The Visible Planets
Mercury is not visible this month from our northerly latitude. For observers in the southern hemisphere however, Mercury can be seen low along the western horizon after sunset, starting around the middle of the month, providing one of the best times this year for southern hemisphere observers to see Mercury.
Venus continues to shine brilliantly low above the western horizon for most of the month. It then slowly sinks into the dusk glow, disappearing by the last week of July. You might be able to see Venus below the very thin waxing crescent Moon, above the western horizon, after sunset on July 19.
Mars is sinking lower toward the west-northwest horizon after sunset as the month progresses. It finally disappears into the Sun’s setting glow by the last week of July. On July 20, the planet Mars can be seen with some difficulty just below the waxing crescent Moon low above the west-northwest horizon after sunset.
Jupiter rises along the east-northeast horizon about 2 a.m. local time at the start of the month and by midnight at the end of the month. Jupiter is in the constellation of Aries, the ram, and is the brightest object visible in that constellation. During the predawn hours of July 11 and 12, look for the waning crescent Moon near the bright planet Jupiter low in the eastern sky.
Saturn rises along the east-southeastern horizon a little after midnight early in the month and by 11:30 p.m. by the end of the month. By sunrise, Saturn is found about 25° above the southern horizon from Edmonton’s location. Saturn is situated amongst the faint stars of the constellation of Aquarius, the water bearer, and will remain in this constellation for the entire year. Look for Saturn just above the waning gibbous Moon on the morning of July 7.
July 3 Full Moon (The Buck Moon or the Bird’s Shed Feathers Moon)
July 9 Last Quarter Moon
July 17 New Moon
July 25 First Quarter Moon
International Space Station (ISS) Observable Passes
During the month of July 2023 there will be numerous observable passes of the ISS. Check the website http://www.heavens-above.com for viewing times for your location.
From June to late July, noctilucent clouds can be seen from the Edmonton area. Look for these extremely high, pearly blue clouds, in the northern sky this month.
July 6 Earth at aphelion (furthest distance from the Sun) at 152 093 251 km
July 7 Venus greatest illuminated extent (magnitude -4.7) Very bright!
July 13 The waning crescent Moon near the Pleiades star cluster (morning sky)
July 21 Pluto at opposition
Alan Shepard, 1st American astronaut, died 25 years ago.
July 25 Lunar straight wall visible tonight
July 29 The south delta-Aquariid meteors peak (zenith hourly rate of 20 meteors)