Planets and meteor showers in July

2015-07-02 06:00
Planet positions in July as can be seen from Port Shepstone.
Photo: rado moskov

Planet positions in July as can be seen from Port Shepstone. Photo: rado moskov

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Blue Moon in July


In the beginning the Sun rises at 7:02am and sets at 5:06pm, at the end rises at 6:50am and sets at 5:22pm.


2nd Full Moon

8th Last quarter

16th New Moon

24th First quarter

31st Full Moon

In July we have the rare event of two full moons ns a month, called mistakenly Blue Moon. It has nothing to do with the colour of the moon, but with the anticlerical poem written in 1528 by the friars Roy and Barlow – All Church men are wily foxes, if they say the Moon is blue we must believe them, according to their interpretation. Blue Moon occurs every 2.7 years, so be careful when using this expression in July.


Can be seen in the beginning of the month before sunrise on the eastern sky on the left of the Sun in Taurus and the conditions of observance will deteriorate as the month progresses, because Mercury is getting closer and closer to the Sun and eventually on 23rd will go right behind the Sun in superior conjunction, being invisible. After that it will start to appear on the right side of the Sun, but because their visible distance is very little it will be practically invisible till the end of the month.


1st July – don’t miss it. Spectacular conjunction of Venus and Jupiter, try to photograph it if you can because it will be unforgettable sight – the crescent of Venus almost touching Jupiter. Both planets will be only 0.4° apart in the western sky immediately after sunset. As the month progresses they will separate slowly, but still the presence of the brightest heavenly bodies after the Sun and Moon is quite spectacular in the western sky just after sunset. By the end of July Venus will be low and could be seen only for a short time.


Is in Gemini and since the Sun is also there, Mars can’t be seen until the very end of the month when it can be seen very low in the eastern horizon just before sunrise.


Is in Leo and can be seen very low after sunset on the western sky. By the end of the month Jupiter is almost invisible, being so close to the Sun as to melt out in the twilight rays of the setting sun, so if you want to watch it, take the chance in the beginning of the month.


Excellent conditions to watch Saturn in Libra as it is high enough for observation in the beginning of the month and sets at 3:55am – you have the whole night to watch it. By the end of the month will set at 1:55am.


Rises in the beginning of the month at 12:57am and at 10:55pm by the end. On the 9th Uranus will be very close to the half Moon, only 0.2°. On the 10th will be at western quadrature, making 90° with the Earth and Sun and rising at midnight.


Is in Aquarius and is rising at 9:45pm in the beginning of the month and 7:44pm by the end.

Meteor showers

South Delta Aquarids

Visible 12 July till 19 of August in Piscis Austrinis, directly in the zenith above our heads. Maximum 20 meteors can be observed on the 28th July. The waxing Moon can spoil a bit the show as it will illuminate the sky, but the meteors will be still visible.

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