Celestial Events To Watch Out For In July

From the conjunction of the moon and Mars to the global cluster Messier 55, find out the top celestial events in July that will have you keep your eyes on the sky
Astronomical telescope for observing stars, planets, Moon, celestial objects in the sky
Astronomical telescope for observing stars, planets, Moon, celestial objects in the skyShutterstock

During the summer, July offers plenty of celestial events for skygazers. Look forward to spotting Mercury in the evening sky, a Lunar occultation of Antares, and the Moon reaching perigee, all making for great stargazing opportunities. The constellations, filled with fascinating myths and legends, will be on full display, sharing ancient stories told through the language of stars. Grab your telescopes and binoculars, and join other astronomy enthusiasts as we gather under the vast summer sky to witness these amazing celestial wonders. Get ready to keep your eyes on the prize this July as you review our list of celestial events for the upcoming month.

Conjunction Of The Moon And Mars, July 1

Crescent Moon with stars, planets and tree silhouettes on evening sky
Crescent Moon with stars, planets and tree silhouettes on evening skyShutterstock

The Moon and Mars will have the same right ascension, with the Moon passing 4°05' north of Mars. When the Moon is 25 days old, it will approach Mars closely, called an appulse. In New Delhi, you can see the two celestial bodies in the dawn sky. They will rise at 02:00 IST, about 3 hours and 24 minutes before the Sun, and reach an altitude of 35° above the eastern horizon before dawn breaks around 04:46. They will be too far apart to fit within a telescope's field of view, but you will be able to see them with the naked eye or through binoculars.

Conjunction Of The Moon And Jupiter, July 3

On a specific date, the Moon and Jupiter will be in the same celestial longitude, with the Moon passing 5°01' north of Jupiter. When the Moon is 27 days old, people in New Delhi will be able to see them in the morning sky. They will rise at 03:10 IST, which is about 2 hours and 15 minutes before the Sun comes up. The Moon and Jupiter will reach an altitude of 23° above the eastern horizon before disappearing from view as dawn breaks around 05:08. The Moon will shine at magnitude -9.9 and Jupiter at magnitude -2.0, and they will both be located in the constellation Taurus. Although they will be too far apart to be seen through a telescope or binoculars, they will be visible to the naked eye.

Conjunction Of Mars And Uranus, July 15

In the sky, Mars and Uranus will both be located in the same right ascension, with Mars passing 33' south of Uranus. This event is called an appulse. In New Delhi, you will be able to see both planets in the dawn sky. They will rise at 01:36 IST, which is about 3 hours and 54 minutes before the Sun. The pair will reach an altitude of 35° above the eastern horizon before disappearing from view around 04:26. Mars will have a magnitude of 0.9, and Uranus will have a magnitude of 5.8, both located in the constellation Taurus. While they might be a bit too far apart to comfortably fit within a telescope's field of view, you should be able to see them through binoculars.

Messier 55 Is Well Placed, July 17

A view of the global cluster, Messier 55
A view of the global cluster, Messier 55Shutterstock

The globular cluster M55 has a magnitude of 6.3 and can be located in the constellation Sagittarius. It will be well positioned in the evening sky in the upcoming weeks. On July 17, it will reach its highest point around midnight local time, and in the following evenings, it will reach this point four minutes earlier each day. It will be visible in New Delhi between 10:03 PM and 2:38 AM. It will become visible around 10:03 PM at 21° above the south-eastern horizon, peak at 12:20 AM at 30° above the southern horizon, and then become obscured around 2:38 AM as it sinks below 21° above the south-western horizon.

M55 has a declination of 30°57'S, and it is best viewed from the southern hemisphere. It is not visible from latitudes much north of 39°N. With a magnitude of 6.3, it is faint and not visible to the naked eye. However, it can be viewed using binoculars or a small telescope.

Conjunction Of The Moon And Saturn, July 25

Conjunction Of The Moon And Saturn
Conjunction Of The Moon And SaturnShutterstock

On the 19th day after a new moon, the Moon and Saturn will appear very close to each other in the sky. They will have the same right ascension, with the Moon passing 23 minutes north of Saturn. This close approach is known as an appulse. From New Delhi, you'll be able to see them in the morning sky starting around 22:36. At that time, they will be about 11° above the eastern horizon. They will reach the highest point in the sky at 03:29, when they will be about 54° above the southern horizon. After that, they will gradually become harder to see as the sky brightens with dawn and will be lost from view around 05:02, about 48° above the southwestern horizon. The Moon will shine at magnitude -12.5 and Saturn at magnitude 0.7, both in the constellation Aquarius. You can see them without a telescope, but if you have one, it will be a great opportunity to observe both the Moon and Saturn up close.

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