What's in the Sky July 2020
Astronomical Events July 2020
July has many astronomical events happening to stargaze all month long! Many planets are at their best alignment for viewing and imaging. Check out our planetary filters page to stock up on gear for the best viewing and imaging results! Contact us if you have any questions about equipment.
Clouds in July? Check out our list of ideas for those cloudy nights!
Read on to learn what's in the sky July 2020. Download your FREE calendars here and save the date!
Moon Phases, Planets, and Meteor Showers July 2020
July 4 - Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
A penumbral lunar eclipse happens when the Moon passes through the Earth's partial shadow, known as the penumbra. The Moon will darken slightly but not completely. When correctly observed, the eclipse will be visible throughout most of North America, South America, the eastern Pacific Ocean, the western Atlantic Ocean, and extreme western Africa.
July 4 - Full Moon
Some early Native American tribes knew this full Moon as the Buck Moon because the male buck deer would begin to grow their new antlers at this time of year. It is also referred to as the Thunder Moon and the Hay Moon.
July 14 - Jupiter at Opposition
The giant planet will be at its closest approach to Earth! It will be visible all night long. This is the best time to view and photograph Jupiter and its moons. A medium-sized telescope should be able to show you some of the details in Jupiter's cloud bands. A good pair of binoculars should allow you to see Jupiter's four largest moons, appearing as bright dots on either side of the planet.
July 20 - New Moon
A New Moon is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.
July 20 - Saturn at Opposition
The ringed planet will be at its closest approach to Earth, and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. This is the best time to view and photograph Saturn and its moons. A small telescope will be enough to see Saturn's rings, but a medium-sized or larger telescope will reveal a few of its brightest moons!
July 22 - Mercury at Greatest Western Elongation
The planet Mercury will reach its greatest western elongation. This is the best time to view Mercury since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the morning sky. Look for the planet low in the eastern sky just before sunrise.
July 28, 29 - Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower
The Delta Aquarids is an average shower that can produce up to 20 meteors per hour at its peak. The shower runs annually from July 12 to August 23. This year it peaks on the night of the 28th and morning of the 29th. The best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight.
Northern Hemisphere Constellations in July 2020
- Spindle Galaxy (NGC 5866)
- The Tadpole Galaxy (Arp 188)
- The Cat's Eye Nebula (NGC 6543)
- Abell 2218
- Globular Cluster Messier 13
- Globular Cluster Messier 92
- NGC 6210
- NGC 6041
- Supermassive Elliptical Galaxy NGC 6166
- NGC 6085
- NGC 6086
- Messier 5
- The Eagle Nebula (Messier 16)
- The Pillars of Creation
- Hoag’s Object
- Red Square Nebula
Southern Hemisphere Constellations in July 2020
- NGC 6240
- The large dark nebulae Barnard 68
- The Dark Horse Nebula
- The Planetary Nebulae NGC 6572
- The Little Ghost Nebula (NGC 6369)
- The Twin Jet Nebula, also known as Minkowski's Butterfly.
- Barnard's Star
- Kepler's Supernova (SN 1604)
- Cat's Paw Nebula (NGC 6334)
- The Butterfly Nebula (NGC 6302)
- The War and Peace Nebula (NGC 6357) sometimes also known as the Lobster Nebula
- Ant Nebula (Mz 1)
- Fine-Ring Nebula (Shapley 1)
- NGC 6193
- NGC 6326
- Stingray Nebula
- NGC 5823
- Circinus Galaxy (ESO 97-G13)
- NGC 6025
- The colliding pair of galaxies ESO 69-6
- NGC 5979
- NGC 6101
- IC 4499
- IC 4633
- NGC 6392
Curious what astronomical events are happening the rest of 2020? Check out our astronomical events calendar! If you're looking to get started in astrophotography check out our beginner's guide. Clear skies! 🔭✨