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Sky Highlights and NEKAAL Events for JULY 2016

  • July 4 – New Moon
  • July 9 – Open House at Farpoint Observatory, 9 pm to ? –> Join us!
  • July 11 – First Quarter
  • July 19 – Full Moon
  • July 26 – Last Quarter
  • July 28 – General Meeting, Topeka Library, 7 pm. Join us!

PLANETS in July 2016

Evening Sky:

  • Mercury – in west (twilight)
  • Venus – in west (twilight)
  • Mars – in south
  • Jupiter – in west
  • Saturn – in south


  • Mars – in southwest
  • Saturn – in southwest
  • Neptune – in southeast

Morning Sky:

  • Uranus – in southeast
  • Neptune – in south

CONSTELLATIONS well placed in evening during July 2016

North to South, at 9-11 pm:

  • Ursa Minor, the Little Bear, also the Little Dipper
  • Draco, the Dragon
  • Ursa Major, the Big Bear, also the Big Dipper
  • Hercules, the Strong Man
  • Corona Borealis, the northern crown, Crown of Ariadne
  • Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer
  • Boötes, the Hunter
  • Libra, the Scales
  • Scorpio, the Scorpion (see Mars and Saturn there)
  • Lepus, the Hare

SKY EXTRAS in July 2016

  • Mercury is now back in the evening sky, low in the west, best late in the month of July, between low Venus and higher Jupiter
  • No, unfortunately Kansas will not quite be able to see the New Moon occult bright star Aldebaran–we're just a few hundred miles too far north. Still, it should be an interesting apparent conjunction ~ 5 am Friday July 29.
  • Challenge object of the month: ex-planet Pluto is at its best in July. At magnitude ~ 14 you're going to need at least an 8“ scope, a good eyepiece, and a bit of patience. At least it's warm, so try it now–100 years from now you'll be stuck with finding it in winter.
  • Best comet of the month: still PANSTARRS C/2013 X1, should be easily visible in binoculars, very low in the southern sky during evening twilight, all month long.
  • No great meteor showers this month, but there are the delta Aquariids starting July 12-August 23 (New Moon August 2), low in the south. And get ready for the impressive Perseids peaking the night of August 11-12.