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Night sky events for the week of July 12 2010

Hello Sky Watchers!

The New Moon occurred on Sunday night, so for all avid stargazers there will be relatively dark skies this week before the Moon reaches its Last Quarter phase on Sunday the 18th.

Looking west after sunset you will spot brigth Venus while it lies near the Leo Constellation. See it close to Regulus, Leo's brightest star. Mars is also close by as it lies to the left and up from Venus right after the Sun goes down.

Through Tuesday the 13th and Friday the 16th, use binoculars to spot Mercury at about 45 minutes after sunset when it hangs low in the western horizon. Find it on the 13th as it lies a few degrees to the right of the very crescent Moon.

You can also see the crescent Moon slowly grow by the day as it passes by the diagonal line created by Regulus, Venus, Mars and Saturn after sunset also on the western horizon.

Observe the Summer Triangle high in the eastern sky after dark. Look for the brightest star shining in that direction, which is Vega. To make out the triangle, look for Deneb on the lower left of Vega and Altair to its lower right.

Jupiter is rising in the east between 11 p.m. and midnight, and can be seen high in the southeast before dawn arrives. Early birds can easily spot it as it is the brightest object in the sky during the early morning.

Look up and smile!

For all previous weeks' night sky events click here.

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