By Mario Carr
Summer camping is a great way to enjoy the night sky. From just about any campground you’re almost guaranteed to see a better night sky. The darker the sky and the further you go from city lights, the better.
From a truly dark summer sky one of the most striking features is the band of the Milky Way. With only binoculars you can see a multitude of galaxies, nebulae and other celestial wonders. Identifying them has never been so easy when using today’s smart phone apps.
One of the best spots in Southern Ontario with dark skies is along the BrucePeninsula. In 2009, Bruce Peninsula National Park was designated as a dark sky preserve. If you would like to experience the night sky like our ancestors once saw it, a camping trip on the Peninsula should be on your bucket list.
Here are July stargazer events. Most are listed in the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers calendar.
Jupiter reappears low in the north eastern dawn sky during twilight early in the month. Saturn can be seen in the western evening sky setting around midnight.
July 3 – Venus is in the Beehive Cluster very low in the western evening sky during twilight.
July 6 – The crescent moon groups with Mars and Jupiter low in the eastern morning sky at twilight.
July 10 – The crescent moon is close and below Venus low in the western evening sky at twilight.
July 13 –Public stargazing event at McQuesten Park, 1199 Upper Wentworth Street, Hamilton, 9- 11 p.m. and observe the universe through telescopes. Non-perishable donations for local food banks would be appreciated.
July 15 – The first quarter moon is only a half degree below Spica in the evening sky.
July 16 – The moon is just below Saturn in the evening sky.
July 21 – Venus is extremely close to star Regulas low in the western evening sky.
July 22 – Mars is extremely close and above Jupiter low in the morning eastern twilight sky. The full moon is also called the Hay Moon.
July 28 – The South Delta Aquarid meteor shower peaks.
July 29 – Last quarter moon.
July 30 – Mercury is at its greatest angle from the sun making it easier to see. It’s also below Mars and Jupiter in the eastern morning sky.
For more information, please see the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers web site at www.amateurastronomy.org or call (905) 627-4323.
- Images: Best Stargazing Events of July 2013 (Sky Maps) (space.com)
- Our diminishing night sky (theskythismonth.wordpress.com)
- What If The Moon Was Replaced With Other Planets (geekalabama.com)
- 5 Sky Events This Week: Venus Buzzes Beehive, Morning Return of Mars (newswatch.nationalgeographic.com)