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This Week’s Sky at a Look, June 28 – July 6

June 28, 2019 - Comment

On June 28th Mercury and Mars are nonetheless shut along with Pollux and Castor to their higher proper. Because the month modifications, the skinny Moon at daybreak factors the way in which to super-low Venus. Friday, June 28 • As night grows late, even the bottom star of the Summer season Triangle shines fairly excessive

Twilight planets.

On June 28th Mercury and Mars are nonetheless shut along with Pollux and Castor to their higher proper.

Moon and Venus at dawn, June 30 - July 1, 2019

Because the month modifications, the skinny Moon at daybreak factors the way in which to super-low Venus.

Friday, June 28

• As night grows late, even the bottom star of the Summer season Triangle shines fairly excessive within the east now. That is Altair. It is a good three or 4 fists at arm’s size beneath or decrease proper of vivid Vega.

A marker for Altair is its little Third-magnitude buddy Tarazed (Gamma Aquilae), above or higher left of it by a couple of finger’s width at arm’s size.

Look left of Altair, by hardly multiple fist, for compact little Delphinus, the Dolphin.

And above the midpoint between Delphinus and Altair search for even smaller, dimmer Sagitta, the Arrow.

Saturday, June 29

• The Milky Approach types a powerful arch throughout the jap sky as night grows late, in case your sky is darkish sufficient! The Milky Approach runs all the way in which from beneath Cassiopeia within the north-northeast, up and throughout Cygnus and the Summer season Triangle within the east, and down previous the spout of the Sagittarius Teapot within the south-southeast, the place it is brightest.

Sunday, June 30

• Can you notice the Coma Berenices star cluster along with your unaided eyes? It is large however sparse and dim, excessive within the west after darkish. To find it discover good Arcturus excessive within the southwest, and to the precise of that, the tip star of the Huge Dipper’s deal with. Take the midpoint between them, and look properly down from there. The Coma Star Cluster types a virtually equilateral triangle with these two stars.

You may want a darkish sky. The cluster is about four° broad, concerning the measurement of a ping-pong ball held at arm’s size. Its brightest stars type a tilted, upside-down letter Y.

In binoculars the cluster fills a lot of the subject of view. So for those who’re anticipating to search for one thing small, you will miss it by wanting proper by way of it!

Monday, July 1

• Low within the north-northeast after darkish, the upright W of Cassiopeia is slowly starting to tilt and climb.

• Discover the double stars and deep-sky sights across the head of Hercules close to the zenith, and hint out the little-known asterism Sudor Ophiuchi, utilizing the July Sky & Telescope’s Deep-Sky Wonders column and chart (web page 54).

Tuesday, July 2

• The 2 brightest stars of summer season, Arcturus and Vega, are about equally excessive overhead shortly after darkish: Arcturus towards the southwest, Vega towards the east. Arcturus and Vega are 37 and 25 light-years away, respectively. They characterize the 2 commonest varieties of naked-eye stars: a yellow-orange Okay large and a white type-A main-sequence star. They’re 150 and 50 instances brighter than the Solar, respectively — which, mixed with their nearness, is why they dominate the night sky.

• New Moon (actual at three:16 p.m. EDT). Complete eclipse of the Solar for components of the South Pacific, northern Chile, and central Argentina. Partial eclipse for many of South America and components of Central America. Maps, particulars.

Moon, Mercury, Mars, Pollux, Castor very low at dusk, July 3-4, 2019

Because the Moon returns to the night sky as a waxing crescent, is passes the troublesome Mercury-Mars-Pollux-Castor lineup . . .

Moon under Leo, July 5-6, 2019

. . . after which on the fifth and sixth the it passes beneath Leo, greater up. (The blue 10° scale is concerning the measurement of your fist held at arm’s size.)

Wednesday, July three

• Arcturus, the good yellow-orange star excessive within the southwest after darkish, is the main gentle of Bootes the cowherd. The constellation’s brightest stars type a kite form extending up from Arcturus. The kite is moderately slim, bent a bit left on the prime, and 23° tall: about two fists at arm’s size. Arcturus is the slim backside level the place the kite’s brief little tail is tied on, fluttering towards the decrease proper.

Thursday, July four

• Whereas night twilight continues to be pretty vivid, the skinny waxing crescent Moon guides the way in which to the low line of Mercury, Mars, Pollux, and Castor as proven within the panel above. Carry binoculars!

Friday, July 5

• As twilight fades, search for Regulus to emerge into view 2° or three° from the crescent Moon, as proven right here (for the center of North America).

• The Huge Dipper, excessive within the northwest after darkish, is beginning to flip round to “scoop up water” by way of the evenings of summer season and early fall.

Saturday, July 6

• Three doubles on the prime of Scorpius. The top of Scorpius — the vertical row of three stars to the precise of Jupiter and Antares — is highest within the south after darkish this week. The brightest of the three is Delta (δ) Scorpii, the one within the center.

The highest star of the row is Beta (ß) Scorpii, a wonderful double star for telescopes.

Simply 1° beneath Beta is the very broad naked-eye pair Omega1 and Omega2 Scorpii, not fairly vertical. Binoculars present their slight shade distinction. They’re spectral varieties B9 and G2.

Left of Beta by 1.6° is Nu Scorpii, one other wonderful telescopic double. Or moderately triple. Excessive energy in good seeing reveals that Nu’s brighter part itself is a detailed binary, separation 2 arcseconds.


Wish to turn into a greater astronomer? Be taught your means across the constellations. They’re the important thing to finding all the things fainter and deeper to hunt with binoculars or a telescope.

That is an out of doors nature interest. For an easy-to-use constellation information overlaying the entire night sky, use the massive month-to-month map within the heart of every situation of Sky & Telescope, the important information to astronomy.

Jumbo Pocket Sky Atlas cover

The Pocket Sky Atlas plots 30,796 stars to magnitude 7.6, and lots of of telescopic galaxies, star clusters, and nebulae amongst them. Proven above is the Jumbo Version for simpler studying within the night time. Pattern chart.

When you get a telescope, to place it to good use you will want an in depth, large-scale sky atlas (set of charts). The essential commonplace is the Pocket Sky Atlas (in both the unique or Jumbo Version), which reveals stars to magnitude 7.6.

Subsequent up is the bigger and deeper Sky Atlas, plotting stars to magnitude eight.5; almost thrice as many. The subsequent up, as soon as your means round, are the even bigger Interstellarum atlas (stars to magnitude 9.5) and Uranometria (stars to magnitude 9.75). And browse the right way to use sky charts with a telescope.

You may additionally need a good deep-sky guidebook, resembling Sue French’s Deep-Sky Wonders assortment (which incorporates its personal charts), Sky Atlas Companion by Sturdy and Sinnott, or the larger Evening Sky Observer’s Information by Kepple and Sanner.

Can a computerized telescope exchange charts? Not for newbies, I do not assume, and never on mounts and tripods which can be lower than top-quality mechanically (that means heavy and costly). And as Terence Dickinson and Alan Dyer say of their Yard Astronomer’s Information, “A full appreciation of the universe can not come with out creating the abilities to search out issues within the sky and understanding how the sky works. This data comes solely by spending time beneath the celebs with star maps in hand.”

This Week’s Planet Roundup

Mercury and Mars are getting tougher low within the west-northwest as twilight fades. Look early within the week with binoculars a couple of half hour after sundown; see the highest of this web page.

Mercury fades from magnitude zero.eight on the June 28th to 1.5 on July sixth. Mars is magnitude 1.eight, Pollux is 1.2, and Castor is 1.6.

Venus stays very low in vivid daybreak. Seek for it simply above the east-northeast horizon about 20 or 30 minutes earlier than dawn. Carry binoculars.

Jupiter on June 22, 2019

Jupiter’s Nice Purple Spot appeared to have quieted down once more by June 22nd, after shedding flakes of its purple materials earlier. Christopher Go picture.

Jupiter (magnitude –2.6, in southern Ophiuchus) is the white level obvious within the south-southeast as the celebs come out. Orange Antares, a lot fainter at magnitude, twinkles eight° or 9° to its proper. Jupiter is highest within the south by about 11 or midnight daylight saving time, with Antares now to its decrease proper.

Jupiter and Antares type a large, flat, virtually isosceles triangle with Delta Scorpii (Dschubba) to their proper. For a lot of the final 19 years Delta, an eruptive variable, has been solely barely fainter than Antares.

In a telescope Jupiter continues to be 46 or 45 arcseconds broad. See Bob King’s observing information to Jupiter.

Saturn (magnitude +zero.1, in Sagittarius) is the regular, pale yellowish “star” low within the southeast after darkish, 30° east (decrease left) of Jupiter. Saturn involves opposition on July ninth.

Uranus (magnitude 5.eight, in Aries) is low within the east simply earlier than the primary signal of daybreak.

Neptune (magnitude 7.9, in Aquarius) is properly up within the southeast earlier than daybreak. Finder charts for Uranus and Neptune.


All descriptions that relate to your horizon — together with the phrases up, down, proper, and left — are written for the world’s mid-northern latitudes. Descriptions that additionally rely on longitude (primarily Moon positions) are for North America.

Jap Daylight Time (EDT) is Common Time (UT, UTC, GMT, or Z time) minus four hours.


Audio sky tour. Out beneath the night sky along with your earbuds in place, hearken to Kelly Beatty’s month-to-month podcast tour of the heavens above. It is free.


“This journey is made potential by generations of searchers strictly adhering to a easy algorithm. Check concepts by experiments and observations. Construct on these concepts that cross the take a look at. Reject those that fail. Observe the proof wherever it leads, and query all the things. Settle for these phrases, and the cosmos is yours.”
— Neil deGrasse Tyson, 2014



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