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Celestial phenomena in the first half of July 2024

Celestial phenomena in the first half of July 2024

Planets in the morning sky

The planets are slowly returning to our sky, and Saturn is already rising relatively soon, just before midnight. After 2:30 Mars also appears and gradually approaches Virgo. On the other hand, Jupiter is one of the “late” ones to rise, as it appears on the eastern horizon only around 3:30.

As the nights start to get a little longer, we can find slightly more favorable lighting conditions at dawn and after dusk. With the exception of Saturn, the planets are still too low to provide a worthwhile target for telescope observers, but little by little we'll get alignments again thanks to them.

The conjunction of the crescent and Jupiter at dawn on the third day

At dawn on July 3: It would be worth getting up early to see this view!

Source: Stellarium

The sickle hovers about 4 degrees above bright Jupiter in the eastern sky. Sunlight illuminates 9.6% of the Moon, which means we can still observe a large halo above the rising giant planet. The pair can be seen in the lower part of the twilight sky after 3 o'clock, but we can easily spot Jupiter until around 4 o'clock, but it's not worth waiting much longer than that, as it still brightens very quickly.

However, it is worth looking around a bit more of the sky after moonrise, because the entire constellation of Taurus and Pisces within it can be clearly seen, and Mars can also be seen 19 degrees to the right of the moon up. Uranus is here too, but we can't see it with the naked eye, and it may not be easy to recognize in the image, because it will already be setting. This beautiful combination visible in the northeastern part of the sky is worth seeing, despite its recent appearance.

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Fajr crescent on the 4th

Morning scythe

Source: Posted by you / Tamas Abraham

At this point, the sickle is in only 4 percent light, and wakes up much thinner than the previous morning. Moonrise will be at 02:33 on our eastern border, at 02:44 on our Budapest border, and at 02:56 on our western border. At that time, it is dusk, but we will still be able to observe Earth's light on the unlit side of the Moon, if the sky is clear.

A very thin crescent on the fifth day, for those who love challenges.

Thus we find where the crescent will appear.

Source: Stellarium

During the summer, the crescent moon at dawn is suitable for observing, which is why it may be worth experiencing the crescent moon with only 0.9 percent illumination. It's a good idea to take binoculars with you for this purpose, and of course you'll also need a crystal clear horizon. The sickle rises almost to the northeast.

How can we find it? If we do not have a compass, or if we do not know which point lies to the northeast at our vantage point, we should begin by looking for the star Capella. This star is almost as bright. It is at an altitude of 21 degrees and is located in the northeast at moonrise, and we cannot mistake anything, as there are no other bright celestial bodies nearby.

If you find a star, draw an imaginary perpendicular to the horizon from it, note the point, and then place your thumb on it with your outstretched hand. Where the right edge of your finger will be, you should look for the moon to appear on the horizon. Moonrise time this morning at our eastern border is 03:26, in Budapest 03:38, in the west 03:50. It is certainly worth looking for the Moon from a high place, because in this case a small cloud cover on the horizon may make observation impossible.

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The conjunction of the crescent moon with Mercury on the seventh day at dusk

Let's find the height to monitor the group!

Source: Stellarium

The sickle has a luminosity of 3.7 percent and is only two degrees away from Mercury. However, the innermost planet will not be easy to observe, because on the one hand it will still be very bright, and on the other hand it will be low above the horizon. This means that even in this case, only a crystal clear horizon and a spot with full view can help.

In addition to Mercury, the nativity cluster will also be there, but no one will really notice because of the clear skies. Mercury, on the other hand, will be bright, so you can see it under the right conditions. We search for it under the moon, to its left, separated by two degrees. The ideal time for observation is 21:10 at our eastern border, 21:20 in Budapest, 21:30 in the west. At that time, Mercury's temperature is 5 degrees and the Moon's temperature is 7 degrees, and there is still half an hour before sunset and 45 minutes before moon set.

Summer meteor showers begin slowly

If it's the middle of summer, that means summer meteor showers are coming. Since the first half of the month will be mostly moonless, it may be worth spending a few short nights under the sky. Not just because of the meteors, of course, but also because of the sight of the summer Milky Way or the sound of crickets in the meadow.

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Well, let's look at meteorites! Meteors can appear in the sky at any time and anywhere, but it is worth paying more attention to those belonging to swarms.

Két olyan raj is elkezdi aktivitását, amelyek a meteorok szépsége miatt lehet érdekes.

The first is the Capricorn Squadron, whose members could appear in the sky as early as July 3. These are slow-moving, slow-moving shooting stars, so if you can catch them in a photo, they leave a more dramatic mark than a speeding meteor.

The radiant is located in the south of the Milky Way, which means that meteors will apparently originate from here. They can actually appear in the evening hours. Although the swarm is not very dense, it is still memorable, as it is characteristic of the bright swarms that flash at the end of their flight. The other swarm is the Southern Delta Bucktails, which give medium speed swarms and are also visible late in the evening, and their radiation increases around 11 pm. We can expect these meteors to appear from July 12, and we can also see beautiful bright meteors.

Moon conjunction with Virgo on the 13th

The moon and Spica (on the right, near the edge of the image) were very close to each other in June, and now you have to look for the star much further away.

Source: I sent it / Zsolt Takács

At a distance of 3.5 degrees from the spike to the right, we can see the moon 49 percent in the evening hours, until the moon sets before midnight, the distance between them will decrease slightly. Although this conjunction will not be as close as it was a month ago, the moonlight will make it less annoying to see the bluish star.

This is the main period of bright clouds

Luminous clouds over Budapest

Source: I sent it/Gyorgy Suponyai

From the end of June to the beginning of July, the best chance of seeing bright clouds is at night. Although we might expect less due to maximum solar activity, based on what has happened so far, the situation is not hopeless at all.

It may be worth paying attention, especially if, for example, we spend the dusk-to-dawn period outside because of a relationship or other reason. Remember, you should look for bright clouds at night in the northern sky, usually near the horizon.

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