Skylights featured on Astronomy Picture of the Day

Scout Report Selection Webivore Selection SpaceCareers Selection

Skylights featured nine times on Earth Science Picture of the Day: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9


Photo of the Week. After the storm...

Astronomy news for the week starting Friday, July 22, 2011.

Skylights now resumes its normal weekly schedule.

And we begin it with a third quarter Moon, which appears the night of Friday, July 22, around moonrise in North America, allowing for a near-perfect split of the Moon into its daytime and nighttime halves. It thereafter progressively slims in its waning crescent phase until it finally disappears from view as a new Moon on Saturday the 30th. Your last view of an ultrathin crescent might (with a clear eastern horizon) be had as our week ends, on the morning of Friday the 29th.

As our Moon glides along its path, it encounters pairs of planets and clusters. The morning after the quarter, that of Saturday the 23rd, finds our companion up and to the west of rising Jupiter, while the next morning, the crescent will appear immediately to the left of the giant planet. The morning of Monday the 25th, it will make a charming sight to the right of the Pleiades of Taurus, while the following morning it will sit just above Aldebaran and the Hyades, which makes Taurus's vee- shaped head. Then the next morning, that of Wednesday the 27th, the Moon rather dramatically approaches Mars (appearing just to the right of the planet). Indeed it will actually occult, or cover, Mars, the event sadly visible only from the South Pacific and South America.

Though still a morning object, as the month ends lordly Jupiter, in the southwestern corner of Aries, rises just after midnight Daylight Time. Not quite three hours later, up comes reddish Mars, which lies between the tips of Taurus's horns. In the so-far neglected evening, find Saturn, but look early, as the ringed planet, still to the northwest of Virgo's Spica, is down by 11:30 PM Daylight. If your preference is the morning though, in addition to admiring Jupiter and Mars, look for a few of the meteors of the Southern Delta Aquarid shower, which peaks near the end of the month and appears to radiate from the constellation Aquarius.

We are in the season for the Milky Way. Under a dark sky in late evening, it pours out of Cygnus (with Deneb, nearly overhead at midnight), brightening as it plunges southward into Sagittarius and the Galactic center.
Valid HTML 4.0!