July Night time Sky – Astronotes

July 1, 2019 - Comment

Summer season’s right here! The climate’s heating up and skies will hopefully be clear for a little bit of stargazing! There are many attention-grabbing sights within the sky this July, so whereas you could have to attend longer for it to get darkish, get outdoors, permit your eyes to regulate and get looking out. There’s


Summer season’s right here! The climate’s heating up and skies will
hopefully be clear for a little bit of stargazing! There are many attention-grabbing
sights within the sky this July, so whereas you could have to attend longer for it to get
darkish, get outdoors, permit your eyes to regulate and get looking out.

There’s a complete eclipse of the solar occurring proper on the
begin of July! Sadly, although, it can solely be seen from the South Pacific,
Chile and Argentina. A photo voltaic eclipse happens when the moon travels (from our
perspective) in entrance of the solar, casting a shadow on the earth. This shadow is
very small, and so it will probably solely be seen from sure elements of the world.

There’s a partial lunar eclipse occurring on the 16th
July – most seen from Europe and Africa. A lunar eclipse happens when the
earth’s shadow falls on the moon, blocking the solar’s mild. This eclipse will
solely be partial, not complete, which implies solely a part of the seen moon’s floor
might be lined by shadow.

A few of the constellations seen this month are Cygnus, Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Camelopardalis, Pegasus, Hercules and Bootes.

The constellation of Cygnus. Credit score: Stellarium

Cygnus is without doubt one of the most recognizable constellations within the
northern Hemisphere’s summer time, and accommodates one of many three stars that type the
summer time triangle, Deneb. Deneb is a primary magnitude white supergiant, one of many
brightest and largest stars. To search out Cygnus, seek for the summer time triangle.
It is a massive triangle fashioned by three of the brightest stars within the sky, and
is southeast of the pole star. Cygnus’ ‘tail’ is fashioned by Deneb, the highest left
nook of the triangle and the dimmest of the three stars. Together with 5
different stars within the constellation Cygnus, it additionally varieties a part of the northern
cross, an asterism inside Cygnus itself. Cygnus may also be noticed by
looking for this massive cross within the sky.

A picture of Cygnus X-1 beside an artist’s impression of what this interplay would possibly appear like. Credit score: NASA

Cygnus performs host to Cygnus X-1, a binary supergiant that’s accompanied by a black gap. This black gap was the primary to be found and extensively identified, as black holes can’t be seen by a telescope. It was found in 1964, by a rocket scanning for X-ray sources. This black gap is a robust X-ray supply. Stephen Hawking as soon as wager his buddy that this object wasn’t a black gap however needed to concede when proof confirmed it almost definitely was!

One other constellation that may clearly be
seen this month is the marginally smaller constellation Cassiopeia. It’s named
after the Queen Cassiopeia in Greek fable, who was extraordinarily useless and claimed
that she was extra lovely than the Nereids, the ocean nymphs. Poseidon was
enraged and positioned her within the sky as punishment, forcing her to spin across the
pole star, clinging to her throne to remain on.

Cassiopeia within the July Night time Sky. Picture credit score: Stellarium

Cassiopeia is a ‘w’ formed
constellation northeast of the pole star right now of 12 months. The brightest
star within the constellation, Alpha Cassiopeiae, is definitely a star system or
a number of star, which consists of 4 stars orbiting one another. The first
star is a huge orange star, with a magnitude of two.2 (the decrease the magnitude,
the brighter the star) whereas the companion stars are a lot dimmer. Cassiopeia
additionally accommodates a wealthy part of the milky approach. On this part are two
neighbouring emission nebulae, the Coronary heart nebula and the Soul nebula. These are
areas of area fashioned of ionized gases which emit mild.

There are lots of planets seen
all through July, with Jupiter seen as a vivid non-twinkling ‘star’ within the
south to southwestern night sky within the constellation of Ophiuchus, the
serpent-bearer.

Saturn seems as a medium
brightness ‘star’ to the bare eye; the rings seen solely by a telescope.
It’s at its brightest in 2019 by to July 22nd and is at
opposition to the solar on ninth July. It seems within the morning sky
till July the eighth, after which within the night sky for the remainder of July
inside the constellation of Sagittarius, the Archer. On 15th-16th
July, the complete moon will cross carefully under Saturn.

Saturn in Sagittarius on July 22nd at its brightest. Credit score: Stellarium.

Uranus will spend July mornings
in Aries, the ram, however may be troublesome to see with no telescope. Neptune
might be at its brightest from July to November, however even at its brightest, a
telescope might be wanted to see it. It will likely be within the constellation of Aquarius
within the morning sky.

The Perseid meteor bathe, one of many brighter meteor showers of the 12 months will rounds off the month within the northern hemisphere, beginning in mid-July and persevering with into August. The meteors will appear to originate from the constellation Perseus (therefore the identify Perseids) and are made up of particles from the comet Swift-Tuttle. This comet has a nucleus 26km in diameter and is predicted to point out up subsequent in 2125. At its peak, the Perseid meteor bathe is thought to provide 60-100 meteors per hour!

Marsha Kirschbaum used 27 images – all captured on a single evening – to create the composite picture, above, of 2016’s Perseid meteor bathe. Credit score: EarthSky.org

Written by Anna Taylor, Training Officer



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