July 2014 will offer some spectacular celestial events and opportunity to enjoy the summer night sky. Here is a guide to the astronomical events set to occur in the July sky. Also, learn about the planets that can be viewed in this month.
Full Buck Moon: According to The Sky's astronomy calendar of celestial events for the year 2014, the full moon will occur on July 12. During this celestial event, the moon will be positioned directly opposite the Earth from the sun. Native American tribes called this event the Full Buck Moon because on this day male buck deer started to "grow their antlers." This Full Buck Moon is also referred to as Full Thunder Moon and Full Hay Moon. It will be the brightest moon of this month.
New Moon: A new moon can be seen on July 26. The Web sites notes that on this day the moon will be positioned directly between Earth and the Sun and will not be seen from our planet. According to the Web site, in the absence of moonlight one can get the best view of "faint objects" including "galaxies and clusters of stars." This is because moonlight will not hinder the view.
Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower: Mark your calendars, stargazers! On July 28 and 29, there will be a meteor shower on the summer sky. The Web site reports Delta Aquarid is an "average shower." This means that at its peak, it can "produce up to 20 meteors per hour." The shower will reportedly begin on July 12 and end on Aug 23. However, on the night of July 28 and morning of July 29, Delta Aquarids meteor shower reaches its pinnacle. The Web site recommends viewing the celestial event from a "dark location after midnight." Stargazers should keep an eye on the constellation Aquarius from where the meteors will reportedly "radiate."
As for viewing the brightest planets in July, Space.com has provided a guide. According to the Web site, on July 12, morning stargazers must watch out for Mercury which will be at its "greatest elongation." To view Mercury at its brigthest in the July sky, keep an eye on it about 45 minutes before sunrise. It will be visible at "about 8 degrees below and to the left of Venus," notes the Web site.
On the morning of July 24, stargazers should look for Venus which will be shining "low in the east-northeast" at dawn. On the same day, Mercury will appear "noticeably lower above the east-northeast horizon." It can be seen at about "10 degrees to the lower left of crescent moon," reports the Web site.
Furthermore, the Web site notes Mars and the bright star Spica will shine throughout the July sky in the west-southwest sky in the evening.