Fri., July 25 5:28 8:06
Sat., July 26 5:29 8:05
Sun., July 27 5:30 8:05
Mon., July 28 5:31 8:04
Tues., July 29 5:32 8:02
Wed., July 30 5:33 8:01
Thurs., July 31 5:34 8:00
Fri., August 1 5:35 7:59
The evenings ahead are moonless. There is no interference from the moon until midnight or later. Tomorrow morning’s moon is in the last quarter phase. This opens the opportunity for a good evening of star hopping, looking for the constellations and what astronomers call deep-sky viewing.
The stars overhead after dusk are all summer constellations. Viewing conditions are ideal.
The brightest star overhead at around 9 p.m. is the brilliant star Vega, in the constellation Lyra. At our zenith is the constellation Hercules, an assembly of Milky Way stars that hold at least two large star clusters.
The bright orange star hanging high in the west is Arcturus in the constellation Bootes, the shepherd.
Look to the south and the zodiacal constellation Scorpius is in its summer glory.
This is the time to grab a star chart and refresh your memory of this and more constellations. Constellations were created centuries ago as a way to humanize the skies overhead, remember the tales of mythology and know the placement of the stars. Today constellations and their primary stars are signposts in a vast sky.
Without the moon, the brightest celestial object in the night sky before midnight tonight is Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system. Jupiter resides in the southern sky in the zodiacal constellation Sagittarius.