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Summer Skies

13 Jul 2022

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If you’re a night owl, the summertime night skies can often offer you some of the best things to see, all you have to do is look up! Here are some of the summer’s top astronomical events heading your way...

See the
Perseid meteor shower

Mid-August will see the reappearance of the perseid meteor shower, caused by the debris stream from the comet Swift-Tuttle. The shower will radiate between the constellations Perseus and Camelopardalis, and you may see activity from mid-July. Best seen in the pre-dawn hours, it takes a bit of dedication, but it’s worth it!

Get ready for the
elongation of Mercury

Mercury is visible to the naked eye, but it is a bit of a challenge. It’s so close to the Sun that the separation between the two isn’t particularly large as seen from Earth. During the moment of greatest Eastern Elongation on 27 August, we’ll have our best chance to spot it, low towards the west as the Sun is setting.

See a planet
at opposition

Saturn moves into opposition on 14 August: its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun, so it will be at its brightest.

Neptune and Jupiter do the same on 16 September and 26 September respectively. These moments are potentially great opportunities for astrophotography, but it may be worth trying your techniques out on Saturn first, because Neptune will be a real challenge.

However, even with the naked eye Jupiter and Saturn will be easy to see.

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