July Celestial Events: Juno Off To Jupiter! Here’s The Complete Guide
July is a definite treat for stargazers and space enthusiasts.Advertisement
As many as five naked eye planets – Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn – will be visible in the night sky in July.
According to National Geographic, astronomers will get a glimpse of Jupiter as NASA’s Juno spacecraft will make its way into the planet’s orbit on July 4.
On this day, Earth will be the farthest from the sun in its orbit. At noon EDT, it will be 94,512,904 miles from the sun, reaching it aphelion, or the farthest point from the sun. The distance between the two will be 3.3 percent more than when the Earth was at perihelion last January 2.
On July 8, Jupiter will be easily observable during the evening. Shining at a magnitude of -1.8, it will be 5 degrees to the upper left of the moon. As evening approaches, the moon will position itself just under the planet, offering a majestic sight for viewers. Although the pair will look close to one another in the sky, Jupiter is as much as 2,000 times away from Earth than the moon.
As reported by Space.com, 7 Iris, the fourth brightest asteroid, will move through the constellation Scorpius in the southern sky on July 10. It will be easily viewable using backyard telescopes as it shines at 10th magnitude. The asteroid is positioned between Saturn and Mars.
On July 14, Mars will be in the southern evening sky and will shine with a magnitude of -1.1 in Libra, the Scales. Just after sunset it will pass through the meridian and will be stationed above the horizon for the night.
Saturn, which will be in the constellation Ophiuchus, will be positioned in the south on July 15. While it will be 6.5 degrees above Antares, it will shine at magnitude +0.2. Antares, meanwhile, will be dimmer than the ringed planet. Saturn will be positioned 2 degrees over the moon.
Venus will be visible on July 16 about fifteen minutes after sunset. Viewers can use their binoculars to catch a glimpse of the planet.
Finally, on July 30, Mercury will move to position itself 0.5 degrees from the star Regulus in Leo, the Lion. However, one will be able to view it 30 minutes following sunset close to the western horizon. The planet and Regulus will be around 8 degrees to the upper left of Venus.