Calling all amateur astronomers

After travelling almost three billion kilometres at 26.9km per second, Juno will arrive at Jupiter on July 4.

NASA is asking all amateur astronomers to upload their images of Jupiter at missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam. You can even vote for the best location in Jupiter’s atmosphere for the JunoCam to capture.

Summer begins with planets Saturn and Mars hugging the horizon in the southern sky shortly after evening twilight. Near the planetary duo, you can see a group of eight stars forming a pattern in the sky or asterism known as the Summer Tea Pot.

A band of stars from the Milky Way stretching across the sky looks like steam coming off its spout. Among the stars of the Milky Way close to the Tea Pot you can see the Lagoon and Trifid Nebulae. Thousands of light years away, these star forming gas clouds are impressive even though binoculars.

If you look overhead, you can see a group of bright stars forming the Summer Triangle. Vega is directly overhead or in the zenith in the constellation Lyra, Altair in the southeast in the constellation Aquila and Deneb is in northeast in the constellation Cygnus.

Planet watching

Here are July stargazer events. Most are listed in the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers calendar.

Venus reappears from behind the sun in the middle of the month. It shines brightly low in the evening sky. Mars sets after midnight. Jupiter is low in the western sky setting near midnight. Uranus and Neptune rise late evening.

July 4: The Earth is furthest from the Sun for 2016 at 152 million km.

July 8: The Moon is close and below Jupiter in the evening sky.

July 14: The Moon is above Mars in the evening sky.

July 15: The Moon is close and above Saturn in the evening sky.

July 16: Mercury is very close to Venus low in the west after sun set.

July 19: Full Moon.

July 28: Southern Delta Aquarid meteor shower peaks.

July 29: The Moon is extremely close to star Aldebaran in the morning sky.

For more information, see the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers website or call 905-627-4323. The club offers a basic astronomy course for members.

Mario Carr, the author of this report, is the club’s director of publicity and can be reached at mariocarr@cogeco.ca or on Twitter (@MarioCCarr).

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About Mario Carr

Mario Carr has a Physics degree from McMaster University and hosts this blog. He is the director of public education for the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers and has helped to raise the profile of the group. He writes an astronomy column and appears on CHCH-TV to talk about the night sky. Mario is the founder of the Carr Marketing Group in Burlington, Ontario and can help with your marketing, communications, publicity and public relations needs. He can be reached at www.carrmarketinggroup.com or mariocarr@cogeco.ca.
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