July Astronomy

Looking south in the evenings, a wonderful display of celestial luminaries arc above the horizon.

Looking south in the evenings, a wonderful display of celestial luminaries arc above the horizon.

| Categories: Eye on the Sky, Planetarium Blog, Skywatch Almanac Astronomy

Evenings arrive late, though the days do get a little shorter.  Watch for the red star Antares to shine low in the south, marking the “heart” of the Scorpion, with claws stretching to the west, and its tail right along the horizon.  To its left is Saturn, nestled in the river of light we call the Milky Way.  Even brighter, but gradually lowering into the western skies gleams Jupiter, joined by the bluish star Spica to its left.  Rising higher in the east are three bright stars forming the Summer Triangle, seen overhead by midnight.  The Milky Way arches high across the skies, while the Big Dipper sits high in the northwest, looking more like its British name, “the Plough”.

Highlights

3 – The Earth is at aphelion – its most distant point from the Sun – about 94,505,900 miles away.

9 – The Full “Buck” Moon runs low across the southern skies, as do all summer Full Moons.

20 – Early risers will see a waning Crescent Moon to the right of the brilliant Venus, climbing into the east from 3 o’clock until twilight near 5 AM.

29 – The Delta Aquarid Meteor shower is near its peak, a prelude to the Perseids in August.


Lyman Spitzer Jr. Planetarium Programs

Monday-Friday Summer Schedule:

  • 11:00 AM – 30 minute presentation *show topic to be announced
  • 12:00 PM – Your Backyard Starry Sky
  • 1:00 PM – 60-minute Special Feature
  • 2:30 PM – Your Backyard Starry Sky
  • 3:30 PM – 30 minute presentation *show topic to be announced

Weekend Summer Schedule:

Saturdays

  • 12:30 PM – All Aboard The ISS!
  • 1:30-2:30 PM – Where Stars Are Born
  • 3:30 PM – Your Evening Sky

Sundays

  • 12:30 PM – Two Small Pieces of Glass
  •   1:30-2:30 PM – Your Backyard Starry Sky
  • 3:30 PM – Mars, A Watery Past

July’s Full “Buck” Moon gets its name because at this time, a buck’s antlers are in full growth mode. This full Moon was also known as the Thunder Moon, because thunderstorms are so frequent during this month.

First Quarter: July 1

Full “Buck” Moon: July 9

Last Quarter: July 16

New Moon: July 23

First Quarter: July 30

Tags: astronomy, Fairbanks Museum, Lyman Spitzer Jr. Planetarium, Mark Breen, Northeast Kingdom, Saint Johnsbury, skywatch, St. Johnsbury, vermont