What’s in the Sky - July 2020
Full Moon 5th
Last Quarter 13th
New Moon 21st
First Quarter 27th
On the 4th, Earth is at aphelion (furthest point in its orbit from the Sun) at 152,095,317 kilometres.
Jupiter is in the eastern evening sky in the constellation of Sagittarius and is rising just before 6pm AEST at the start of the month.
Saturn is in the eastern evening sky, also in the constellation Sagittarius and is rising almost 30 minutes behind Jupiter.
Mercury returns to the morning twilight sky in the middle of the second week of the month, in the constellation Gemini.
Venus is in the eastern morning sky in the constellation Taurus.
Mars is rising about 11pm AEST but is best seen high in the north-western morning sky. The red planet starts the month in the constellation of Pisces before moving into Cetus and returning to Pisces at the end of the month.
Worth a Look:
8th: The four largest moons of Jupiter, known as the Galilean satellites will all be on the same side of Jupiter as viewed from Earth. Best time to view is around 10pm AEST. This will be a great viewing with either binoculars or a telescope.
12th & 13th: Venus having passed through the Hyades cluster in Taurus, is within a degree of the first magnitude star Aldebaran in the early morning sky. Aldebaran or α Tauri is an orange giant and the brightest star in Taurus. It is approximately 65 light years from us. This is a good opportunity for planetary imagers.
17th: Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon will transit across the planet. Those with a telescope will be able to see the moon’s shadow and perhaps catch a glimpse of Ganymede against the planet. Best time for viewing is around 10pm AEST.
17th: The waning crescent Moon joins Venus and Aldebaran in the morning sky and close to the horizon in the morning twilight will be Mercury. A good opportunity for widefield photographers as their closeness to the horizon will make for a lovely image.
You can download a star map for July here.