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Night sky events for the week of July 5 2010


Hello Sky Watchers!

The Moon will be weaning down this week until it will be New on Sunday the 10th, making the week a good time for observing as the skies will stay relatively dark.

For all you early birds, about one hour before sunrise you can see the Moon looking thinner everyday from Wednesday the 7th to Friday the 9th as it passes by The Pleiades in the low eastern sky. A crescent Moon will be hanging right below the fall and winter cluster on the 8th, while Aldebaran will be just a few degrees below the Moon.

On Tuesday the 6th the Earth will be at aphelion, this is when it is at its farthest point from the Sun for the year. Even though our planet is farthest from the Sun, it is summer (and hot!) in the northern hemisphere. This is because of the Earth's tilt which places the north half of the globe at an angle where the Sun hits it more directly.

On Friday the 9th, Regulus will lie at about one degree to the lower left of Venus during Twilight. The star will look much fainter next to the briliant planet.

The constellation Scorpious is now high in the southern sky after night falls, with a telescope you can see many sky obects that lie around it. Look for the Corona Australis just to the east of it; it looks like a smaller version of the other crown, the Corona Borealis, which is seen high in the sky at around 8:00 or 9:00 p.m.

And, of course, the Corona Borealis lies just between Bootes and Hercules, two other summer constellations.

Venus continues its early evening bright western appearance and it is getting larger as the summer continues. It will appear dramatically bigger by late summer, with its then grown crescent phase.

Mars appears in the west to the upper left of Venus in the early evening and it will also be near Saturn to its lower right. With a telescope you can also view Saturn's largest moon, Titan, which lies on the west of the planet at about four ring-lengths. Jupiter is coming up at about midnight and is seen high in the southeastern sky before dawn.

Look up and smile!

For all previous weeks' night sky events click here.

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