This Week In Astronomy

The Summer Milky Way
From a dark sky location in mid-July, the glorious Summer Milky Way shines as a band of light that stretches from the southern horizon to nearly overhead. As the night progresses, the Milky Way will arch across the entire sky.

Dying Stars and Glowing Gas
Look to the constellation Lyra with a telescope to catch one of the best planetary nebulas in the sky – M57, the famous “Ring Nebula.”

Late July Meteors
July winds down with the Delta Aquarids meteor shower. For the best chance to see meteors, look towards Aquarius after midnight on July 29th into the early morning hours of July 30th. The Delta Aquarids is an average shower that can produce up to 20 meteors per hour. Sit back, relax and enjoy the show!

Catch Mercury After Sunset
Tiny planet Mercury reaches its greatest eastern elongation from the Sun on July 30th. Catch a glimpse of the smallest planet in the Solar System low in the western sky just after sunset.

July Challenge Object – Hercules Galaxy Cluster
About half a billion light years from Earth in the constellation Hercules, not far from the star Beta Hercules in the southwest corner of the “keystone” asterism, lies the “Hercules Galaxy Cluster.” This association is a group of 200-300 distant galaxies, the brightest of which is NGC 6050 at about 10th magnitude and can be seen with an 8″ reflector under very dark skies with good seeing conditions. A larger aperture, 14″-16″ telescope will begin to show about a half-dozen or more galaxies in one field-of-view. How many can you see in your telescope?