July 2022 Celestial Calendar by Dave Mitsky
All times, unless otherwise noted, are UT (subtract four hours and, when appropriate, one calendar day for EDT)
7/1 Venus is 4.1 degrees north of the first-magnitude star Aldebaran (Alpha Tauri) at 10:00
7/4 The Earth is at aphelion (152,098,455 kilometers or 94,509,598 miles from the Sun) at 7:11
7/6 Mercury is at the ascending node through the ecliptic plane today; the Lunar X, also known as the Werner or Purbach Cross, an X-shaped clair-obscur illumination effect involving various rims and ridges between the craters La Caille, Blanchinus, and Purbach, is predicted to be visible at 8:40
7/7 First Quarter Moon occurs at 2:14; the Hesiodus Lunar Crater Light Ray is predicted to be visible at 23:59:57
7/10 Mercury is at aphelion today
7/12 Asteroid 4 Vesta is stationary at 6:00
7/13 The Moon is at perigee, subtending 33' 27" at a distance of 357,266 kilometers (221,993 miles) at 9:06; Full Moon, known as the Hay or Thunder Moon, occurs at 18:38
7/15 The Moon is 4 degrees south of Saturn at 20:00
7/16 Mercury is in superior conjunction with the Sun at 20:00
7/18 The Moon is 3 degrees south of Neptune at 1:00
7/19 The Moon is 2 degrees south of Jupiter at 1:00
7/20 Venus is 1.5 degrees south of the bright open cluster M35 in Gemini at 0:00; the dwarf planet Pluto is at opposition at 2:00; Last Quarter Moon occurs at 14:19
7/21 Mercury is at its greatest heliocentric latitude north today; the Moon is 1.1 degrees north of Mars, with an occultation taking place in northern Greenland, Svalbard, northwestern Alaska, northeastern Russia, and Japan, at 17:00
7/22 The dwarf planet/asteroid 1 Ceres is in conjunction with the Sun at 1:00; the Moon is 0.2 degrees north of Uranus, with an occultation taking place in northern India, western China, most of the Middle East, southwestern Russia, Europe with the exception of the British Isles and Scandinavia, northwestern Africa, Madeira, the Cape Verde Islands, and northeastern South America, at 6:00; the Curtiss Cross, an X-shaped clair-obscur illumination effect located between the craters Parry and Gambart, is predicted to be visible at 7:47
7/26 The Moon is at apogee; subtending 29' 25" from a distance of 406,273 kilometers (252,447 miles) at 10:22; the Moon is 4 degrees north of Venus at 14:00
7/28 Asteroid 3 Juno is stationary at 10:00; New Moon (lunation 1232) occurs at 17:55
7/29 The peak of the Southern Delta Aquarid meteor shower (a zenithal hourly rate of 20 per hour) is predicted to occur at 10:00; Jupiter is stationary at 12:00
The light from Supernova SN 1054 was first noted by Chinese astronomers on July 4, 1054. The first lunar map was drawn by Thomas Harriot on July 26, 1609. Charles Messier discovered the globular cluster M28 in Sagittarius on July 27, 1764. Comet D/1770 L1 (Lexell) passed closer to the Earth than any comet in recorded history on July 1, 1770. Charles Messier discovered the globular cluster M54 in Sagittarius on July 24, 1778. Caroline Herschel discovered the open cluster NGC 6866 in Cygnus on July 23, 1783. The globular cluster NGC 6569 in Sagittarius was discovered by William Herschel on July 13, 1784. Karl Ludwig Hencke discovered asteroid 6 Hebe on July 1, 1847. The first photograph of a star, namely Vega, was taken on July 17, 1850. The first photograph of a total solar eclipse was taken on July 28, 1851. Hendri Deslandres invented the spectroheliograph on July 24, 1853. Sinope, one of Jupiter’s many satellites was discovered by Seth Nicholson on July 21, 1914. Karl Jansky announced the detection of radio radiation from the center of the Milky Way on July 8, 1933. Seth Nicholson discovered Neptune’s satellite Lysithea on July 6, 1938. The Mariner 4 probe took the first close-up image of another planet, namely Mars, on July 14, 1965. The Apollo 11 lunar module landed on the Moon on July 20, 1969. Neptune’s satellites Despinea and Galatea are discovered using images from the Voyager 2 probe on July 27, 1989. Fragments of Comet D/1993 F2 (Shoemaker-Levy) impacted Jupiter on July 16, 1994. Prospero, one of the satellites of Uranus, is discovered by Matthew Holman on July 18, 1999. Pluto’s satellite Styx is discovered using images from the New Horizon probe on July 11, 2012.
The peak of the Southern Delta Aquarid meteor shower occurs on the morning of July 29th. The radiant is located northwest of the first-magnitude star Fomalhaut (Alpha Piscis Austrini), near the third-magnitude star Skat (Delta Aquarii), and will be at its highest around 2:00 a.m. local time. Southern hemisphere observers are favored. Click on https://earthsky.org...-meteor-shower/ and https://amsmeteors.o...hower-calendar/ for further information. The Alpha Capricornids, the Piscis Austrinids, and the Northern Delta Aquarids are the other minor meteor showers with southern radiants occurring this month. A list of the year's meteor showers appears on page 254 of the RASC's Observer's Handbook 2022.
Information on passes of the ISS, the USAF’s X-37B, the HST, Starlink, and other satellites can be found at http://www.heavens-above.com/
The Moon is 1.7 days old, is illuminated 2.7%, subtends 29.5 arc minutes, and is located in Cancer on July 1st at 0:00 UT. The Moon is at its greatest northern declination of +26.9 degrees on July 26th and its greatest southern declination of -26.9 degrees on July 13th. Longitudinal libration is at a maximum of +7.9 degrees on July 19th and a minimum of -7.4 degrees on July 7th. Latitudinal libration is at a maximum of +6.6 degrees on July 16th and a minimum of -6.7 degrees on July 3rd and -6.6 degrees on July 30th. Favorable librations for the following lunar features occur on the indicated dates: Catena Sylvester on July 13th, Crater Petermann on July 14th, and Crater Hayn on July 15th. Full Moon, the largest one of this year, occurs on July 13th. The Moon is perigee on July 13th and at apogee on July 26th. New Moon takes place on July 28th. The Moon passes close to the bright open cluster M44 (the Beehive Cluster or Praesepe) in Cancer at 17:00 on July 1st, the first-magnitude star Regulus (Alpha Leonis) at 14:00 on July 3rd, the first-magnitude star Spica (Alpha Virginis) at 20:00 on July 7th, the first-magnitude star Antares (Alpha Scorpii) at 2:00 on July 11th, the bright open cluster M45 (the Pleiades or Subaru) in Taurus at 7:00 on July 23rd, the first-magnitude star Aldebaran (Alpha Tauri) at 1:00 on July 24th, the bright open cluster M35 in Gemini at 23:00 on July 25th, and Regulus once again at 19:00 on July 30th. The Moon occults Mars on July 21st and Uranus on July 22nd from certain parts of the world. Browse http://www.lunar-occ...ota/iotandx.htm for information on lunar occultation events. Visit https://saberdoesthe...does-the-stars/ for tips on spotting extreme crescent Moons and https://curtrenz.com/moon.html for Full Moon and other lunar data. Browse https://skyandtelesc...ads/MoonMap.pdf and https://nightsky.jpl...ObserveMoon.pdf for simple lunar maps. Click on http://astrostrona.pl/moon-map for an excellent online lunar map. Visit http://www.ap-i.net/avl/en/start to download the free Virtual Moon Atlas. Consult http://time.unitariu...moon/where.html for current information on the Moon and https://www.fourmila.../lunarform.html for information on various lunar features. See https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/4874 for a lunar phase and libration calculator and https://quickmap.lro...vIBvAXwF1SizSg for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) Quickmap. Click onhttps://www.calendar...endar/2022/july for a lunar phase calendar for this month. Times and dates for the lunar crater light rays predicted to occur this month are available at http://www.lunar-occ...o/rays/rays.htm
The Sun is located in Gemini on July 1st. The Earth is farthest from the Sun, a distance of 1.0167 astronomical units, on July 4th. On that date, it is 3.3% more distant than it was at perihelion and 1.7% farther than its average distance.
Mercury is in the west during the evening. At midnight, Jupiter and Neptune are in the east and Saturn is in the southeast. In the morning, Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Uranus can be found in the east, Jupiter in the southeast, and Saturn and Neptune in the south.
On July 17th, Venus, Aldebaran, Mars, Jupiter, the waning gibbous Moon, and Saturn form an arc in the morning sky extending from the east-northeast to the south-southwest.
Mercury is visible with difficulty in the morning sky at July begins and in the evening sky at the end of the month. It’s at the ascending node on July 6th and reaches aphelion on July 10th. The speediest planet is in superior conjunction on July 16th and is at its most northerly latitude from the ecliptic plane on July 21st. Mercury lies less than three degrees from the crescent Moon on July 29th.
Venus becomes less prominent in the morning sky as its elongation from the Sun decreases from 30 to 22 degrees during July. The brightest planet passes 24 arc minutes north of the supernova remnant M1 on the morning of July 13th. The waning crescent Moon passes four degrees north of Venus July 26th.
Mars brightens from magnitude +0.5 to magnitude +0.2 and increases in angular diameter from 7.2 to 8.2 arc seconds this month. The Red Planet passes 13 arc minutes due south of the fourth-magnitude star Omicron Piscium on July 2nd. It enters Aries on July 9th. A waxing Moon passes a bit more than one degree to the north of Mars on July 21st.
Jupiter is located in extreme northwestern Cetus during July. It rises almost an hour after midnight on July 1st and a just over an hour before midnight by month’s end. Jupiter increases in apparent size from 40.8 to 44.9 arc seconds and in magnitude from -2.4 to -2.7. A waning gibbous Moon passes two degrees to the south of the gas giant planet on the night of July 18th/19th. Jupiter reaches its first stationary point on July 29th. A shadow transit by Ganymede begins at 7:55 UT (3:55 a.m. EDT) on the morning of July 11th. Information on Great Red Spot transit times and Galilean satellite events is available on pages 50 and 51 of the July 2022 issue of Sky & Telescope and online at http://www.skyandtel...watching-tools/
Saturn rises shortly before 11:00 p.m. local time on July 1st. It brightens to magnitude +0.4 and subtends 18.7 arc seconds by the end of July. Its rings are now inclined by slightly less than 13 degrees. On July 15th, the waning gibbous Moon passes four degrees south of the Ringed Planet. Saturn's largest and brightest satellite Titan (magnitude +8.5) lies north of Saturn on July 4th/5th and July 20th/21st and due south of the planet on July 11th/12th and July 27th/28th. Titan occults the 8.7-magnitude-star designated HIP 107569 and HD 207123 at approximately 9:14 UT (5:14 a.m. EDT) on the morning of July 9th. See https://earthsky.org...ar-july-9-2022/ and https://skyandtelesc...nstarrs-shines/ for more on this event. For further information on Saturn’s satellites, browse http://www.skyandtel...watching-tools/
Uranus is located in southern Aries about midway between Venus and Mars as July begins. The waning crescent Moon passes 0.2 degrees north of Uranus on July 22nd. Visit http://www.nakedeyep....com/uranus.htm for a finder chart.
Neptune is located five degrees due south of the fourth-magnitude star Lambda Piscium, which is the southeasternmost star in the Circlet of Pisces asterism. A waning gibbous Moon passes three degrees south of Neptune on July 18th. Browse http://www.nakedeyep...com/neptune.htm for a finder chart.
The dwarf planet Pluto reaches opposition on July 20th. Finder charts can be found on pages 48 and 49 of the July 2022 issue of Sky & Telescope and on page 239 of the RASC Observer’s Handbook 2022.
For more on the planets and how to locate them, browse http://www.nakedeyeplanets.com/
The graphic at https://www.timeandd...lanets/distance displays the apparent and comparative sizes of the planets, along with their magnitudes and distances, for a given date and time.
The rise and set times and locations of the planets can be determined by clicking on https://www.timeandd...stronomy/night/
Comet C/2017 K2 (PanSTARRS) travels southwestward through Ophiuchus this month. It passes less than one degree of the globular cluster M10 from July 13th to July 15th and less than three degrees from the globular cluster M107 as July comes to an end. Visit http://cometchasing.skyhound.com/ and http://www.aerith.ne...t/future-n.html and https://cobs.si/ for information on comets visible this month.
Asteroid 387 Aquitania shines brighter than usual as it heads southwestward through Ophiuchus this month. Asteroids brighter than magnitude +11.0 that reach opposition this month include 14 Irene (magnitude +9.8) on July 6th, 9 Metis (magnitude +9.7) on July 20th, and 192 Nausika (magnitude +9.6) on July 22nd. Information on asteroid occultations taking place this month is available at https://www.asteroid.../2022_07_si.htm
A wealth of current information on solar system celestial bodies is posted at http://www.curtrenz.com/astronomy.html and http://nineplanets.org/
Data on current supernovae can be found at http://www.rochester...y.org/snimages/
Telrad finder charts for the SAC’s 110 Best of the NGC are available at https://www.saguaroa...k110BestNGC.pdf
Information pertaining to observing some of the more prominent Messier galaxies can be found at http://www.cloudynig...ur-astronomers/
Author Phil Harrington offers an excellent freeware planetarium program for binocular observers known as TUBA (Touring the Universe through Binoculars Atlas), which also includes information on purchasing binoculars, at http://www.philharrington.net/tuba.htm
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)
Notable carbon star for July: T Draconis
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.