Astronomy Info & Events: July

Moon Phases

July 8: Full Moon (the Full Buck Moon)

July 16: Last Quarter Moon

July 23: New Moon

July 30: First Quarter Moon

Special Events

All of July: Watch for noctilucent clouds in the evening northern sky this month! They appear as pearly blue wispy clouds. 

July 1: Canada Day (Canada’s 150th Birthday) Special rocket launch (weather permitting) at 1:50 p.m. at TWOSE today!
Jocelyn Bell discovered the first pulsar 50 years ago!

July 2: Lunar straight wall visible this evening.  Check it out at the RASC Observatory!

July 3: Earth at aphelion (furthest distance from the Sun – 152,092,504 km)

July 10: The dwarf planet Pluto is at opposition today

July 22 - 30:  Mount Kobau Star Party, Osoyoos, BC

July 26: Mars in conjunction with the Sun

July 31Lunar straight wall visible this evening.  Check it out at the RASC Observatory!

Visible Planets

Mercury may be difficult to see from our latitude as it is found very low along the western horizon after sunset this month.  On July 24 try to find Mercury just to the south (left) of the slim waxing crescent Moon and then on July 25 look for Mercury just to the north (right) of the slim waxing crescent Moon.  Mercury is seen in close proximity to the bright star Regulus of the constellation of Leo, the lion.

Venus is visible low along the east-northeast horizon before sunrise during the month and is located within the constellation of Taurus, the bull.  Venus will be seen just above the waning crescent Moon on the morning of July 20.  Venus is unmistakable as the brightest object (other than the Moon) in the predawn eastern sky.

Mars is not visible this month as it will be at superior conjunction (on the other side of the Sun as seen from the Earth) on July 27.

Jupiter is located in the southwestern sky at sunset and is currently situated in the constellation of Virgo, the maiden, just above and to the west of the bright star, Spica.  On the night of July 1 (Canada Day) look for Jupiter immediately west of the waxing gibbous Moon and then on nights of July 27 and 28 Jupiter is found near the waxing crescent Moon.

Saturn rises in southeast before sunset and then travels in a shallow arc low across the southern sky through the night, setting below the southwestern horizon about 2:00 a.m. local time.  While Saturn is located within the lower east portion of the constellation of Ophiuchus, the serpent bearer, it can be found more easily by looking for it just above the spout of the “teapot” of the constellation of Sagittarius, the archer.  Look for Saturn just below the waxing gibbous Moon on the evening of July 6.  Saturn’s rings are tilted by 26.7 degrees which provides for exceptional views of the ring system through a telescope.  Saturn will be a highlight of our summer observing from the RASC Observatory.