Celestial Events in July 2023: Five Meteor Shower Peaks and a Supermoon!

~6 min

This is the list of astronomical events that will be visible from both hemispheres in July 2023. Most of the events will be visible to the naked eye! To easily identify planets, stars, comets, and other celestial objects, get the interactive sky map, the Sky Tonight app.


Astronomical events in July 2023

Please note that the information given is for areas around the middle latitudes. To find out exactly when you can see the event from where you are, use the Sky Tonight app.

More: Watch a video tutorial on how to learn what's up in the night sky in your location.

Planets in July 2023

Northern Hemisphere

See Mercury (mag -0.3) at the end of the month in the evening near the western horizon in the constellation Leo. Nearby, in the same constellation, look for Venus (mag -4.8) and the red planet Mars (mag 1.8) at the beginning and middle of the month for no more than an hour. Looking east in the morning, you'll find Jupiter (mag - 2.1) in the constellation of Aries. From the beginning until the middle of the month, Saturn (mag 0.8) can be seen in the southeast in Aquarius. By the end of the month, the planet is visible throughout the night. Use binoculars to spot Uranus (mag 5.7) above the eastern horizon in Aries in the morning. Even fainter Neptune (mag 7.9) is also visible in the morning in Pisces.

Southern Hemisphere

Starting in the middle of the month, Mercury (mag -0.3) can be seen in the evening not far above the northwest horizon in Leo for no more than an hour. Venus (mag -4.7) and Mars (mag 1.8) are also visible in the northwest in Leo in the evening. Look for Jupiter (mag -2.1) in the morning in Aries. Saturn (mag 0.7) is visible in Aquarius at night and in the morning. Uranus (mag 5.7) is high above the northern horizon in the morning in Aries. Neptune (mag 7.9) is in Pisces at night and in the morning. Don't forget that you'll need binoculars or a telescope to see the last two planets.

Constellations in July 2023

July, the summer season in the Northern Hemisphere, is the best time to observe three constellations — Cygnus, Lyra, and Aquila. In the Southern Hemisphere, where July is the winter month, observers get an opportunity to see Scorpius, Sagittarius, and Ophiuchus high in the sky. To learn more about special features within these constellations and star patterns that are best seen during other months, see our dedicated articles for the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere.

Supermoon in July 2023

On July 3, the Moon will reach its full phase and also its closest point to the Earth. As a result, the Full Moon in July will appear 5.8% larger and shine 12.8% brighter than a regular one. This event can be called the first Supermoon of 2023 (depending on which definition you use). If you stick with the astronomical one, then it counts as a Supermoon. If you go with the astrological definition coined by the term's creator, Richard Nolle, you'll have to wait until next month to see the first Supermoon. For a complete explanation of this terminology confusion, read our dedicated article.

The July Full Moon has different names, the most popular being “Buck Moon” and “Thunder Moon”. The name “Buck Moon” was given by Native American tribes who associated this time of year with young male deer (bucks) sprouting new antlers. For the meaning of the Thunder Moon and other nicknames, see our separate article.

Mini planetary alignment in July 2023

On July 22, see Mercury, Venus, and Mars lining up in the evening sky. The planets will be visible in the western sky about an hour after sunset. They will gather in the constellation Leo, near the bright star Regulus. Our natural satellite will also shine nearby.

Note that the best viewing date (the day when the planets are visible in the smallest sector of the sky) varies at different latitudes. We provide information for some locations in our article; to see how the alignment will look from your particular location, use the Sky Tonight app.

Comets in July 2023

Speaking of comets, we probably won't get any targets visible to the naked eye until October 2024. All of the comets visible now require a telescope or binoculars and some observing skills. But if you're up for the challenge, here are some objects you can observe.

Comet C/2021 T4 (Lemmon) will be visible to Southern Hemisphere observers until September. It will reach perihelion on July 31 and will make its closest approach to the Earth 11 days earlier, on July 20. At that time, the comet will reach magnitude 8 and may be visible with binoculars from a dark spot.

Comet Hartley 2, officially designated as 103P/Hartley, visits the inner Solar System about every 6.5 years. Its apparition in 2023 will be favorable — the comet will approach the Earth at about 0.39 AU. The comet won't come any closer in the 21st century. 103P/Hartley is expected to brighten to about magnitude 7. It will be visible from July to December from both hemispheres, although it will be higher above the horizon in northern latitudes. 103P/Hartley should be visible with binoculars — find out its location using the Sky Tonight app and observe the comet from a dark spot.

Until early August, observers in the Southern Hemisphere will be able to see 185P/Petriew. However, this year's appearance won't be the best. At perihelion on July 12, the comet will be quite far from the Earth (more than 1.5 AU). The comet is expected to be slightly brighter than magnitude 12.

Meteor showers in July 2023

Five meteor showers will reach a peak of activity in July 2023! At the beginning of the month, observers in the Northern Hemisphere will see a rather weak July Pegasids with a maximum of 5 meteors per hour. More fun is expected at the end of the month.

On July 28, the Piscis Austrinids and the July γ-Draconids will show their maximum activity, each producing 5 meteors per hour during the peak. Two days later, on July 30, the Southern δ-Aquariids (25 meteors/hour) and α-Capricornids (5 meteors/hour) will peak. A nearly Full Moon can interfere with observations, so it's better to catch the "shooting stars" in the morning after the Moon sets. For more observing tips, check out our June-September 2023 meteor shower calendar.

How to navigate the night sky?

To find any celestial object, use an interactive sky map like the Sky Tonight mobile app. This particular app is free and has one of the largest constantly updated databases. Sky Tonight works offline, so you can even use it while camping or hiking. Basically, all you need to do is launch the app and point your device at the sky. To learn how to explore the night sky like a pro, check out our video tutorials.

Bottom line

In July 2023, observers will get to see several bright objects near the Moon, a mini planetary alignment, five meteor shower peaks, and the Super Buck Moon. Get the Sky Tonight app to navigate the night sky easily and never mistake Venus for a star. We wish you clear skies and happy observations!