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The Night Sky in July

Nature volume 162, page 19 (03 July 1948) | Download Citation



NEW moon occurs on July 6d. 21h. 09m., U.T., and full moon on July 21d. 02h. 31m. The following conjunctions with the moon take piace: July 5d. 16h., Venus 8° S. ; July 5d. 18h., Mercury 8° S. ; July 9d. 06h., Saturn 4° S. ; July ud. 16h., Mars 3° S. ; July 18d. Olh., Jupiter 4° N. Mercury is too dose to the sun in the early part of the month to be observed, but in the middie of the month the planet rises an hour before sunrise and attains its greatest westerly elongation on July 16. At the end of the month Mercury rises at 3h. 16m., about an hour before sunrise. Venus rises about a quarter of an hour before the sun on July 1 but can be observed later in the month, rising at 2h. 28m. and lh. 41m. on July 15 and 31, respectively. The planet attains its greatest easterly elongation on July 16 and its greatest brilliancy on July 31, when its stellar magnitude is -4·2. Mars sets at 23h. 10m., 22h. 30m. and 21h. 45m. at the beginning, middie and end of the month, respectively, and can be seen for a short time in the western sky after sunset. Jupiter, in the constellation of Ophiuchus, is visible during the early part of the night, setting at 2h. 40m., lh. 36m. and Oh. 33m. at the beginning, middie and end of the month, respectively. Owing to its large declination south, nearly 23°, the planet is not very well placed for observation in high northern latitudes. Saturn sets about an hour before Mars and cannot be observed very long after sunset ; at the end of the month it sets a littie mdre than half an hour after the sun. No occultations of stars brighter than magnitude 6 take placa in July. The earth reaches aphelion on July 4, when its distance from the sun is 94,561,000 miles.

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