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July 2010 Celestial Calendar
#3897053 - 07/01/10 12:51 PM
July Calendar by Dave Mitsky
All times, unless otherwise noted, are UT (subtract four hours and, when appropriate, one calendar day for EDT)
7/1 The Moon is at apogee, subtending 29'45" from a distance of 405,036 km (251,677 miles), at 10:12
7/3 Asteroid 2 Pallas is stationary at 11:00; asteroid 29 Amphitrite (magnitude 9.4) is at opposition at 11:00; Uranus is 7 degrees south of the Moon at 20:00
7/4 Jupiter is 7 degrees south of the moon at 1:00; last Quarter Moon occurs at 14:35
7/5 Mercury is at its greatest heliocentric latitude north today; the Curtiss Cross, an X-shaped illumination effect located between the craters Parry and Gambart, is predicted to occur at 8:28
7/6 Uranus is stationary, with retrograde (western) motion to begin, at 1:00; the Earth is at aphelion (152,096,520 kilometers or 94,508,396 miles from the Sun) at 11:00
7/8 The Moon is 0.6 degree south of the bright open cluster M45 (the Pleiades) in Taurus at 8:00
7/9 Asteroid 3 Juno is in conjunction with the Sun today
7/10 Venus is 1.1 degrees north of the first-magnitude star Regulus (Alpha Leonis) at 2:00; the Moon is 0.01 degree south of the bright open cluster M35 in Gemini at 15:00
7/11 New Moon (lunation 1083) occurs at 19:40; a total solar eclipse, the 27th of Saros 126, begins at 18:15 and ends at 20:52
7/13 Mercury is 4 degrees north of the Moon at 1:00: the Moon is at perigee, subtending 32'05" from a distance of 361, 115 km (224,386 miles), at 11:22; Mercury is 0.2 degree north of the bright open cluster M44 (the Beehive or Praesepe) in Cancer at 14:00
7/15 Venus is 6 degrees north of the Moon at 1:00
7/16 Mars is 6 degrees north of the Moon at 5:00; Saturn is 8 degrees north of the Moon at 19:00
7/18 First Quarter Moon occurs at 10:11; the Lunar X, also known as the Werner or Purbach Cross, an X-shaped illumination effect involving various rims and ridges between the craters La Caille, Blanchinus, and Purbach, is predicted to occur at 18:17
7/21 The Moon is 1.8 degrees north of the first-magnitude star Antares (Alpha Scorpii) at 18:00
7/24 Jupiter is stationary at 4:00
7/26 The Full Moon, known as the Hay or Thunder Moon and the smallest one of the year, occurs at 1:36
7/27 Mercury is 0.3 degree south of Regulus at 23:00
7/28 Neptune is 5 degrees south of the Moon at 7:00
7/29 Mercury is at the descending node today; the Moon is at apogee, subtending 29'19" from a distance of 405,955 kilometers (252,248 miles), at 23:48; the Southern Delta Aquarid meteor shower (approximately 20/hour) peaks at 9:00
7/31 Uranus is 6 degrees south of the Moon at 3:00; Jupiter is 7 degrees south of the Moon at 9:00
The Southern Delta Aquarids are compromised by a gibbous Moon this year.
The Moon is 18.5 days old and is located in Aquarius on July 1 at 0:00 UT. See http://www.lunar-occultations.com/iota/iotandx.htm for further information. The Moon is at its greatest northern declination of +25.0 degrees on July 9 and its greatest southern declination of Ė25.0 degrees on July 22. Longitudinal libration is at a maximum of +6.7 degrees on July 20 and a minimum of -6.6 degrees on July 7. Latitudinal libration is at a maximum of +6.9 degrees on July 17 and a minimum of -6.9 degrees on July 4 and -6.8 degrees on July 31. Visit http://www.astronomyblogs.com/member/saberscorpx/?xjMsgID=50821 for tips on spotting extreme crescent Moons. Times and dates for the lunar light rays predicted to occur in June are available at http://www.lunar-occultations.com/rlo/rays/rays.htm
The Sun is located in Gemini on July 1. The Earth is farthest from the Sun on July 6, when it is 3.3% more distant than it was at perihelion. A total solar eclipse occurs in the South Pacific and southern Chile and Argentina on July 11. Maximum totality is 5 minutes 20 seconds long and occurs between Tahiti and Easter Island at 19:33:31 UT. For further information, see http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEmono/TSE2010/TSE2010.html
Brightness, apparent size, illumination, distance from the Earth in astronomical units, and location data for the planets and Pluto on July 1: Mercury (-2.0 magnitude, 5.1", 99% illuminated, 1.33 a.u., Gemini), Venus (-4.1 magnitude, 15.5", 71% illuminated, 1.08 a.u., Leo), Mars (1.3 magnitude, 5.2", 91% illuminated, 1.79 a.u., Leo), Jupiter (-2.5 magnitude, 41.5", 99% illuminated, 4.75 a.u., Pisces), Saturn (1.1 magnitude, 17.2", 100% illuminated, 9.66 a.u., Virgo), Uranus (5.8 magnitude, 3.6", 100% illuminated, 19.92 a.u., Pisces), Neptune (7.8 magnitude, 2.3", 100% illuminated, 29.35 a.u., Aquarius), and Pluto (14.0 magnitude, 0.1", 100% illuminated, 30.85 a.u., Sagittarius).
On July evenings, Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Saturn are located in the west. At midnight, Jupiter and Uranus are in the east. In the morning, Jupiter and Uranus can be seen in the south.
At midmonth, Mercury is visible during evening twilight, Venus sets at 11:00 p.m. EDT, Mars sets at 11:00 p.m. EDT, Jupiter rises at midnight, and Saturn sets at midnight for observers at latitude 40 degrees north.
Two conjunctions occur this month: Venus and Regulus on July 10 and Mercury and Regulus on July 27. The distance between Venus and Saturn drops from 38 degrees on July 1 to less than eight degrees on July 31. At the start of July, Mars and Saturn are separated by 15 degrees. Venus, Saturn, and Mars form an acute triangle on July 31. The gap between Mars and Saturn is less than two degrees that night.
Mercury is visible very close to the western horizon during the final two weeks of July. (Itís highest on July 26 for observers at a latitude of 40 degrees north.) Mercury fades from magnitude -0.5 to magnitude 0.1 during this period.
Venus shines brilliantly this month, reaching magnitude -4.3 by monthís end. As Venus approaches the Earth, it increases in apparent size from 15.5 to 19.7 arc seconds and decreases in illuminated extent from 71 to 59%.
Mars leaves Leo and enters Virgo on July 19. The Red Planet subtends less than five arc seconds by the end of the month and is no longer a viable telescopic target.
Due to the eastward motion of Jupiter, Uranus decreases in distance from two to three degrees west of Jupiter during the course of the month. Uranus begins retrograde motion on July 6.
Neptune can be seen in the pre-dawn hours. It attains an altitude of approximately 20 degrees in the southeast by midnight and is bright enough to be seen with binoculars.
Finder charts for Uranus and Neptune are posted at http://media.skyandtelescope.com/documents/Uranus_Neptune_2010.pdf
Pluto reached opposition late last month and is well placed during the middle of the night. A finder chart is available on page 60 of the July 2010 issue of Sky & Telescope and online at http://www.skyandtelescope.com/skytel/beyondthepage/89002802.html
The periodic comet 10P/Tempel shines at eighth-magnitude as it travels eastward through Cetus this month. It reaches perihelion on July 4. Comet C/2009 R1 (McNaught) reaches perihelion on July 2 and may be visible very low in the western sky in Cancer for a few minutes after sunset. This comet may be the brightest one of the year. Browse http://cometchasing.skyhound.com and http://www.aerith.net/comet/future-n.html for additional information on these and other comets visible in July.
During July, asteroid 1 Ceres glides southwestward through Ophiuchus. The dwarf planet shines at seventh-magnitude as it passes to the south of the third-magnitude star Theta Ophiuchi and through the dark nebula known as the Pipe Nebula (LDN 1773). Ceres is just north of a sixth-magnitude binary star on the night of July 6.
A free star map for July can be downloaded at http://www.skymaps.com/downloads.html
Forty binary and multiple stars for July: Eta Draconis, 17 & 16 Draconis, Mu Draconis, Struve 2273, Nu-1 & Nu-2 Draconis, Psi Draconis (Draco); Kappa Herculis, Gamma Herculis, Struve 2063, 56 Herculis, Struve 2120, Alpha Herculis (Ras Algethi), Delta Herculis, Rho Herculis, Mu Herculis (Hercules); Rho Ophiuchi, Lambda Ophiuchi, 36 Ophiuchi, Omicron Ophiuchi, Burnham 126 (ADS 10405), Struve 2166, 53 Ophiuchi, 61 Ophiuchi (Ophiuchus); h5003 (Sagittarius); Xi Scorpii, Struve 1999, Beta Scorpii, Nu Scorpii, 12 Scorpii, Sigma Scorpii, Alpha Scorpii (Antares), h4926 (Scorpius); Struve 2007, 49 Serpentis, Struve 2031 (Serpens Caput); 53 Serpentis, Struve 2204, h4995, h2814 (Serpens Cauda); Epsilon Ursae Minoris (Ursa Minor)
Challenge binary star for July: 24 Ophiuchi
Sixty-five deep-sky objects for July: NGC 6140, NGC 6236, NGC 6340, NGC 6395, NGC 6412, NGC 6503, NGC 6543 (Draco); IC 4593, M13, M92, NGC 6106, NGC 6166, NGC 6173, NGC 6181, NGC 6207, NGC 6210, NGC 6229, NGC 6482 (Hercules); B61, B62, B63, B64, B72, IC 4634, IC 4665, LDN 42, LDN 1773, M9, M10, M12, M14, M19, M62, M107, NGC 6284, NGC 6287, NGC 6293, NGC 6304, NGC 6309, NGC 6356, NGC 6366, NGC 6369, NGC 6384, NGC 6401, Tr 26 (Ophiuchus); NGC 6440, NGC 6445 (Sagittarius); B50, B55, B56, Cr 316, M4, M6, M7, M80, NGC 6144, NGC 6153, NGC 6192, NGC 6231, NGC 6242, NGC 6302, NGC 6337, NGC 6451 (Scorpius); NGC 6217, NGC 6324 (Ursa Minor)
Top ten binocular deep-sky objects for July: IC 4665, LDN 1773, M4, M6, M7, M10, M12, M13, M92, NGC 6231
Top ten deep-sky objects for July: M4, M6, M7, M10, M12, M13, M92, NGC 6210, NGC 6231, NGC 6543
Challenge deep-sky object for July: NGC 6380 (Scorpius)
The objects listed above are located between 16:00 and 18:00 hours of right ascension.
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