What's in the Sky July 2024

Written by: Noor Oada



Time to read 3 min

Happy Summer stargazers! July is here, bringing a host of spectacular celestial events that promise to dazzle and delight. Whether you're an experienced astronomer or a curious beginner, there's something extraordinary for everyone to enjoy this month. So, get ready to explore the night sky with your telescopes, binoculars, or just your eyes, and let's discover what wonders await us in July 2024!

July 1: Conjunction of the Moon and Mars

Starting off July with a celestial bang! On July 1st at 4:45 am, you'll see a thin crescent Moon above Mars due east. These two will be super close, only 3°49' apart. They’ll rise just after 2:30 am and reach a good height before dawn. You can spot this with the naked eye, but grab some binoculars for an even cooler view!

July 2: Jupiter's Close Approach and Neptune's Retrograde Motion

Wake up early on July 2nd! At 4:45 am, Jupiter moves into the picture. Look to the east to see the Moon positioned between Jupiter and Mars. Also, Neptune enters retrograde motion at 5:19 am, reversing its usual eastward movement through the constellations. This is best viewed with a telescope for an in-depth look!

July 3: Conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter

Set your alarms for another early morning on July 3rd! Between 4:45 am and 5:00 am, the Moon and Jupiter will form a stunning conjunction. They will rise at 3:26 am and reach an altitude of 17° before fading at dawn. This beautiful pairing is visible to the naked eye, a stunning sight for the early birds!

July 5: New Moon

On July 5th at 6:57 pm, the New Moon makes an appearance—or rather, a disappearance! This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters without the interference of moonlight. A telescope will be your best friend for this night of deep-sky observing.

July 13: First Quarter Moon

The First Quarter Moon peaks on July 13th at 7:07 pm. It will be bright in the evening sky and set around midnight. This phase makes the Moon look almost half-lit, and it’s great for observing lunar features. Get your small telescopes ready!

July 14-15: Mars Meets Uranus

Get your binoculars ready for July 14th and 15th! Mars and Uranus are teaming up in the early morning sky, rising just before 2 am. Use binoculars or a telescope to observe the green color of Uranus and the orange of Mars near the Pleiades star cluster. A sight not to miss!

July 21: Full Buck Moon

On July 21st peaking at 1:14 am, the Full Buck Moon will be fully illuminated. This moon is named after the new antlers that buck deer grow during this time. It’s also known as the Thunder Moon and the Hay Moon. The best viewing will be overnight on July 20th.

July 24: Moon and Saturn Conjunction

Look east on July 24th at 4:45 am to see the Moon and Saturn make a close approach, passing within 20.8 arcminutes of each other. They will be visible from 11:58 pm on July 23rd until dawn breaks. A real treat for early risers!

July 27: Last Quarter Moon

The Last Quarter Moon will be back on July 27th rising just before 11 pm. It will be visible from midnight until it sets around 2 pm the next day. This phase, where the Moon appears half-illuminated, is perfect for observing lunar features with binoculars or a telescope.

July Meteor Showers

July brings four different meteor showers for you to enjoy! Late July is particularly exciting, as the Piscis Austrinid meteor shower peaks the night of July 27th, due south. This is followed by the July Gamma Draconids, which can be seen due north. Closing the month, the Southern Delta Aquarids and Alpha Capricornid meteor shower peak on July 30th at 1 am, due south. These shower are known for its slow-moving, bright meteors and visible all night. Best viewed from a dark location after midnight, these showers offer up to 20 meteors per hour. Look towards the constellation Aquarius for the best views.

Best Constellation in July: Summer Triangle

July’s best constellation is the Summer Triangle, shining bright and high in the evening sky! Look for Vega, Deneb, and Altair forming a large triangle overhead. This is a great target for naked-eye observation and is perfect for beginners.

That’s it for July 2024! Make sure to subscribe, like, and hit the notification bell so you don’t miss any updates. Grab your telescopes, binoculars, or just your eyes and enjoy the wonders of the night sky. Clear skies, everyone!

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