Sun, moon and stars – Jupiter shines flawlessly

In July, the starry sky over Germany has a lot to offer. Photo: Peter Kneffel / dpa

The three stationary stars form a conspicuous constellation in the evening summer sky. There is talk of the summer triangle. In July, the Summer Triangle stands high in the south around midnight.

It’s kind of the opposite of a winter hexagon. The Summer Triangle consists of the stars Vega in the lyre, Deneb in the swans and Atair in the eagle. The figure of a swan with outstretched wings is represented by a large cross of stars, also called the Cross of the North.

While Vega at 25 light-years away and Atair at 16 light-years away are still relatively close stars in the vicinity of the Sun, Deneb is the farthest first-size star at about 2,500 light-years away. The fact that Deneb is one of the brightest stars in Earth’s night sky is due to its enormous brightness. This hot bluish sun is 130,000 times brighter than our sun. If our Sun were as far away as Deneb, it could only be seen with very large telescopes.

Arcturus and Spica remember the past spring days

In the western celestial sphere are Arcturus in the constellation Wolarz and Spica in the constellation Virgo. They are reminiscent of bygone spring days. Far south is Antares, the prime star in the zodiacal constellation Scorpio. Antares is the heart of Scorpio. Antares is 550 light years away. Its distinctive red color is striking. This is the so-called red supergiant star. Antares is 15 times more massive than our sun.

The summer light band of the Milky Way rises to the south between Scorpio and Sagittarius towards the Eagle. From here, the Milky Way runs through the Swan and Cassiopeia and the celestial W, to the northern horizon, where also bright Capella shines in the cart. However, the Milky Way can only be seen in really dark areas, not from our light-polluted cities and settlements. Today there are many people who have never seen a natural phenomenon in the Milky Way in their lives.

Saturn arrives in July

After dark, there are still no bright planets in the evening starry sky. As the night progresses, Saturn is the first planet to appear in the southeastern sky. It gradually becomes a planet all night long. In late July, it appears just after nine-thirty in the evening over the southeast horizon. At midnight on the 15/16 night, the moon, which is still almost full, can be seen south of Saturn. Five hours later, he had drifted far away from the planet surrounded by the rings.

Jupiter follows Saturn in the planetary dance of the night. The giant planet shifts its highs before midnight. In late July, Jupiter appears just above the eastern horizon shortly after 23:00. By far the brightest planet, it shines brightly until Venus outshines it after sunrise in the morning sky.

Mars is also present in the second half of the night. The reddish planet passes through the constellation of Pisces and enters the sign of Aries on the 8th day. The waning crescent moon visits Mars on the night of July 21-22. At 2 am, Mars is visible at the eight full moon latitudes south of the moon. Mars will become much brighter in July as Earth is catching up and getting closer and closer to our outer neighbor planet. Venus takes its position in the morning sky. They wake up around 3.30am in the beginning of the month and twenty minutes later in late July.

Delta Aquarid Stream meteors can be expected in the morning sky from mid-July to August. In the last third of July, the first Perseids appear, providing vigorous activity for shooting stars in August.

Super Moon July 13

On the 13th, the full moon phase is reached. On the same day, shortly after 11:00 a.m., the moon will approach Earth at a distance of about 357,260 kilometers. This year it has the shortest distance from Earth, so you can also see the largest full moon. The full moon and, at the same time, the proximity to the earth again lead to extreme high tides with spring tides on the coasts. At a distance of about 406,270 kilometers, the moon will reach its farthest point in its orbit on the 26th day at noon. Two days later, on July 28, comes the new moon phase.

On the fourth day, the Earth reaches the point furthest from the Sun. On that day, their distance is 152 million kilometers from the shining ball of the sun. Sunlight travels from the Sun to Earth in eight minutes and 27 seconds. That’s 17 seconds longer than when Earth was closest to the Sun in early January.

The sun began to descend to the fall equinox at the celestial equator. He leaves Gemini early in the morning and moves to the constellation Cancer. A day later, he enters the zodiac sign Leo one hour before midnight. The length of the day decreases by one hour, the height of the sun at noon decreases by five degrees.

full moon

Already on June 14, the super moon caused a stir in the evening sky. Photo: Peter Kneffel / dpa

Leave a Comment