THE SOLAR SYSTEM IN JULY 2020
Dates and times shown are NZST (UT + 12 hours). Rise and Set times are for Wellington. They will vary by a few minutes elsewhere in NZ. Data is adapted from that shown by GUIDE 9.1.
THE SUN and PLANETS in July 2020, Rise & Set Mag. & Cons. July 1 NZST July 31 NZST Mag Cons Rise Set Mag Cons Rise Set SUN -26.7 Gem 7.44am 5.04pm -26.7 Cnc 7.27am 5.27pm Merc 5.6 Gem 7.28am 5.19pm -0.8 Gem 6.32am 4.03pm Venus -4.7 Tau 4.57am 3.01pm -4.6 Tau 4.21am 2.10pm Mars -0.5 Psc 11.40pm 12.04pm -1.1 Psc 11.01pm 10.46am Jup -2.7 Sgr 5.58pm 8.50am -2.7 Sgr 3.41pm 6.39am Sat 0.2 Cap 6.28pm 9.10am 0.1 Sgr 4.19pm 7.05am Uran 5.8 Ari 2.57am 1.26pm 5.8 Ari 1.02am 11.26am Nep 7.9 Aqr 10.48am 11.28am 7.8 Aqr 8.48pm 9.30am Pluto 14.4 Sgr 5.56pm 8.54am 14.5 Sgr 3.54pm 6.54am July 1 NZST July 31 NZST Twilights morning evening morning evening Civil: start 7.16am, end 5.33pm start 7.00am, end 5.55pm Nautical: start 6.42am, end 6.08pm start 6.27am, end 6.28pm Astro: start 6.08am, end 6.42pm start 5.54am, end 7.01pm July PHASES OF THE MOON, times NZ & UT Full Moon: July 5 at 4.44pm (04:44 UT) Last quarter: July 13 at 11.29am (Jul 12, 23:29 UT) New Moon: July 21 at 5.33am (Jul 20, 17:33 UT) First quarter: July 28 at 12.33am (Jul 27, 12:33 UT)
A slight partial penumbral eclipse of the moon on July 5 is not visible from NZ.
PLANETS in JULY 2020
MERCURY is at inferior conjunction with the Sun at about 3pm on July 1.
After conjunction Mercury becomes a morning object, rising shortly before the Sun. By mid month Mercury will rise some 85 minutes earlier than the Sun, but the planet will be only 4.5° above the horizon 45 minutes before sunrise, making it a difficult object at magnitude 0.8. The planet is stationary on the 12th, as a result the interval between Mercury's rise and the Sun's diminishes during the rest of the month.
On the morning of the 19th, the moon, a very thin crescent, will be 6° to the left of Mercury.
VENUS will be a brilliant morning object to the northeast easily visible from well before dawn. On the morning of the 17th the crescent moon will be about 6° to the left of the planet.
MARS, in Pisces, rises shortly before midnight during June, brightening a little as the month progresses. The best time for observing Mars will be an hour or so before sunrise. On the morning of the 12th, Mars, magnitude -0.7, will be 1.5° from the moon.
JUPITER and SATURN continue to move in tandem during July. They are 6° apart on the 1st and just over 7.5° apart on the 31st, both at present moving in an apparent retrograde sense as the Earth overtakes them. Jupiter is at opposition on the 14th, Saturn on the 23rd.
By the end of July, the two planets rise an hour or two before sunset. Since they also set after sunrise, they will be easily visible all night.
On June 6, the moon, just past full, will be 2° from Jupiter shortly before dawn. Later, in the evening, the moon will be a similar distance from Saturn.
PLUTO starts July less than a degree from Jupiter but the latter pulls away from Pluto during the rest of July so they are 3° on the 31st.
URANUS moves further up into the morning sky during July, rising about 1am on the 31st.
NEPTUNE will be in the late evening sky, rising about 9pm on the 31st.
POSSIBLE BINOCULAR ASTEROIDS in JULY July 1 NZST July 30 NZST Mag Cons transit Mag Cons transit (1) Ceres 8.6 Aqr .4.59am 8.0 Aqr 2.59am (4) Vesta 8.1 Gem 12.34pm 8.3 Gem 11.33pm (7) Iris 8.9 Sgr 12.07am 9.6 Sgr 9.42pm (532) Herculina 9.3 Sgr 12.30am 10.1 Sgr 10.07pm
CERES rises at 9.45 pm on the 1st and 7.34 pm on the 31st. So it becomes well placed for viewing mid to late evening during the month.
VESTA is in conjunction with the Sun early in July. It is behind the Sun, as "seen" from the Earth for just over 24 hours on the 5th and 6th NZ time. After conjunction Vesta becomes a morning object, but will be too close to the Sun for observation during the rest of July.
IRIS fades a little during July, following opposition at the end of June
HERCULINA is less than 6° from Iris at the beginning of July.