Wednesday, July 6, 2022

The Moon kisses the planets in July

In July 2022, look for the planets close to the Moon! This month, our natural satellite will meet with five planets. Here we provide the exact times and observation conditions for each lunar conjunction

What does a conjunction with the Moon mean?

In astronomy, a conjunction is an apparent event that occurs when two or more space objects are visible in close proximity to each other. In general, conjunctions occur between the Moon and the planets (Venus, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter or Saturn).

Of course, the planets do not approach the Moon in space, as this would have a significant impact on the Solar System. Space objects only appear to be close in the sky to Earth observers.

How to see a conjunction of the Moon with a planet?

Here's what you need to know in advance:

The ascent and descent times of space objects to your location. There is a possibility that an object will rise above the horizon during the day, so you won't be able to see it.

The moon phase. The fully illuminated lunar disk is undoubtedly an exciting sight, but it also hides some relatively faint objects that are close to it.

The trajectory of the space object through the sky. It will help you to visualize the future movement of space objects.

Keep in mind that depending on your time zone, even if you miss the exact moment of conjunction, you will still have a chance to spot a planet near the Moon.

july conjunctions

July 15: Moon-Saturn conjunction

In July, Saturn will be the first planet to approach the Moon. The conjunction can be observed on July 15 at 20:16 GMT (17:16 BRT). The 16-day Moon will shine with a magnitude of -12.7 at 4°02' Saturn (0.4 magnitude) in the constellation Capricorn. The pair can be seen with the naked eye or with the use of a pair of binoculars, but the two objects do not fit into a telescope's field of view.

July 19: Moon-Jupiter Conjunction

On July 19 at 00:55 GMT , (21:55 EDT) see the Moon meeting Jupiter in the constellation Cetus. Our natural satellite will have a magnitude of -12.2, and bright Jupiter will reach a magnitude of -2.6. The objects will be separated by a distance of 2°13', too far away for a telescope objective, but you can try to identify the bright double with the naked eye or use a pair of binoculars for an even better view.

July 21: Moon-Mars Conjunction

Two days later, the conjunction of the Moon and Mars will occur. Enjoy the celestial encounter on July 21st at 4:46 pm GMT (4:46 pm BRT). The Moon's brightness will have a magnitude of -11.5 next to its partner Mars (magnitude 0.3) in the constellation Aries. The Red Planet will come within 1°03' of the Moon, but the distance is still too great to allow the two objects to be seen together through a telescope. So use a pair of binoculars or observe the conjunction with the naked eye.

July 26: Moon-Venus Conjunction

On July 26 at 2:12 pm GMT (11:12 am EDT), the Moon will meet Venus in the constellation of Gemini. The thin waning crescent moon (magnitude -9.1) will pass at 4°10' to the north of the planet. Venus will shine with a magnitude of -3.9, easily observable with the naked eye. You can use a pair of binoculars to get a closer look at the conjunction, but don't waste time looking for a telescope – the two objects won't fit in one's field of view.

July 29: Moon-Mercury Conjunction

On July 29 at 21:08 GMT (08:08 EDT), the Moon will meet Mercury. It will be difficult to capture this event in the Northern Hemisphere, where Mercury (magnitude -0.7) will appear just a few degrees above the horizon. In addition, our natural satellite will only be one day in its phase and will have a magnitude of -7.9. In the Southern Hemisphere, try to identify the conjunction 40 minutes after sunset. Mercury and the Moon will be positioned at 3°35' to each other in the constellation Leo.


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