Last Week's Stargazing Tips

July 5: Earth at Aphelion

Earth will stand farthest from the Sun for the entire year tomorrow afternoon, at a distance of more than 94 million miles, or about three million miles farther than we were in January.

July 4: Fireworks

A pair of brilliant lights are in good view well before twilight drains from the western sky this evening. The planets Venus and Jupiter stand side by side. Venus is the brighter of the two. Regulus, the heart of Leo, stands close to their upper left.

July 3: Latest Sunsets

Although the longest day in the northern hemisphere was the summer solstice, the Sun is just now setting at its latest for the year for the southernmost regions of the United States.

July 2: Venus and Jupiter

Venus and Jupiter reign as the brightest points of light in the night sky. They stand side by side in the west the next couple of evenings. Venus is the brighter of the two, with Jupiter close to its right.

July 1: Short Moon

The Moon is full tonight. It is known as the Hay Moon or Thunder Moon. It’s also known as the Short Moon because it will be in view for a shorter time than any other full Moon of the year.

June 30: Leap Second

Today is the longest day of 2015. The world’s timekeeping services will add an extra second to their atomic clocks between 6:59:59 and 7 p.m. CDT, so the day will last precisely 24 hours and one second.

June 29: Bright Trio

The Moon, the planet Saturn, and the star Antares stand close together in the south-southeast at nightfall. Saturn looks like a bright golden star to the upper right of the Moon, with orange Antares a little closer to the Moon’s lower right.


©2015 The University of Texas McDonald Observatory