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  • Chris Baker

What's up? - July 2024

Each month I highlight a few objects you can spot in the night sky without the need for optical equipment.


Our views of the planets have been hampered these past few months by the short nights and the planets being close to the sun from a viewing perspective. But this month we begin to see the change!


The Moon

I don't usually mention our Moon as it's not so hard to spot! - but it is worth shout-out as it is a beautiful thin crescent Moon early morning on the 7th 8th and 9th July.


A beautiful crescent Moon 22:30 looking West on the 9th July

Courtesy of Stellarium


Looking each side of this date too will still be worthwhile!


A Stunning grouping


A crescent Moon, the star cluster Pleiades, the planets Mars and Jupiter in the east on the 30th July around 2-3am

Courtesy of Stellarium



Jupiter

Early in the month the planet Jupiter rises around 3am and is close to the star cluster Pleiades. But this leaves little time for it to rise high enough to spot above the horizon before the Sun ruins it all!

The position improves during the month as shown in this example on the night of the 15th July.


Jupiter 3:30am on the morning of the 15th July looking NE

Courtesy of Stellarium

As the month progresses you'll be able to see Mars and Jupiter continue their dance.



Mars

At the beginning of the month Mars rises almost 3 hours before the sun - in the east.

On the morning of the 21st the planet will be close to the star cluster Pleiades as shown below.


Mars in the east around 3:30am on the 2st July

Courtesy of Stellarium



Saturn

The planet makes a welcome return this month also, although it is difficult to spot early in July. But by the end of the month it will be 30 degrees above the southern horizon.


Here it is on the 31st July.


Saturn directly south 3:30am on the morning of the 31st July

Courtesy of Stellarium



Enjoy the night sky this month and let me know about your observations.


Thank you for reading this blog and do let me know if there is anything you would like me to add to my Newsletter each month.

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