Highlights of July 2018 Backyard Astronomy; The Hubble Space Telescope’s “Tonight’s Sky: July 2018” Episode

This year, Mars reaches its long-awaited opposition on July 27—and is visible all night. Look for its south polar cap and dark features that shift as the planet rotates. You will also spot constellations Scorpius and Sagittarius, and the annual Delta Aquarid meteor shower.

Bright Venus will be positioned just above the waxing crescent Moon on July 15, 2018 after Sunset.

Saturn and Jupiter will dominate the southern sky at sunset during July — Saturn on the left and Jupiter on the right, when facing south.

Mars will rise at sunset in opposition with the sun on July 27, 2018. The red planet will be visible all night. Using a telescope, the south polar cap of Mars will be distinctly visible. On July 1st at 2:00 a.m., Mars is just to the lower right of the Moon. On June 29-30, the Mars was positioned to the upper left of the Moon.

Scorpius and Sagittarius will be visible in the south sky.

The Big Dipper can be found on the left side of the north sky around midnight and later.

Delta Aquarid meteor shower peaks July 27, 2018 to July 28 2018 with 20 meteors per hour, especially in the east sky. The bright full Moon will wash out some of the fainter meteors.

On July 1, 2018, Pleiades is below the eastern horizon at 2:00 a.m., but by July 15, 2018, Pleiades will be above the eastern horizon at 2:00 a.m. as stars “march” east to west overnight and during the passing days of the year.

There is lunar eclipse activity during July, but it is not visible in Chicagoland.

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