Current Night Sky: July 2018

The Earth is at aphelion – its furthest distance from the Sun – at 1:00 pm EDT on July 6. The distance between the two bodies reaches its annual maximum: 94.5 million miles. (Recall that the heat of summer and the cold of winter seasons are caused not by Earth's distance from the Sun but by its axial tilt.)

There is a partial solar eclipse, visible mainly from Antarctica, on July 12.

There is a total lunar eclipse, visible from the Eastern Hemisphere, on July 27.

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

There are no comets brighter than magnitude 8 visible this month.


The Southern Delta Aquariid meteors peak around July 30; given that the Full Moon occurs three days earlier, the meteors should be sparse this year.

Phases of the Moon: 
Last Quarter Moon July 6 3:51 am EDT
New Moon July 12 10:48 pm EDT
First Quarter Moon July 19 3:52 pm EDT
Full Moon July 27 4:20 pm 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.