| Observatory |
Some observing hilights
to look forward to...
The following tips on 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.
Sat. July 2 – A sign of the advancing season is the appearance of Aldebaran in the early morning twilight sky to the upper right of the thin waning crescent Moon. Six months from now the red giant in Taurus will be located high in the winter sky.
Mon. July 4 - If this turns out to be a particularly hot day, a bit of consolation might be drawn from recollecting that Earth is at aphelion, the farthest point in its orbit from the Sun. It could be worse. This is also New Moon night with our companion tucked near the Sun, leaving brief dark summer night skies for deep sky activities.
Thurs. July 7 – The waxing crescent Moon is climbing into the evening sky. Tonight it is less than the width of two fingers left of Regulus as Leo moves further down stage west.
Fri. July 8 – Tonight our restless companion, still in crescent phase, moves to the lower right of Jupiter in the evening sky.
Mon. July 11 – This is First Quarter Moon night with the half orange disk looking down on the Okanagan summer evening.
Wed. July 13 – For those interested in glimpsing the blue ice giant planet Neptune, this week the outer planet poses about the width of the Moon below lambda Aquarii.
Thurs. July 14 – There is still time to savour the last of Mars’ recent opposition tonight as the waxing gibbous Moon passes above the red planet.
Fri. July 15 – The waxing Moon takes its place in the night sky, leading a chorus line that includes Saturn and the bright star Antares in Scorpius shining low in the south.
Sat. July 16 – Fleet Mercury is most often a difficult target to spot without some help. Tonight bright Venus is only about the width of a finger below it in low in the west after sunset.
Tues. July 19 – This is Full Moon night when romantics can greet the rising of the silvery disk from behind the Okanagan mountains in the early evening, preferably with a lake view to add atmosphere.
Sat. July 23 – Another opportunity to spot Neptune occurs tonight when the faint 8th magnitude blue planet appears about two moon widths below the just past full phase disk.
Mon. July 25 – Tonight our bright satellite provides a fingerpost to Uranus which appears about the width of two fingers below it.
Tues. July 26 – This is Last Quarter Moon night. A summer dark sky period is about to begin to allow catch-up observing, sketching and imaging of the deep sky.
Thurs. July 28 - The Southern Delta Aquarid meteor shower peaks in the early morning hours. Though not being one of the more prominent showers, this one will not suffer too much from the waning crescent Moon. It would be worthwhile looking 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.
Fri. July 29 – Aldebaran reasserts its re-entry into the early morning sky posing above the waning crescent Moon.
Sat. July 30 – Elusive Mercury becomes an observing candidate shining the width of the Moon from Regulus in Leo just after sunset. Look now in the west-northwestern sky at dusk.