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Looking Up: A Stargazer’s Guide for July 2011

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Looking Up: A Stargazer’s Guide for July 2011

Here’s a quick look at what’s going on in the sky during the month of July, 2011:

July 1 — New Moon, 4:53 a.m. The Moon is not illuminated by direct sunlight.

July 4 — Earth at aphelion (its farthest point from the Sun).

July 7 — Moon at perigee (its closest point to the Earth).

(Continued Below)

July 8 — First Quarter Moon, 2:29 a.m. One half of the Moon appears illuminated by direct sunlight while the illuminated part is increasing.

July 15 — Full Buck Moon, 2:38 a.m. The visible Moon is fully illuminated by direct sunlight. Though the Moon is only technically in this phase for a few seconds, it is considered “full” for the entire day of the event, and appears full for three days.

July 21 — Moon at apogee (its farthest point from the Earth).

July 23 — Last Quarter Moon, 1:03 a.m. One half of the Moon appears illuminated by direct sunlight while the illuminated part is decreasing.

July 28 — Piscis Austrinids meteor shower. A weak Southern Hemisphere shower with faint meteors.

July 30 — Delta Aquarids meteor shower. 2011 is predicted to be a very favorable year for this Southern Hemisphere shower.

July 30 — Alpha Capricornoids meteor shower. A weak show originating near Capricornus.

July 30 — New Moon, 2:39 p.m. The Moon is not illuminated by direct sunlight.

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1 Jaime McLeod { 06.30.11 at 4:25 pm }

Once you’ve found the Big Dipper, it’s easy to find the little one. Here’s an explanation from a previous story we ran.

“The handle (of the Big Dipper) is made of three stars, and the bowl has four that form a square. The two stars on the side of the bowl not attached to the handle are called the Pointer Stars and point straight towards Polaris, the North Star. Polaris is the tip of Little Dipper’s handle. The Little Dipper (part of Ursa Minor) looks like it pours into the big dipper. This constellation is only visible on a clear night, but you can usually see the two stars at the end of the ladle.”

Here’s a diagram:

2 melissa { 06.30.11 at 2:58 pm }

I would love to find an easy way to locate the little dipper. I can always find the Big one but never the little one. Any hints would be helpful.

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