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?
|1st||Moon near Antares|
|3rd||Full Moon and it’s a supermoon|
|6th||Earth at aphelion|
|9th||Venus max brightness|
|10th||Last quarter Moon|
|12th||Moon near Jupiter|
|14th||Moon near Pleiades and Aldebaran|
|19th||Moon near Venus, Mars and Mercury|
|20th||Moon near Venus, Mars and Mercury|
|24th||Moon near Spica|
|25th||First quarter Moon|
|28th||Moon near Antares|
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
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 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
This month we have the Delta Aqauriid meteor shower and the Perseid meteor shower begins to show activity
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|
|C/2022 A2 (PanSTARRS)||12|
|C/2022 W3 (Leonard)||12|
|C/2019 T4 (ATLAS)||12|
Deep Sky (DSO’s)
We’re having a change this month and viewing double stars
- 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.
- 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.
- Zeta Hercules:
Zeta Hercules is a another blue/yellow pairing that can be found in the constellation Hercules.
- 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.
- Delta Cygni:
Delta Cygni, is another binary system located in Cygnus,. With two blue-white stars appearing close together.
ISS and other orbiting bits
|Fri Jun 30, 3:02 AM||3 min||14°||10° above S||10° above ESE|
|Sun Jul 2, 3:00 AM||5 min||24°||14° above SSW||10° above E|
|Mon Jul 3, 2:12 AM||3 min||18°||17° above SSE||10° above ESE|
|Tue Jul 4, 1:25 AM||1 min||12°||12° above SE||10° above ESE|
|Tue Jul 4, 2:58 AM||6 min||37°||13° above SW||10° above E|
|Wed Jul 5, 2:10 AM||4 min||29°||21° above SSW||10° above E|
|Thu Jul 6, 1:23 AM||3 min||23°||23° above SSE||10° above E|
|Thu Jul 6, 2:57 AM||7 min||52°||10° above WSW||10° above E|
|Fri Jul 7, 12:36 AM||1 min||15°||15° above SE||10° above ESE|
|Fri Jul 7, 2:09 AM||6 min||44°||15° above SW||10° above E|
|Sat Jul 8, 1:22 AM||4 min||36°||25° above SSW||10° above E|
|Sat Jul 8, 2:57 AM||7 min||58°||10° above W||10° above E|
|Sun Jul 9, 12:34 AM||4 min||29°||24° above S||10° above E|
|Sun Jul 9, 2:08 AM||7 min||56°||10° above WSW||10° above E|
|Sun Jul 9, 3:45 AM||6 min||45°||10° above W||10° above ESE|
|Sun Jul 9, 11:46 PM||4 min||22°||18° above S||10° above E|
|Mon Jul 10, 1:20 AM||7 min||51°||10° above WSW||10° above E|
|Mon Jul 10, 2:57 AM||7 min||52°||10° above W||10° above ESE|
|Mon Jul 10, 10:57 PM||4 min||16°||10° above S||10° above ESE|
|Tue Jul 11, 12:32 AM||6 min||43°||10° above WSW||10° above E|
|Tue Jul 11, 2:08 AM||7 min||57°||10° above W||10° above ESE|
|Tue Jul 11, 3:45 AM||6 min||30°||10° above W||10° 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
and of course the sky at night magazine!