Skygazing Guide for July 2010: Planet and Star Parade
Stargazing during the month will give fine displays of celestial bodies, stars and constellations after sunset and before sunrise. This is truly something to look forward to on July despite the cloud and rains that cover our skies 🙂
Here is a post from GMAnews.TV via Yahoo news Philippines to guide Filipino sky gazers this month.
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Can’t watch eclipse? At least watch the parade of stars
If we can’t watch the eclipse where we are, at least we can watch the nightly parade of stars.
No, it’s not a movie critic talking about the current Hollywood hit, “Eclipse.” It is what state astronomers said late Thursday, referring to a total solar eclipse that will occur on July 11 from 6 to 9 p.m. (Universal Time) but will not be visible in the Philippines, during which it will be July 12 from 2 to 5 a.m.
However, stargazers can still get some consolation gazing at a celestial parade of stars, as well as four planets that will dramatically line up on July 14, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) hastened to add.
“A total eclipse of the Sun will occur on August 12 [sic], however, it will not be visible in the Philippines. The eclipse will begin at exactly 1:09 p.m. (Philippine Standard Time). It will visible in the Cook Island, French Polynesia, and Southern tip of South America,” PAGASA said in its astronomical diary for July.
[Editor’s note: The date “August 12” in the PAGASA website entry is wrong. Other authoritative sites, such as that of the United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration and United Kingdom’s Nautical Almanac Office all include a solar eclipse event for July 11 but none on Aug. 12. We assume that the wrong date in the PAGASA website is a mere typist’s error.]
On the other hand, state astronomers said stargazing during the month will give fine displays of celestial bodies, stars and constellations after sunset and before sunrise.
It said the famous Summer Triangle of the stars Vega, Deneb and Altair of the constellations Lyra, Aquila and Cygnus, respectively, is being well placed above the eastern horizon.
The bowls of the Big and Small Dipper in Ursa Major and Minor stand high above the northern horizon with the body of the constellation Draco, the Dragon, winding between them.
Also, PAGASA said the grouping of a horseshoe shape stars of the constellation Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown, lies on the north-south meridian with the head of Draco below it.
“The constellation of Scorpio is positioned above the east-south eastern horizon, while the constellations of Centaurus, the Centaur and Acrux, the Southern Cross are just above the south direction after sunset,” it added.
July 14 lineup
On July 14, PAGASA said an evening line-up of naked-eye planets including the crescent Moon will parade before skywatchers as they will see Mercury, Venus, Mars and Saturn in the western horizon this month, 30 minutes after sunset.
The gap between these planets shrinks throughout the month of July, PAGASA said.
At midnight, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune will be found at about 18, 21 and 44 degrees above the eastern horizon, respectively.
“Modest size binocular or telescope will be needed to view these planets,” PAGASA said.—JV, GMANews.TV
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Happy observing! 🙂