This Week's Targets and How to Find them

  • Full Moon (lunar phase)
    • Visible East after sunset on July 5th
  • Mare Crisium (lunar mare)
    • Best seen on the full Moon, but visible anytime after lunar day 3 as a distinctive mare close to the edge of the Moon and separate from the other mares
  • Mare Tranquilitatis (lunar mare)
    • Best seen on the full Moon, but visible anytime after lunar day 6. It's directly "below" Mare Crisium, to the west and in between Mare Serenitatis (large and distinct to the north, the top of Wilma's hair) and Mare Fecunditatis (less distinct, to the direct south of Mare Crisium). This is where the Apollo 11 astronauts landed.
  • Mare Serenitatis (lunar mare)
    • The front roll of Wilma Flintstone's hair!
  • Tycho (lunar crater)
    • Look for where the bright white rays converge on the bottom/south side of the Moon. Tip: look at the Moon for several minutes to allow your eyes to adjust to the brightness and you should be able to see the crater itself.
  • Ursa Major (constellation)
    • Look almost directly overhead (or a bit to the northwest) and you'll see what looks like a ladel whose scoop is pointing east (looks kind of straight up and down). That's the Big Dipper. The bear's legs extend down from the Big Dipper itself and each end in 2 stars close together. Visible all the time.
  • Ursa Minor (constellation)
    • Follow the two stars at the end of the Big Dipper's pot (Merak and Dubhe) straight up and out of the pot, and look for the star that they point to. That's the North Star / Polaris. Ursa Minor / the Little Dipper curves around towards the tail of the Big Dipper, and is much fainter and harder to see. It is made up of 7 stars, but you may not be able to see some of them from the city. Visible all the time.
  • Bootes (constellation)
    • Find the Big Dipper and follow the arc of the tail or handle to the next bright star, Arcturus. Extending upward and even a bit back towards the Big Dipper, you'll see a kite shape of stars. That's Bootes! Visible until about October.
  • Leo (constellation)
    • To see Leo you have to be looking as soon as the sky gets dark enough. Find Arcturus using the Big Dipper's handle and continue along the same trajectory to spike down to the star Spica (which is in Virgo). Head west from Regulus to look for the backwards question mark that makes up Leo's mane. Only visible until about July 8th.
  • Mizar and Alcor (double star)
    • This is a famous double star in the handle of the Big Dipper. Look closely at the middle star in the handle (the highest point). Visible all the time.
Author: 
jennahinds
Last modified: 
Thursday, June 25, 2020 - 5:00pm