Star calendar July 2017

Star calendar July 2017

1 Jul    Jupiter is less than 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower right at sunset. Spica is 3 finger-widths to the lower left. Arcturus is 2½ fist-widths above the moon.

3 Jul    Earth is at aphelion, 1.01668 AU from the sun.

5 Jul    At dusk, Antares is less than 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower right, and Saturn is a little more than 1 fist-width to the lower left.

6 Jul    Saturn is only 1 finger-width to the moon’s lower right this evening. The moon is at apogee, 63.65 Earth-radii away.

8 Jul    At midnight, Sagittarius is to the lower right of the moon.10 Low in the west before dawn, the bright star 2½ fist-widths to the moon’s upper right is Altair, in the Summer Triangle. Following the same line 3½ fist-widths beyond Altair takes you to another star of the Triangle, Vega. The final star of the Triangle is Deneb 2½ fist-widths above Vega.

13 Jul    Before first light, the bright star 2 fist-widths below the moon is Fomalhaut.

19 Jul    The Pleiades Cluster is just above the moon before dawn. Aldebaran is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left and brilliant Venus is another 3 finger-widths beyond Aldebaran.

20 Jul    Venus is less than 2 finger-widths to the thin crescent moon’s upper left. If conditions are right, you may be able to see Venus after sunrise. At mid-day, look for Venus 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right. Binoculars will help.

21 Jul    The moon is at perigee, 56.64 Earth-radii away.

24 Jul    Near the western horizon at dusk, Mercury is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper left. Regulus is less than 1 finger-width to Mercury’s upper left.

25 Jul    The moon is 4 finger-widths to the upper left of Mercury and Regulus, which are separated by less than 1 degree.

26 Jul    The equation of time reaches a shallow minimum of -6.54 minutes. In conjunction, Mars passes on the opposite side of the sun as Earth. We will not see Mars again until it emerges from the sun’s glare in September’s pre-dawn skies.

28 Jul    Jupiter is a little more than 1 finger-width to the thin waxing crescent moon’s lower right at dusk. Spica is 4 finger-widths to the lower left.

29 Jul    Spica is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right this evening. Jupiter is to Spica’s upper right.

30 Jul    Mercury is at its greatest elongation, 27.2 degrees east of the sun, low in the west at dusk. Much dimmer Regulus is 2 finger-widths to the right.

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