Perfect Astronomy

Night sky, July 2022: What you can see this month

Published July 1, 2022 by Tim Trott in News

What to see in July's night sky including Moon phases, a supermoon, planet guide, Delta Aquarid meteor shower and July Deep Space Objects including The Eagle Nebula (M16).

July Moon Phases

July's full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Buck Moon because the male buck deer would begin to grow their new antlers at this time of year. This moon has also been known as the Thunder Moon and the Hay Moon.

Full Moon and New Moon for July 2022

First Quarter
First Quarter
Thu 7th Jul
Full Moon
Full Moon
Thu 14th Jul
Last Quarter
Last Quarter
Thu 21st Jul
New Moon
New Moon
Fri 29th Jul

Notable Events in July

July 13th is the second of three supermoons for 2022. The Moon will be near its closest approach to the Earth and may look slightly larger and brighter than usual.

July Planets

Venus and Mars are slowly drawing together and after sunset you can see both to the west and will appear in the same field of view with binoculars. Between the 11th and 14 they should be visible in the same field of view in a low powered telescope. Their closest pass occurs on the 13th.

Saturn is visible in the mornings from late January to early July, then in the evenings from July to December.

July Meteor Showers

The Delta Aquarids is an average shower that can produce up to 20 meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by debris left behind by comets Marsden and Kracht. The shower runs annually from July 12 to August 23. It peaks this year on the night of July 28 and morning of July 29. This is a great year for this shower because the new moon means dark skies for what should be an excellent. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Aquarius, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

Delta Aquariid Meteor Shower
Delta Aquariid Meteor Shower

July Deep Space Objects

Summer can be a wonderful time for stargazing and despite the light evenings, there's much to be seen in the night sky at this time of year.

The first stunning summer deep-sky objects is the rather large summer Milky Way in Sagittarius, Scutum, Ophiuchus and Aquila. It is a particularly awe-inspiring sight, especially from dark sky sites. To get a good view of it from the UK it is best to travel to a site with a very clear southern horizon.

Nestled within the Milky Way in the constellation of Sagittarius, just above the spout of the Teapot asterism, you'll find the Lagoon Nebula (M8). It's a great object to look at with binoculars and even better in a small telescope.

About 7° to the East of the Lagoon Nebula lies the magnificent globular cluster of M22. You shouldn't have too much trouble picking it out using binoculars, but for a real WOW, try observing it with a large telescope to see it sitting against the glittering starfields of the Galaxy.

M8 - The Lagoon Nebula
M8 - The Lagoon Nebula

There are several other striking summer nebulae in this region of the sky. The Eagle Nebula (M16) and M17 are excellent targets for 6 to 8-inch reflectors; located in Serpens and Sagittarius respectively. Not far away in Scutum lies the Wild Duck Cluster, M11.

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