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Astronomical events of interest for July 2014

 July 1, 2014 star chart
July 1, 2014 star chart
D. Tondreau

Here is a quick look at what’s happening astronomically in July 2014. Mark your calendars.

July comes from the Latin word Julius. Originally the roman month for July was Quintilis. It was renamed to Julius after Julius Caesar, his birth month, shortly before his death.

Moon:

  • First Quarter Moon: July 5
  • Full Moon: July 12 (Summer Moon)
  • Closest from Earth: July 13 (222,612 miles super-size Moon)
  • Last Quarter Moon: July 18
  • New Moon: July 26
  • Farthest from Earth: July 27 (252,629 miles mini Moon, most distant this year)

Planets visible early evening after sunset:

  • Mars: moves from the southwest to west southwest during the month.
  • Saturn: moves from the south to the southwest during the month.

Planets visible morning before sunrise:

  • Venus will be visible in the east all month.
  • Mercury visible low on the eastern horizon between July13 and July 28.

Sun:

  • July 1: Sunrise 5:35am MDT, Sunset 8:31pm MDT
  • July 21: The Sun enters the astronomical constellation Cancer
  • July 22: The Sun enters the astrological sign Leo
  • July 31: Sunrise 5:57am MDT, Sunset 8:14pm MDT

Earth:

  • July 2: Midyear
  • July 3: Earth is farthest from the Sun (94.5 million miles)

Meteors:

  • July 30: Southern Delta Aquariid meteor shower peaks around 2:00am. Rates are projected up to twenty meteors per hour.

Special Events:

  • July 1: Early evening looking west, a Crescent Moon will be next to Regulus the brightest star in constellation Leo.
  • July 5: Early evening first quarter moon next to Mars (brightest) and Spica the brightest star in the constellation Virgo.
  • July 7: Early evening gibbous moon next to Saturn.
  • July 13: Early evening Mars (brightest) next to Spica.
  • July 19: The Chamberlin Observatory will be celebrating 120 years of operation with a special open house, weather permitting. Daytime activities include presentations and solar viewing. The observatory’s 20” telescope and telescopes belonging to members of the Denver Astronomical Society will be available for viewing in the evening. Click here for more information for daytime and evening events.
  • July 22: A Crescent Moon will be next to Aldebaran the brightest star in the constellation Leo the lion.
  • July 24: Pre-dawn looking east, the Moon, Venus and Mercury form a nice group.

Historical Trivia:

  • July 10, 1962: NASA launches Telstar the first satellite to relay TV signals and high speed data.
  • July 23, 1995: Comet Hale-Bopp is discovered.

Wishing you clear skies