Current Night Sky: July 2020

Earth reaches aphelion – its furthest distance from the Sun – at 8:00 am 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 penumbral lunar eclipse on July 5, visible over the Atlantic and most of the Western Hemisphere. However, it is a very shallow eclipse and will not be noticeable to most observers.

The Moon & Planets: 
Sky chart with Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn
Evening Planets (after sunset): 
  • Jupiter, SE
  • Saturn, SE
Morning Planets (before sunrise): 
  • Jupiter, SW
  • Saturn, SW
  • Neptune, S
  • Mars, S
  • Uranus, E
  • Venus, E
  • Mercury, E

There are no naked-eye comets currently visible.


There are no significant meteor showers in July.

Phases of the Moon: 
Full Moon July 5 12:44 am EDT
Last Quarter Moon July 12 7:29 pm EDT
New Moon July 20 1:33 pm EDT
First Quarter Moon July 27 8:33 am EDT

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.