 7:30 PM
  • July 12 Moon at apogee (251,200 miles away)
  • July 14 Jupiter at opposition, brightest in 2020
  • July 20 New Moon at 1:32 PM
    • Saturn at opposition, brightest in 2020
  • July 21 Mercury, Venus, Aldebaran, and Mars lines up – predawn
  • July 25 Moon at perigee (228,900 miles away) most distant quarter Moon of 2020
  • July 27 First Quarter Moon at 8:32 AM
  • July 29 Southern Delta Aquariid meteor shower peaks

Times given in EDT.

Resources

Download Ken Graun’s July 2020 sky chart for reference and observing ideas.
Another equally helpful resource is Skymaps monthly evening sky charts available for different hemispheres. Download The Evening Sky Map for July.

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