Astronomy

Evening Planets:
Mercury is technically an evening planet this month. The planet is very low in the WNW and it’s lost in the bright glow of Sunset and can’t be seen. The planet will not be seen until the end of July when it will appear in the morning sky.
Mars shares the same fate as Mercury. The dim planet Mars is also very low in the WNW and is lost in the bright glow of Sunset. This planet will not be visible again until October in the morning sky.
Jupiter is up in the South as evening Twilight fades. The planet is low on the horizon but visible for most of the night. As the month progresses, Jupiter loses a bit of its brightness but still shines brightly in the summer evening sky.
Saturn comes closest to the Earth for the year on 9 July. This approach towards Earth is one of its most distant approaches and does not put Saturn in a good position for telescopic observations. The planet is up in the SSE as evening twilight fades. The planet is visible all night long.

Morning Planet:
Venus is in an extremely low position and is stuck in the bright glow of Sunrise. The planet will be very hard to see and soon will disappear into the glow of Sunrise. We will not have another real good view of Venus until December when it’s in the evening sky. Essentially the July morning sky is now void of any bright planets.

5 July Thin Crescent Moon just right of the bright star Regulus, Dusk
12 July Waxing Gibbous Moon, Jupiter, and bright star Antares form a triangle, Dusk
13 July Waxing Gibbous Moon just left of Jupiter, Evening
15 July Waxing Gibbous Moon just left of Saturn, Evening
29-30 July South Delta Aquariids Meteor Shower

South Delta Aquariids Meteor Shower
This rather weak meteor shower will happen on the night of 29 -30 July. The nearly New Moon will have no effect on observing these meteors. Unfortunately the meteor shower peaks in the broad daylight in the morning of the 30th. About 10 meteors per hour are predicted to be seen in the Pre-Dawn hours on the morning of the 30 July. This meteor shower is known for producing an occasional, slow, bright yellowed colored meteor. Except for its low predicted rate of meteors, this meteor shower is fairly favorable for our viewing area.

Gary T. Nowak
Vermont Astronomical Society