Bruce McClure
Venus, Aldebaran and the Pleiades cluster in the east before dawn.

Venus brightest, near star Aldebaran, around July 10

Even though – as seen from Earth – Venus appears only slightly more than 1/4 illuminated on July 10, 2020, it is nonetheless shining at its brightest in our morning sky! Look east before sunup for Venus. The bright star nearby is Aldebaran.

July full moon swings by the planets Jupiter and Saturn.

Full moon, faint eclipse, on July 4-5

The penumbral lunar eclipse of July 4-5, 2020 will be so nearly imperceptible that some will see nothing even while staring at it. Then again … very observant people will notice something strange happening on the moon, without knowing an eclipse is taking place. Who will see it (or not) in this post.

M5, your new favorite globular cluster

Sure, M13, the Great Hercules cluster, is wonderful. But some amateur astronomers say this cluster, M5, is even better. How to find it in your sky.

Moon and star Antares in southern sky at evening on July 1 and 2, 2020.

Moon and Antares in early July

These next few evenings – July 1 and 2, 2020 – let the moon be your guide to Antares, a red supergiant star whose humongous size is truly difficult to fathom!

Multi-colored rocky planet with smaller gray moon.

Jupiter gives us Pluto in 2020

Jupiter and Pluto are having a triple conjunction in 2020. The 2nd of the 3 conjunctions happens on June 30. Just a few nights later – on July 4-5, 2020 – the full moon will stroll by Jupiter and Pluto. If you’ve never seen Pluto, here’s a chance to get oriented.

July 2020 guide to the bright planets

July 2020 offers you all 5 bright planets. Venus is that very bright object lighting the east before sunrise. After mid-July, find Mercury below Venus. Jupiter and Saturn are the planets to watch in July 2020. They are close together on the sky’s dome, and both reach opposition this month. Thus they’re at their best, up nearly all night, all month. Mars is looking very red now, steadily brightening, out between midnight and dawn.

Circumpolar stars don’t rise or set

Circumpolar stars stay above the horizon all hours of the day, every day and every night of the year.

Image of moon at second perigee in June 2020.

2 lunar perigees in June 2020

Enjoy the moon in all its majestic mystery as it reaches its 2nd perigee of the month, and its most distant perigee of the year.

Latest sunsets follow summer solstice

Latest sunsets around now for 40 degrees north latitude. Latest sunrises around now for 40 degrees south latitude.

Waxing crescent moon in front of the constellation Leo the Lion.

Moon sweeps through Leo June 25 and 26

Regulus is the brightest star in the constellation Leo the Lion.  The moon can help you find it at nigtfall June 24 and 25, 2020.