This Week's Targets and How to Find Them

 

  • First Quarter Moon (lunar phase)
    • Visible before sunset high in the sky. It sets just after midnight, so lots of time to see it. Technically it hits first quarter at 8:32am EDT!
  • Copernicus (lunar crater)
    • Large crater pretty close to the centre of the Moon but slightly off to the northwest, kind of under Wilma's nose. Best viewed when highlighted on the terminator tonight but you can see it on the full Moon too.
  • Mare Fecunditatis (lunar mare)
    • This mare is directly south of Mare Crisium from last month, on the far right / eastern side of the Moon. Best today, but visible Jul 27 - Aug 5
  • Mare Nectaris (lunar mare)
    • This one is south of Fecunditatis, much smaller and bordered by 3 craters to the northwest. Best today, but visible Jul 27 - Aug 7.
  • Mare Serenitatis (lunar mare)
    • North of Tranquilitatis, this, Fecunditatis and Tranquilitatis form a line. It's the front of Wilma's hair, and is pretty distinctive. Best today, but visible Jul 27 - Aug 8.
  • Cygnus (constellation)
    • The main bright star in Cygnus is the northernmost star in the summer triangle (Deneb). It is the tail of the swan, and a cross continues south of Deneb. Its body follows the Milky Way, so it's a good way to find it. It is visible until about February.
  • Lyra (constellation)
    • The main bright star in Lyra is the westernmost star in the summer triangle (Vega). The constellation is a lyre, but it doesn't really look like that. The rest of the constellation extends in a small square along the edge of the summer triangle between Vega and Altair. It is visible until about January.
  • Aquila (constellation)
    • The main bright star in Aquila is the southernmost star in the summer triangle (Altair). It is an eagle, and Altair is just about the head of the eagle. Two wings extend west and southeast to two bright stars, tail extends southwest towards Sagittarius. It is visible until about January.
  • Epsilon Lyr (double star)
    • This is the double double star! It's a finger width to the east of Vega and makes a tiny triangle with Vega and the next star down in Lyra (Nasr Alwaki). If you look at Vega in binos you'll be able to see it clearly off to the left in the same field of view as Vega. Visible until about January.

 

Optional

  • Jupiter (solar system object)
    • Conjuncting with the Moon on August 1st, Jupiter will be slightly to the west and brighter than Saturn. If you're looking through binoculars or a telescope and can see the Moons, you'll see from West to East (left to right in binos): Io, Jupiter, Callisto and Gannymede.
  • Saturn (solar system object)
    • Conjuncting with the Moon on August 1st, Saturn will be slightly to the East and slightly dimmer than Jupiter. Titan will be a little northeast of Saturn (left and up in binos, but can be tough to see).
Author: 
jennahinds
Last modified: 
Wednesday, July 15, 2020 - 4:22pm