Main astronomical events of July 2024

In early July, our planet, as always, will pass aphelion — the most distant point of its orbit from the Sun. In the middle of the month, Mars will move through the constellation Taurus near the bright, diffuse Pleiades cluster and will also appear briefly less than a degree from Uranus. On July 20, the periodic comet Olbers will approach the Earth at the minimum distance in the current appearance, although in fact this distance will be very large (more than 280 million km). The visible brilliance of the comet at this time will not exceed 8th star magnitude.

The maximum eastern elongation of Mercury, expected on July 22, is not particularly favorable for observations in our latitudes because of the small inclination of the ecliptic to the horizon in the evening sky, but due to the fact that the smallest planet for some time will be almost 27° from the Sun, the duration of its visibility after the end of civil twilight for several days can exceed half an hour. In the last days of the month in the predawn sky you can see the conjunction of three bright luminaries — Jupiter, Mars and Aldebaran (the brightest “fixed” star in the zodiacal belt).

July 2

  • The Moon is 5° east of Mars (1.0ᵐ)

July 3

  • The Moon is 4° north of Jupiter (-2.0ᵐ)

July 5

  • The Earth is at aphelion, 1.017 a.u. (152.1 million km) from the center of the Sun

July 6

  • New Moon
  • The Moon is 3° north of Venus (-3.9ᵐ)

July 7

  • The Moon is 2° north of Mercury (-0.2ᵐ)

July 9

  • The Moon is 2° north of Regulus (α Leo, 1.3ᵐ)

July 12

  • The Moon is at apogee, 404,362 km from Earth’s center

July 13

  • The Moon is 3° west of Spica (α Virgo, 1.0ᵐ)

July 14

  • The moon is in the phase of the first quarter

July 15

  • Mars (0.9ᵐ) is 0.7° south of Uranus (5.8ᵐ)

July 17

  • The Moon is 0.5° south of Antares (α Scorpio, 1.0ᵐ)

July 20

  • Comet Olbers (13P/Olbers) at 1.895 a.u. (284 million km) from Earth

July 21

  • Full Moon

July 22

  • Mercury is at its greatest eastern elongation (26°56′ from the Sun)

July 23

  • The Moon covers the star ε Capricornus (4.5ᵐ)

July 24

  • The Moon is at perigee, 364,913 km from the center of the Earth
  • The Moon is 0.5° south of Saturn (0.9ᵐ)

July 25

  • The Moon is 3° east of Neptune (7.8ᵐ)

July 27

  • Maximum activity of the Southern Delta Aquariids meteor shower (up to 20 meteors per hour)

July 28

  • The Moon is in the last quarter phase

July 30

  • The Moon is 5° north of Uranus (5.8ᵐ)
  • The Moon is 5° north of Mars (0.9ᵐ)
  • Maximum activity of the Northern Delta Aquariids meteor shower (up to 25 meteors per hour)

July 31

  • The Moon is 4° north of Jupiter (-2.1ᵐ)

We previously detailed the “double” July δ-Aquariids meteor shower.