Skywatch: Look for leftover meteors and planets this week


Early risers could get lucky Sunday and Monday morning. While the Delta Aquariid meteor shower peaked late last week this one is a “long-lived shower” with meteors well into the month of August.

As the moon waxes into the first part of August they’ll be harder and harder to see. If you’re in a dark place, well away from the city lights early enough in the week look up and make a wish if you see one.

Early Sunday morning Mercury will reach its “greatest eastern elongation”. Because the planet is closer to the sun than we are there are times when it’s closer and farther from the Sun when viewed from Earth.

When a planet reaches greatest elongation it’s at that aforementioned farthest point. Look for Mercury in the evening at dusk. It’ll be low in the western sky. Just above and left of it will be Jupiter shining brightly.

We’ll see the First Quarter Moon this week as well. While officially hitting that phase at 11:23 a.m. on Sunday morning you’ll be able to see the half-moon the evening on the 30th.

An evening planet you’ll be able to see this week is Saturn. On Wednesday night the ringed planet will be in the southern sky after sunset near the waxing gibbous moon. It’ll hang just below and to the left of it looking like a bright star. Happy hunting!