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Skywatch: Look for planets & meteors this week

The Southern Delta Aquariid meteor shower peaks this week.
Credit: First Quarter Moon

If you’re out early on Monday look for the First Quarter Moon. It officially arrives Monday morning at 8:33 a.m.

Credit: Delta Aquariid Meteor Shower Peaks

July is a good month for meteor watching. Both the Southern Delta Aquariid and Perseid meteor showers are active in late July. While the latter peaks in August the former is expected to peak on Wednesday morning. The Southern Delta Aquariid meteor shower is caused by debris from Comet 96P/Machholz. During a good year you can see up to around 20 meteors per hour but the moon is brightening up so it’ll wash out some of the fainter ones. Look for the radiant in the south to southwestern sky below the “Great Square of Pegasus” before dawn. As always, the farther you can get away from the city the better chance you have of seeing a shooting star.

Credit: Orion is Back in the Sky!!!

Late in the week we welcome an old friend in the eastern sky. Orion is typically a winter constellation but it’s visible in the morning sky before dawn in the east. Look just above and left of Orion’s belt and you’ll see what appears to be a bright star. That’s actually Venus.

Credit: Look for the Moon & Two Planets

Speaking of planets, on Friday night you can find the two biggest in the solar system. Look for a waxing gibbous moon and to the left of it will hang Jupiter then Saturn. Jupiter will be the brighter of the two. Happy hunting!