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What's Up...
Some observing hilights
to look forward to...



The following tips on exciting current and upcoming astronomical events
have been gathered from magazines and other sources by Dave Gamble
with the objective of giving OC RASC members a heads-up on
special personal
astro-experiences to look forward to.


 July 1 - For the next week there will be an opportunity to view a close conjunction of the two most prominent asteroids, the largest, 1 Ceres and the brightest, 4 Vesta. This Saturday they will appear to be  closest, only 10 arcminutes apart which is one third the diameter of the Moon! Look for an excellent  feature in the July/August Sky News on page 33. Nearby but unseen will be NASA's Dawn spacecraft which has completed its visit to Vesta and is now heading to a Feb. 2015 rendezvous with Ceres.

Wed. July 2 - Brilliant Venus will greet early risers low in the eastern sky as it passes less than the width of your three middle fingers above the giant star Aldebaran, the brightest star in Taurus. Sobering to think that the winter constellations are now entering the early morning sky to begin their steady trek, at a pace of 4 minutes earlier each day, toward their rendezvous half a year from now high in the winter sky.

Thurs. July 3 - If this turns out to be a hot day, take comfort that Earth  is now at aphelion, its farthest point from the Sun. In other words, it could be worse.

Sat. July 5 - As mentioned a few days ago, the two most prominent asteroids, the largest, 1 Ceres and the brightest, 4 Vesta will appear closest in the sky this evening, only 10 arcminutes apart which is one third the diameter of the Moon! See the excellent  feature on the event in the July/August Sky News on page 33.

Sat. July 5 - A fascinating tableau awaits in the early evening sky tonight. The First Quarter Moon will come between the bright star Spica and ruddy Mars within the width of a binocular field. Looking on from stage left will be bright Saturn.

Mon. July 7 - The waxing Moon will pass just over its width south of the ringed planet Saturn this evening.

Sat. July 12 - This is Full Moon Night when the fully lit orb will shine down on mid summer Okanagan scenes.

Sat. July 12 - Fleet Mercury will reach its greatest western elongation tonight, appearing over the eastern horizon before dawn.

Tues. July 15 - The waning gibbous Moon will pass the width of your three middle fingers north of  the outer blue planet Neptune this evening. With the relative dimness of Neptune and the glare of the Moon, this would be a challenging if rewarding observation to make.

Sat. July 19 - The Moon is at Last Quarter. Look for it high in the morning sky.

Thurs. July 24 - Tonight the Moon will visit brilliant Venus in the pre-dawn sky, passing just south of it.

Sat. July 26 - This is New Moon night when our neighbour will keep right out of the way to enable deep sky observing, sketching and imaging in the still brief but expanding window between dusk and dawn.

Tues. July 29 - Fleet Mercury is gaining ground as it speeds along its orbit toward the back of the Sun. Still visible in the pre-dawn sky, it will pass south of the star Pollux in Gemini today.

Wed. July 30 - The Southern Delta Aquarid meteor shower peaks in the early morning hours. Though not one of the more prominent showers, this one will benefit from not having the Moon to compete with this year. Look for 'shooting stars' radiating upward from the southern sky in the early morning hours not only on this morning, but for a few days before and after as well.