From an eclipse to meteor showers, there's a LOT going on in July
Mark your calendars, dust off the telescope and get ready for a show in the heavens July with these cool astronomical events!
10:07 pm – 12:52 am
Full Moon + Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
The moon will not disappear only look slightly darker. The earth will pass between the moon and the sun so our planet’s shadow falls over the moon. If it is clear out after all the fireworks, witness the maximum eclipse at 11:30 pm.
Jupiter shines so bright!
Jupiter will be the closest to Earth at this time. Next to the sun, the moon and Venus, Jupiter is one of the brightest objects in the sky. According to earthsky.org, look to the west that day and you might be able to make out some detail with only your eyes. Grab some binoculars or a telescope to see even more!
11:00 pm – 4:00 am
Saturn’s turn to shine!
If you look to the left of Jupiter, that’s Saturn. On this night, with a telescope, you will see the northern side of Saturn’s rings because it will be the closest to the Earth. This year the rings will be tilted towards us for a spectacular view. Both planets will be around the constellation Sagittarius.
Surprise! There’s a comet in the sky!
Starting July 11, you might see a newly discovered comet in the sky. Comet NEOWISE (C/2020 F3 is it’s official name) will appear in the northwest horizon after sunset. You might be able to see it with the naked eye best on July 22. A good set of binoculars or a telescope will get you a better view.
DOUBLE Meteor Shower
Two meteor showers reach their peaks during this time. The Capricornids can be seen pretty much anywhere while the other shower, Delta Aquariids, will be seen more in the Southern Hemisphere (so look south). The best time to see any meteor shower is between midnight and 3:00 am.
Hopefully the weather will be clear so we can go out into our backyards or take a short drive away from city lights to see these awe-inspiring astronomical events in July.
Related Topic: Much of our understanding of space can be traced back to the legacy of the Space Shuttle Columbia.
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