Some months are astronomically quiet, others are filled with a variety of interesting events to try and see – bearing in mind the phases of the moon and the weather – and this July is one of them.
In this list of nights not to be missed in July 2021 you will see all the most exciting moments, with a sky that will be filled with different objects moving during the celestial dance and also some meteor showers, depending on your location.
If you need a telescope to enjoy one of this month’s night sky events, we made one long ago guide on space products on offer on Prime Day, however, even if no longer discounted, they remain very valid and very reliable products.
If you are ready to experience one (or all) of these must-see nights in July 2021, read on to get to know them and how to see them.
Must-See Nights July 2021: Friday 16 – Lunar X early evening (peak at 9:00 PM EDT)
Several times a year, for a few hours near its first quarter phase, a feature on the moon is called Lunar X becomes visible in powerful binoculars and backyard telescopes.
When the edges of the Purbach, Caille and Blanchinus craters are illuminated by a particular angle of sunlight, they form a small, bright X shape. The lunar X is on the terminator (the border on the moon between sunlight and shadow), about a third of the way up from the moon’s south pole (to 2 ° East, 24 ° South).
On Friday, July 16, the “X” is expected to begin developing around 19:00 EDT (or 23:00 GMT), peaking at around 21:00. EDT (01:00 GMT on July 17th) and then gradually disappeared. The peak will be during waning daylight for observers in the Eastern Americas, but you can observe the moon in a telescope during the day as long as you take care to avoid the sun.
The lunar X will be visible anywhere on Earth where the moon shines, especially in a dark sky, between 11pm and 3am GMT on July 17th.
Nights not to be missed July 2021: Saturday 17 – First quarter moon (at 10:10 GMT)
When the moon completes the first quarter of its orbit around the Earth at 6:10 am EDT on Saturday July 17 (10:10 GMT) its 90 degree angle from the sun will show us the semi-illuminated moon, or at least its own. eastern side.
In the first quarter the moon always rises around noon and sets around midnight, so it is also visible in the daytime sky in the afternoon.
Evenings surrounding the first quarter are best for viewing the lunar terrain when it is dramatically illuminated by low-angle sunlight, especially along the terminator, the pole-to-pole boundary between the illuminated and dark hemisphere.
Nights not to be missed in July 2021: Saturday 17 – Pluto in opposition (all night)
Among the nights not to be missed in July 2021, Saturday 17, we find the dark and distant dwarf planet designated (134340) Pluto reaching the opposition, but what is it about?
In that date, the Earth will be positioned between Pluto and the sun, minimizing our distance from that outside world. Pluto will be found in the sky halfway between Saturn and the bright star Nunki in the Sagittarius Teapot asterism.
While in opposition, Pluto will be 3.10 billion miles, 4.98 billion km, or 277 light minutes from Earth and will glow with an extremely faint visual magnitude of +14.3, too faint for visual observation through. the courtyard telescopes.
Telescope owners can focus on a 7.8 magnitude star called HIP97602, which will be located in 9.3 arc minutes directly below Pluto in the night of the opposition. While you may not be able to see Pluto directly, you will know it is there, however I leave you a link to one Astronomy detailed guide.
Nights not to be missed in July 2021: Sunday 18 – Pallas asteroid break (overnight stay)
Another date of the nights not to be missed in July 2021, is that of Sunday 18, when the main belt asteroid designated Pallas will stop its regular eastward motion in front of distant stars and a retrograde cycle will begin that will last until the beginning of November (red path).
The visual magnitude of Pallas of 9.7 che will hear of seeing it in amateur telescopes starting late in the evening. On July 18, Pallas will be positioned in the eastern sky, less than half a degree to the right (or south celestial) of the 6.65-magnitude star HIP116417 and the 7.35-magnitude star HIP116417, which are close to the ring of stars that forms the western fish in Pisces.
The asteroid and those stars will appear together in the eyepiece of your telescope.
Nights not to be missed in July 2021: Tuesday 20 – View the Apollo sites (all night)
In this list of nights not to be missed in July 2021, this one could not be missing, in fact the 52nd anniversary of humanity’s first steps to another world and, the six manned Apollo missions, have been sent to different regions of the moon to conduct experiments and bring back rock samples that help us determine the age and composition of the lunar surface.
For safety reasons, Apollo 11 was sent to the flat and relatively nondescript terrain of the Mare Tranquillitatis “Sea of Tranquility”, the subsequent missions instead landed in more rugged regions with complex geology.
As the moon approaches full phase, all regions explored by astronauts are illuminated by sunlight, including the westernmost site, Apollo 12 in Oceanus Procellarum.
Nights not to be missed in July 2021: Wednesday 21st – Venus passes Regulus (after sunset)
For about an hour after sunset on Wednesday 21 July, and very low in the west-northwest sky, the very bright planet Venus will shine above the prominent double star Regulus in Leo.
The orbital motion of Venus will take it a finger to the top right (or 1 degree north celestial) of Regulus Wednesday, close enough to be seen together with a telescope in the courtyard – Magnitude -3.93 Venus will exceed magnitude +1.34 Rule of about 130 times–.
The duo will be observable in binoculars, with Mars in the lower right, for the whole week, however, it will be necessary to make sure that the sun has completely set before aiming the optic towards the western horizon.
Nights not to be missed in July 2021: Friday 23 – Full Thunder Moon (at 2:37 GMT)
The moon will reach its full phase on Friday, July 23 at 10:37 pm. EDT (or 02:37 GMT on Saturday, July 24). The July full moon, commonly referred to as the Buck Moon, Thunder Moon, or Hay Moon, always shines in or near the Sagittarius or Capricorn stars.
The Ojibwe natives of the Great Lakes region call this moon Abitaa-niibini Giizis, the moon in mid-summer, or Mskomini Giizis, the raspberry moon. The Cherokees call it Guyegwoni, the corn in Tassel Moon. The Cree nation of central Canada calls the June full moon Opaskowipisim, the moulting moon (referring to the habits of wild waterfowl) and the Mohawks call it Ohiarihkó: wa, the fruits are ripe moon.
Because the moon is full when opposite the sun in the sky, full moons always rise in the east as the sun sets and set in the west at dawn. Since the sunlight hits the moon vertically at that time, no shadows are cast; all variations in brightness you see result from differences in the reflectivity, or albedo, of the rocks on the lunar surface.
Nights not to be missed in July 2021: Saturday 24 – Bright moon under Saturn and Jupiter (all night)
While the monthly moon visit with the gas giant planets will begin with Saturn the previous evening, sky watchers who are out on Saturday night, July 24, will find our natural satellite slightly less than full shining very bright below and between the bright Jupiter on on the left (or celestial north-east) and Saturn on the right (celestial north-west).
After you finish getting up around 9:30 pm. local time the trio will make a nice wide-ranging photo opportunity if composed with an interesting scenery.
Nights not to be missed in July 2021: Sunday 25 – Gibbous Moon and Jupiter (all night)
After 24 hours, the orbital motion of the moon to the east will move it a palm-wide below (or 4.75 degrees south celestial) of Jupiter on the night of Sunday 25 July.
The pair will be visible together with the binoculars all night after rising in the east-southeast around 10pm local time. The scene will offer another nice wide-field photo opportunity by adding Saturn to their right.
Nights not to be missed in July 2021: Thursday 29th – South Delta Meteor Peak-Acquaridi (at 5:00 GMT)
Obviously, in this list of nights not to be missed in July 2021 could not miss the annual meteor shower of the Aquarids of the Southern Delta lasts from 21 July to 23 August. It will peak before sunrise on Thursday, July 29, but is quite active for a week around that date.
This rain, produced by debris fallen from the periodic comet 96P / Machholz, commonly generates 15-20 meteors per hour at peak. It is best appreciated from the southern tropics, where the radiant of the shower in the south of Aquarius rises higher in the sky.
Unfortunately, the bright gibbous moon shining in the night sky on the peak date will greatly reduce the number of meteors seen, so keep watching the meteors on subsequent nights when the moon sets and rises later.
Nights not to be missed in July 2021: Thursday 29 – Mars meets Regulus (after sunset)
Another important date among the nights not to be missed in July 2021, is that of Thursday 29, Mars will follow in the footsteps of Venus and will spend only 38 minutes of arc (less than a finger) over the brightest star of Leo, Regulus. They will be visible just above the west-northwest horizon after sunset, with Venus shining brightly in the upper left (or east celestial).
White-colored Regulus will shine slightly brighter than reddish Mars. The couple will be close enough to be seen together in a backyard telescope (red circle) for a night or two on either side of Thursday; but the objects observed low in the sky will be blurred by the earth’s atmosphere.
Observers looking from equatorial latitudes and the southern hemisphere will see them higher up and in a darker sky.
Nights not to be missed in July 2021: Thursday 29th – Double Shadow Transit on Jupiter (20:05 to 20:41 GMT)
Occasionally, the small round black shadows cast by Jupiter’s four Galilean moons become visible in amateur telescopes as they traverse (or pass) the planet’s disk.
On Thursday, July 29, observers with telescopes from Central Europe, the Middle East and most of Asia can see two shadows crossing Jupiter at the same time. At 23:05 IDT (or 20:05 GMT) the small shadow of Io will join the larger shadow of Callisto already in transit. About 35 minutes later, at 11:41 pm. IDT (or 20:41 GMT), Callisto’s shadow will move off the planet, letting Io’s shadow complete its crossing nearly two hours later.
Nights not to be missed in July 2021: Saturday 31st – Third quarter moon again (at 13:16 GMT)
When a moon phase occurs in the first few days of a calendar month, it can recur at the end of the month. For the second time in July, the moon will officially reach its third quarter phase – at 9:16 am EDT (or 13:16 GMT) on Saturday, July 31st. The following week of moonless evening skies will be ideal for deep sky observing objectives.
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