Thanks to Arkansas Oklahoma Astronomical Society president Dave Grosvold for this week’s blog entry. You can learn more about their club at www.aoas.org.
Venus closes in on Regulus in the constellation Leo day by day, while Mars closes in on Saturn. The diagonal line of Saturn, Mars, Regulus, and Venus is shrinking every day. The three planets will be very close together low in the west at sunset by early August. A telescope shows Saturn’s Rings a mere 2° from edge-on right now, but the rings will continue to increase their tilt with respect to Earth over the next 15 years.
The waning gibbous Moon rises around midnight on Friday, July 2nd, and about 45 minutes later, Jupiter rises beneath it. Jupiter is slowly working its way back into the evening sky, and should be a bright Evening Star by mid-autumn, while Venus sinks into the glare of the autumn sunset
As night falls this time of year, look for red Arcturus high in the southwest straight above Spica in the constellation Virgo. The kite shape of the rest of the constellation Boötes extends straight up from Arcturus. By the way, Boötes is pronounced “Bo-OH-teez” or “Bo-OH-tiss,” not “BEWT-eez”, as some might assume. Pronunciation of constellation names is open to debate, but there are several accepted pronunciations for most constellations.
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