Current Night Sky: July 2019

There is a total solar eclipse on July 2. The path of totality crosses the central and eastern portions of the South Pacific before hitting the coast of Chile. It then slices through Argentina, stopping just as it reaches the outskirts of Buenos Aires.

Earth reaches aphelion – its furthest distance from the Sun – at 6:11 pm on July 4. The planet is then 94.5 million miles from the Sun – 3.4% further than at its closest approach in January. Seasons are caused not by variation in our planet’s distance from the Sun but by its axial tilt causing differential solar lighting on its Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

There is a partial lunar eclipse on July 16, visible from South America and much of the Eastern hemisphere. It will not be visible from North America.

The Moon & Planets: 
Earth's orbit around the Sun
Evening Planets (after sunset): 
  • Mercury, W
  • Mars, NW
  • Jupiter, SW
  • Saturn, SE
Morning Planets (before sunrise): 
  • Saturn, SW
  • Neptune, S
  • Uranus, E
  • Venus, NE

There are no comets brighter than magnitude 8 currently visible.


The South Delta Aquariid meteors peak on July 30, though they build up and ramp down slowly over some weeks. With the Moon out of the way, up to 25 meteors per hour may be visible. However, this shower tends to favor Southern Hemisphere observers.

Phases of the Moon: 
New Moon July 2 3:16 pm EST
First Quarter Moon July 9 6:55 am EDT
Full Moon July 16 5:38 pm EDT
Last Quarter Moon July 24 9:18 pm EDT
New Moon July 31 11:12 pm EST

Text, graphics, and animations by John Sheff. Graphics courtesy of Starry Night(©) Pro Plus 7 / Imaginova(©) Corp. Starry Night images are used with permission from Imaginova Corp. Starry Night is a registered trademark of Imaginova Corp. Star charts generated by Starry Night Pro Plus 7 © Imaginova Corp. All rights reserved.