This month's Sky Tour astronomy podcast provides a fun and informative guide to what's visible in the nighttime sky. Host Kelly Beatty offers you some valuable tips for getting the best views when you head outside to look up at the nighttime sky. For example, did you know that your eyes take at least 30 minutes to fully adjust to darkness?
The Moon is full on July 4-5, and that night there'll be a lunar eclipse. Will you get to see it? What might you see? Check our this month's Sky Tour to find out.
Meanwhile, this month we officially welcome the giant (and bright) planets Jupiter and Saturn to the evening sky. They'll be low in the southeast, rising about an hour after sunset early in the month but gradually popping into view earlier as July goes by. They're joined by a nearly full Moon on July 6th — creating a striking trio that you'll want to see!
After the Sun sinks from view, and while you’re waiting for Jupiter and Saturn to climb into the sky over in the southeast, you can scan the western horizon for some bright stars. Easiest to spot is Arcturus, very bright and most of the way up from the horizon to overhead.
Directly below Arcturus, by about three fists, is the icy-white star Spica. It’s actually two stars whirling around each other so fast and so close that they’ve distorted each other into egg shapes. And here’s a little factoid: Spica is represented on the flag of a well-known country. (Download the Sky Tour to find out which one!)
July's podcast also introduces you to other stars and a third planet that you'll be able to spot in the evening sky. So give our Sky Tour astronomy podcast a try. It's an enjoyable way to learn your way around the night sky in just about 10 minutes. No experience or equipment needed!