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…
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)
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
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!
Tuesday 16th June – 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
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)
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:
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 StellariumFollow @sky_watching