This Weekend’s Night Sky
While the Moon brightens evening skies all over the world this week, there are still plenty of sights to admire. Let’s see what celestial objects will be well placed for observation this weekend on July 13 - 14.
The Moon and Jupiter will make a close approach in the southern sky on Saturday evening, July 13. The waxing gibbous Moon will land about three finger widths to the left (east) of the bright planet Jupiter. If you watch the Moon and Jupiter over several hours, starting at dusk, you will see the moon’s orbit carry it farther from the planet, while the rotation of the sky will lift the Moon above Jupiter.
On Sunday, July 14, the dim and distant dwarf planet Pluto will reach opposition. On that date, Pluto will be the closest to Earth (4.91 billion km, or 273 light-minutes) and reach its greatest visual magnitude (+14.2) for 2019. Pluto will rise in the east at sunset and reach its highest elevation, over the southern horizon, at 1:20 am local time.
Pluto is far too dim to see in amateur-grade telescopes, but our Star Walk 2 app can show you where it is compared to the brighter nearby stars and other celestial objects.
Keep looking up and enjoy the sky!