Monday, June 30, 2008

night sky july 2008

JUNE ENDS tonight with a very nice alignment of saturn, regulus, and mars as shown in the image below. the three will be pretty low on the western horizon and then continue to set, so you'll have to get out early to spot them.

the new moon is wednesday, JULY 2nd, so the skies will be nice a dark to view the planetary alignment!

on JULY 4th, the earth is at aphelion, the farthest distance from the sun all year! its about 152,105,000 km away from our burning star, or about 3.4% farther than at perihelion.

on JULY 5th, the crescent moon sweeps past the saturn-mars pairing, creating a wonderful photographic opportunity in the west around sunset!

JULY 8th-9th is when jupiter reaches opposition, and appears the brightest in our sky. the opposition position is when the sun, earth and jupiter line up with earth in the middle... constituting jupiter's closest approach to us on earth! jupiter rises in the east after sunset and will be the brightest thing in the night sky after the moon for the next few months. you should be able to see the galilean moons of jupiter with binoculars and a steady hand!

mars continues to catch up to saturn on the ecliptic, coming within one degree of each other on JULY 10th.


1 comment:

Carolyn said...

Thanks a lot. I am captivated by the night sky. I have a few books and a good pair of binoculars. Soon will graduate to a telescope. Any suggestions for a real amateur?