The universe has some treats in store for stargazers this month! We’ve compiled our list of the best night sky events happening in July 2019.
- July 6: Mercury sinks past Mars: For about an hour after sunset on the evenings surrounding Saturday, July 6, Mercury’s orbital motion towards the sun will bring it less than 4 degrees to the lower left (south) of Mars. The two planets will be very low in the north-northwestern sky, embedded in twilight. Take care that the sun has completely disappeared below the horizon before attempting to search for them with binoculars or telescopes.
- July 9: Saturn gets bright: Saturn will reach opposition on July 9, meaning it will be closest to Earth and appear brighter than usual in the night sky. Grab a telescope and get a glimpse of the planet’s dazzling rings.
- July 16: Thunder Moon partial eclipse: The full moon for the month of July is known as the Thunder Moon, Buck Moon, the Ripe Corn Moon, the Hay Moon and the Old Moon. It falls on July 16 this year, the same time as a partial lunar eclipse (that will unfortunately not be visible from North America).
- July 29 and 30: Double meteor showers! For two nights near the end of the month, skywatchers can look south to see the peak of both the Southern Delta Aquarids and the Alpha Capricornids. The two will combine for a total of about 25 meteors per hour.
- July 31: Black Moon What is a black moon? It’s the opposite of a blue moon, AccuWeather explains. Instead of two full moons in a month, a black moon refers to two new moons in a month. This is good news for astronomy enthusiasts since it means plenty of good opportunities for star-gazing.