Astronomy Events – July 2015

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by yaska77

Summer is finally here! We’ve had some nice hot days recently, which I’ll be honest has made a really nice change.  I will also apologise now for any potential minor mis-keys that may appear in this guide, it’s been so nice today I cracked open a beer as soon as I got home from work!

But you know you can trust us, we will always bring you the most interesting night sky occurrences that can be crammed into a list, and this month is no exception.

So sit back with your refreshing beverage of choice, peruse our astronomy guide for July and check out what the night sky has to offer.

Keep watching those skies…

Wednesday 1st July Venus and Jupiter are still near neighbours, following the setting Sun as the skies darken. They were closest yesterday but still make for a nice sight the next few evenings!

Venus got closer to Jupiter all throughout June, this photo was taken on 29th June using a Canon Eos 550D (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn
Venus got closer to Jupiter all throughout June, this photo was taken on 29th June 2015 using a Canon Eos 550D (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Friday 3rd July – The Full Moon today is sometimes known as the Summer Moon, Crane Moon or Thunder Moon

Sunday 5th July – Today the Moon is at Perigee (the closest point of its orbit to the Earth) at a distance of 367,095 km (228,102 miles)

Monday 6th July – Our planet Earth is at aphelion today (the furthest point our orbit takes us away from the Sun) at a distance of 152 million kilometres (94.5 million miles)

1. Planet at aphelion 2. Planet at perihelion 3. Sun
1. Planet at aphelion 2. Planet at perihelion 3. Sun

Wednesday 8th July – This evening our Moon will be seen at Last Quarter phase

Saturday 11th July – A firm summer favourite of ours, double star Albireo is currently high to the south around midnight and should be fairly easy to locate with a good pair of binoculars

Use our star guide image above to help you locate Albireo (shown above after midnight on 11th July) the beautiful double star (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium
Use our star guide image above to help you locate Albireo (shown above after midnight on 11th July) the beautiful double star (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

We’ve managed to image this beautiful sight a few times over the years, but would love a nice long session to give us chance to get enough to stack for even better shots with clearer colour and clarity!

An image we captured of Albireo in early September 2011 (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn
An image we captured of Albireo in early September 2011. The different colours both stars are clearly apparent (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Thursday 16th July – Today the New Moon rises and sets with the Sun, so now is a good time to observe deep sky objects like galaxies and nebulae

And to help identify the constellations you can see throughout the month, below we’ve provided guide images for both southern and northern skies in July

Shown at 00:00 UTC (01:00 BST) on 16th July, both these images are a handy guide for the whole month. This is the view you’ll get looking South (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium
Shown at 00:00 UTC (01:00 BST) on 16th July, both these images are a handy guide for the whole month. This is the view you’ll get looking South (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium
Displaying the night sky midway through the month, this image can help you identify the constellations you’ll see in the northern sky in June (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium
Displaying the night sky midway through the month, this image can help you identify the constellations you’ll see in the northern sky in July (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Tuesday 21st July – The Moon is at Apogee today at a distance of 404,835 km (251,553 miles), the furthest point its orbit will take it away from the Earth this month

Thursday 23rd July – Inner planet Mercury is in Superior conjunction today, so is currently unobservable

Friday 24th July – Today the Moon can be seen at First Quarter phase

Tuesday 28th July – Remember that July is a great time of year to look for noctilucent clouds, which sometimes appear low down in the northwest (after sunset) and northeast (just before sunrise)

Noctilucent clouds as captured over Sweden (click to enlarge) – Credit: P-M Hedén
Noctilucent clouds as captured over Sweden (click to enlarge) – Credit: P-M Hedén

These clouds are in the upper atmosphere and are usually too faint to see, becoming visible only when illuminated by sunlight from below the horizon while the lower layers of the atmosphere are in the Earth’s shadow

Friday 31st July – When a second Full Moon appears in a month it is sometimes known as a Blue Moon

It saw you standing alone

As usual, if you take any photos throughout July you’d like to show us, please tweet them to us using the link below! We’d love to see your efforts and we’ll re-tweet them to your fellow sky-watchers!

Planets visible this month:

Jupiter
Mercury
Saturn
Venus
Neptune
Mars
Uranus

Remember, it can take your eyes up to 20 minutes to become properly dark adapted, and anything up to an hour for a telescope to reach ambient temperature outside (to ensure the best image), so give yourself plenty of time to get set up!

To make it easier to find this list of astronomical happenings you can also locate it in the “Monthly Guide” section in the menu bar to the right. Handy! 🙂

Guide images created with Stellarium

Archive:
Astronomy Events – June 2015
Astronomy Events – May 2015
Astronomy Events – April 2015

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One Comment Add yours

  1. I’m looking forward to tonight’s Venus, Jupiter conjunction, but it might be foiled by clouds which are moving in. 😦 I may have to be happy with the image I made last night.

    Like

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