Mon. July 2 - All this week, a combination of stars, planets and the beautiful Pleiades open star cluster, will conspire to provide a beautiful panorama around an hour before sunrise. The star Aldebaran in the constellation Taurus, anchors an almost straight line of objects above with Venus next, then Jupiter topped by the glorious Pleiades.
Tues. July 3 - This is Full Moon night, and since our natural satellite was at perihelion (closest to Earth) on the 1st, it may appear noticeably larger than usual as it rises over the eastern mountains in the early evening.
Wed. July 4 - While we bask in the warm weather of a northern hemisphere summer, the Earth is actually at its farthest part of its orbit from the Sun, or aphelion. The upside is that perihelion occurs in January, providing just a bit more warmth at the time of the year it is needed here the most.
Fri. July 6 - If the sky is clear, there is a night of observing to look forward to at our Okanagan Observatory on Big White Road (www.okanaganobservatory.ca). The evening will include an audio/visual program, a guided tour of the sky, and observing with member telescopes and the club's 25" telescope. A Go/No Go message is posted by 3pm each Friday on the Observatory Event Phone 250-300 8SKY (8759).
Sun. July 8 - For early risers, the red giant star Aldebaran can be seen the width of your pinky held at arm's length from brilliant Venus. Notice the contrast in colour between them. Last month Venus was a small black dot when it came between the Earth and the Sun. Though looking far fainter than Venus because of its distance from us, Aldebaran is in fact 425 times as luminous as our Sun!
Okanagan Skies features highlights of current and upcoming astronomical events which are assembled by OC RASC member Dave Gamble. Please send your comments to
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