Night sky in July – southern hemisphere
Highlights: Jupiter and Venus bright.
Here is a view of the night sky this month as seen from mid-southern latitudes such as Sydney (-33° 52′) in mid July, 2015, at 10pm local time.
The planets in July 2015
Mercury is badly placed this month, following its greatest elongation in the dawn sky on June 24.
Venus is the brightest planet in the evening sky, shining brilliantly at magnitude -4.5 after sunset. Beginning the month just half a degree away from Jupiter, the two planets gradually move apart again as July progresses.
Mars will be very low in the dawn sky in July at magnitude +1.6, following conjunction last month, and will be hard to find, and even more difficult to observe, being far away on the other side of the Sun. Find out more about Mars here including maps to show its position in the sky.
Jupiter shines at -1.7 magnitude in the evening sky, and can be observed for around a couple of hours when it gets dark, over in the west.
Saturn is in the far south of the ecliptic, in the constellation of Libra, and so best placed for southern observers. It is right enough though, at +0.3 magnitude, to be observable if you have a clear, low horizon.
Note: The sky will appear much the same from other cities at similar latitudes, such as Perth or Wellington, at around 10pm local time. Imagine holding it over your head so that the centre of the chart is the zenith and the edge runs all the way around your horizon. The sky appears the same at the start of the month an hour later and at the end of the month an hour earlier.
We use Virtual Sky, a customizable, browser-based planetarium, courtesy of Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network. Tip: The chart is interactive. Click on the date or location to the top left of the chart to view the sky at a different time or from another location. If you want to check out the sky as seen from the northern hemisphere, click here.