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The Sky this week from June 29th to July 8th



Friday, June 29

Venus dominates the western sky after sunset. The dazzling object shines in the -4.1 magnitude under the background stars of the Western Lion, having crossed the border of Cancer earlier in the day. The planet appears 15 ° high one hour after sunset and sets off at 11:00. local daylight time. Viewed through a telescope, Venus appears 16 inches wide and 70 percent illuminated.

The Moon reaches apogee, the farthest point of its orbit around Earth at 22:43 EDT, and is then 252,315 miles (406,061 kilometers) away The center of the earth

Saturday, June 30

Mars is a breathtaking sight all week. It rises a little before 11 o'clock. local daylight time and climbs in the south until dawn almost 30 ° high. Although the Red Planet is still a month away from its opposition at the end of July, it appears much brighter than a week ago. With a magnitude of -2.2, Jupiter appears to be the second brightest spot in the night sky after Venus. Tonight, however, it seems a bit less brilliant, as it moves across the sky with a waning moon. The two remain within about 5 ° of each other throughout the night. If you point a telescope at Mars, you will see its 21

"diameter disk and perhaps some subtle surface features – though many are obscured by the planet's large ongoing dust storm.

For people living near 30 ° North Latitude, today marks the most recent sunset of the year. Although the summer solstice and the longest day of the Northern Hemisphere occurred more than a week ago (on the 21st), the latest sunset occurs a few days after the earliest sunrise a few days before but the last sunset at 40 ° North took place on June 27. In general, the latest sunset occurs closer to the Solstice the farther north you live.

Sunday, July 1

Gorgeous Saturn reaches its peak was last Week when he appeared in the sky opposite the sun and our view of the ringed planet remains spectacular : He is seen almost all night under the stars of the northern shooter hanging in the southeast ky as the darkness falls and high in the south at midnight local daylight time climbs. Saturn continues to glow in magnitude 0.0. In the binoculars you see the Trifid Nebula (M20) 4,7 ° to the west, with the even brighter Lagoon Nebula (M8) 1 ° south of the Trifid. The open cluster M25 is located 4.0 ° northeast of the planet and the globular cluster M22 3.5 ° southeast of the ring world. But the best views of Saturn come through a telescope revealing the planet's 18 "diameter disk, surrounded by a dramatic ring system spanning 42" and tilted at 26 ° to our line of sight.


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