Monthly Stargazing Calendar for July 2014

This month will be a rather quiet one, when it comes to astronomical events. However by the end of the month, on the night of July 28 and 29, the Southern Delta Aquarids meteor shower will peak. It is an average shower that can produce up to 20 meteors per hour at its peak. The meteors originate from debris left behind by comets Marsden and Kracht. The shower runs annually from July 12 to August 23, but the most meteors can been seen during the peak. Thanks to the thin crescent moon we should have a great show this year. Meteors will appear to radiate from the constellation Aquarius, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

Moon phases

As you know, the moon has a big impact on the visibility of celestial bodies in the night sky. So here are the moon’s phases for this month:

Moon Phases Calendar July 2014

Positions of the planets this month

Mercury: The closest planet to the Sun can be seen at dawn and dusk travelling across the constellations of Taurus and Gemini. This planet, being the closest to the Sun, will appear to move quickly in the night sky and its position will change in the following weeks.

Venus: The sister planet can be seen between the constellations of Taurus and Gemini. Just like Mercury, Venus can only be seen at dawn and dusk.

Mars: The red planet can be seen in the constellation of Virgo.

Jupiter: The gas giant is visible between the constellations of Gemini and Cancer. Jupiter can easily be spotted with the naked eye, even in highly illuminated cities.

Saturn: The ringed giant can be seen with the naked eye in the constellation of Libra.

Uranus: The gas giant can be seen in the constellation of Pisces with the use of a telescope.

Neptune: The blue giant requires a telescope pointed in the constellation of Aquarius in order to be seen.

Major astronomical events next month

  • August 12, 13 – Perseids Meteor Shower.
  • August 18 – Conjunction of Venus and Jupiter.
  • August 29 – Neptune at Opposition.