Are you in a bad mood, overstressed, and even anxious, due to the “new normality’? This year, things have been changed like never before, and many of us find it hard to follow all the guidelines and spend this entire period mainly at home.
However, every cloud has a silver lining. This time, once more, the sky has prepared a show for you!
Star-gazers and astronomy-lovers will have an exclusive opportunity this July! July nights have much to offer, whether it is a double meteor shower, a double planetary opposition, or even the penumbral eclipse.
Even after 5th July Eclipse, there is still much more to come:
MERCURY IN THE JULY NIGHT SKY
It may be the most difficult to catch a glimpse of Mercury this month. Since it passed the Sun in its inferior solar conjunction not long ago, you will have to hold on a little bit to witness the site of Mercury in the July night sky. As the distance between the Earth and the Sun rises, Mercury will be noticeable from the Earth on 23rd July at mag 0.1. At that time the planet will be at its greatest western elongation.
Then it will be at its highest position on the 26th. Right before the Sun rises, Mercury will be in the Gemini constellation, glowing in the East at mag 0.1.
Venus confirms its reputation as a “morning star” and on 8th July, it was at its brightest. Throughout the month, it will climb progressively higher into the eastern predawn sky.
It will be on the eastern side, at mag -4.5 in the Taurus constellation. You can see it with ease if you are awake few hours before sunrise. On the morning of July 17, a waning crescent moon will appear to the left of Venus. Its peak will be reached in the morning sky in September.
MARS IN THE JULY NIGHT SKY
Mars will be boring compared to the other planets. It will emerge as a tiny spot of light just before sunrise in the higher sky. Mars will be in mag -0.7 in Cetus and on 12th July, the Moon went by at a small distance. Look for the red planet closer to 11:30 p.m. at the end of the month.
Jupiter is the fourth brightest celestial object, after the sun, moon, and the planet Venus, respectively. On the 14th of July, it was in opposition.
An opposition occurs when a planet is positioned on a straight line with the Earth and the Sun, and the Earth is in the middle. On 14th July, Jupiter will be the brightest, at mag -2.7, as it will be at its nearest spot to our planet.
SATURN IN THE JULY NIGHT SKY
On 21st July, Saturn will enlighten the night sky the brightest, when being in opposition. On this unique day, Saturn will be 50 million miles closer to our planet than the average range. To have a direct look at this splendid event, look up east after 21:00. It will be in Sagittarius at mag 0.1 and will reach its zenith after midnight.
URANUS AND NEPTUNE
The solar conjunction of Uranus has been recently crossed, and this planet will be visible to the naked eye after midnight. It will be in Aries, at mag 5.84.
Neptune is just coming out from behind the Sun. This blue planet can be seen around 23:00 at mag 7.87.
So, be prepared for a month that will provide astonishing views of the planets in our Solar System. The clear night sky will allow a perfect display of objects and special events. Yet, for an enhanced experience, use a sky map, binoculars, or a telescope.
To make the observing ritual easier, you can use astronomy maps and software as well. But remember, no one should miss the July Night Sky extravaganza!