What’s Up July 2023

A monthly look at astronomical events in the sky and on Earth

Compiled by Steve Sawyer

Hi welcome to Julys what’s up. This month we have the 1st supermoon of the year (expect the usual media hype), Venus is at it’s brightest and the Earth is reaches it’s furthest point from the Sun (known as aphelion). Don’t forget July is also an excellent month for spotting noctilucent clouds.

So what’s on this month?

Sky Diary

1stMoon near Antares
3rdFull Moon and it’s a supermoon
6thEarth at aphelion
9thVenus max brightness
10thLast quarter Moon
12thMoon near Jupiter
14thMoon near Pleiades and Aldebaran
17thNew Moon
19thMoon near Venus, Mars and Mercury
20thMoon near Venus, Mars and Mercury
24thMoon near Spica
25thFirst quarter Moon
28thMoon near Antares

Sky Maps

looking South on the 15th at 22:00

Looking North on the 15th at 22:00

The two charts above show all DSOs of magnitude 6.0 or brighter. They are both taken from
SkyViewCafe.com and correct for the 15th of the month. For a clickable list of Messier objects with images, use the Wikipedia link

The Sun

Again our star is proving to be very active at the time of writing (June 28th) there is a very large Earth facing sunspot (AR3354) which didn’t exist 2 days ago. Solar flare activity is expected over the next few days.

Credit: taken by Apollo Lasky on June 28, 2023 @ Naperville, il


For more info on the sun and solar weather look here : –


And our own Met-office have an excellent space weather forecast page here Space Weather – Met Office

The Moon

The 7th full Moon of 2023 is the Buck Moo (named for the time of year when male deer start to regrow their antlers), other names are the Thunder Moon and Hay Moon,
Julys full moon is also the 1st supermoon of the year. At it’s nearest point the Moon will (only) be 224,895.4 miles (361,934 km) from Earth. This makes the Moon appear around 7% larger which unfortunately doesn’t make much difference when viewed by the human eye.

See the sky diary for this months lunar events

A full lunar calendar can be found here :-



Mercury first appears to the lower right on Venus around the 15th July 30 minutes after sunset and setting around 10pm. Can be then viewed for the rest of the month, although dimming to Mag +0.1 towards the end of the month.


Venus has been prominent in the evening sky for most of the year reaching it’s maximum brightness (mag -4.5) at the start of the month. By the end of the month however Venus fades into the sunset


Visible but hard to see in the evening twilight


Jupiter can be found in Aries rising around 1am and shining at mag-2.1


Rising around 11pm and can be found in Aquarius at mag +0.6. Saturn starts the month at 17° above the SE horizon, rising to 25° due South by the end of the month.


Follows Jupiter rising at around 1:30am and is around mag +5.8, so borderline naked eye visible in dark skies.


Very faint at around mag +7.8 and rising at around 11:30pm

Meteor Showers

This month we have the Delta Aqauriid meteor shower and the Perseid meteor shower begins to show activity

Delta Aquariids

Although not as prominent as some other meteor showers, the Delta Aquariids can still provide a good display. Here are the details:

Active from mid-July to late August, the Delta Aquariids meteor shower reaches its peak around late July. This meteor shower is associated with the debris left behind by Comet 96P/Machholz.
The radiant of the shower lies inside the constellation of Aquarius near the bright star Delta Aquarii.
Once you’ve located Delta Aquarii on the sky, it’s best to look away from the radiant point – if you look in the direction of the radiant you will only see short meteors.  Meteors will appear longer the further away from the radiant you look, and you’ll have more chance to catch them.


No easy to see comets this month, the ones listed below start at mag 9 and go to mag 13.

C/2023 E1 (ATLAS)9
103P/Hartley 212
C/2022 A2 (PanSTARRS)12
C/2022 W3 (Leonard)12
C/2019 T4 (ATLAS)12
81P/Wild 212

Deep Sky (DSO’s)

We’re having a change this month and viewing double stars

  1. Albireo (Beta Cygni):
    Located Cygnus, Albireo is a double star that presents a striking colour contrast. You’ll observe Albireo as a pair of stars—one with a golden-yellow hue and the other appearing bluish.
  2. Epsilon Lyrae (The Double-Double):
    Situated in Lyra, Epsilon Lyrae is often referred to as the “Double-Double” because each of the two stars is actually a close pair of stars. When viewed, Epsilon Lyrae resolves to four stars arranged in two pairs, forming a beautiful quadruple system.
  3. Zeta Hercules:
    Zeta Hercules is a another blue/yellow pairing that can be found in the constellation Hercules.
  4. Gamma Andromedae (Almach):
    Found in Andromeda, Gamma Andromedae, also known as Almach. Almach displays a bright yellow primary star accompanied by a smaller blue companion.
  5. Delta Cygni:
    Delta Cygni, is another binary system located in Cygnus,. With two blue-white stars appearing close together.

ISS and other orbiting bits

DateVisibleMax Height*AppearsDisappears
Fri Jun 30, 3:02 AM3 min14°10° above S10° above ESE
Sun Jul 2, 3:00 AM5 min24°14° above SSW10° above E
Mon Jul 3, 2:12 AM3 min18°17° above SSE10° above ESE
Tue Jul 4, 1:25 AM1 min12°12° above SE10° above ESE
Tue Jul 4, 2:58 AM6 min37°13° above SW10° above E
Wed Jul 5, 2:10 AM4 min29°21° above SSW10° above E
Thu Jul 6, 1:23 AM3 min23°23° above SSE10° above E
Thu Jul 6, 2:57 AM7 min52°10° above WSW10° above E
Fri Jul 7, 12:36 AM1 min15°15° above SE10° above ESE
Fri Jul 7, 2:09 AM6 min44°15° above SW10° above E
Sat Jul 8, 1:22 AM4 min36°25° above SSW10° above E
Sat Jul 8, 2:57 AM7 min58°10° above W10° above E
Sun Jul 9, 12:34 AM4 min29°24° above S10° above E
Sun Jul 9, 2:08 AM7 min56°10° above WSW10° above E
Sun Jul 9, 3:45 AM6 min45°10° above W10° above ESE
Sun Jul 9, 11:46 PM4 min22°18° above S10° above E
Mon Jul 10, 1:20 AM7 min51°10° above WSW10° above E
Mon Jul 10, 2:57 AM7 min52°10° above W10° above ESE
Mon Jul 10, 10:57 PM4 min16°10° above S10° above ESE
Tue Jul 11, 12:32 AM6 min43°10° above WSW10° above E
Tue Jul 11, 2:08 AM7 min57°10° above W10° above ESE
Tue Jul 11, 3:45 AM6 min30°10° above W10° above SE

Check the website listed for sightings after this date . Use the this NASA website for exact timings for York overpasses. York, England, United Kingdom | Sighting Opportunity | Spot The Station | NASA

Useful Resources







Top 10 Winter Sky Targets for Skywatchers | Space

and of course the sky at night magazine!

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