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Eye on the Night Sky

Eye on the Night Sky

July 4, 2015

Nightly Events

  • Tonight:

    The star Capella is right on the northern horizon, due north at 11:15 PM EDT. While it is essentially not viewable, it never sets at our latitude. By 2:30 this morning, it will be rising in the north-northeast. In six months from now, it will be almost exactly overhead during the bitter cold evenings of January.

  • July 5:

    Looking at the handle of the Big Dipper high in the northwest, follow its curve or “arc” to the bright star Arc-turus high in the west. Extend this same line, but go straighter, to “spy” Spica in the southwest, twinkling bluish-white color.

  • July 6:

    Today finds the Earth at aphelion – its greatest distance from the Sun – at 94,506,507 miles. Yes, July is the hottest month of the year on average, but it is our tilted axis, angled toward the Sun in summer, and not our distance, that gives us longer days and more direct sunlight, increasing the temperatures.