The brightest planets in the solar system are converging for a beautiful sunrise sky show in early July.
Every morning this July, the two brightest planets (Venus –4.7 and Jupiter –2.1) in the solar system will put on a show before sunrise. Look out on east you will see Venus and Jupiter, shining side by side, so close together you can hide them behind your outstretched palm.
And, by the way, Earth is at aphelion, its farthest from the Sun for the year (just 1/30 farther than at perihelion in January).
Three mornings later, on July 7th, Venus and Jupiter will line up with Aldebaran, the bright red eye of Taurus the Bull. Aldebaran is a red giant star of first magnitude. Together with Venus and Jupiter, it forms an almost perfect vertical line in the brightening dawn sky.
On July 9th, Venus and Aldebaran converge to form an eye catching planet-star pair. Scarcely more than a degree of arc will separate the two celestial bodies as Jupiter looks down from overhead.
And then, on July 15th, a 12% crescent Moon joins the show, forming a bright celestial triangle with Venus and Jupiter. That’s caused by Earthshine, sunlight reflected from our own planet onto the otherwise dark lunar landscape.
A crescent Moon with Earthshine is considered to be one of the prettiest sights in the heavens. And a crescent Moon with Earthshine plus Venus and Jupiter – that’s worth waking up!
If you value what we do here, open your ad-free account and support our journalism.
Producing content you read on this website takes a lot of time, effort, and hard work. If you value what we do here, select the level of your support and register your account.
Your support makes this project fully self-sustainable and keeps us independent and focused on the content we love to create and share.
All our supporters can browse the website without ads, allowing much faster speeds and a clean interface. Your comments will be instantly approved and you’ll have a direct line of communication with us from within your account dashboard. You can suggest new features and apps and you’ll be able to use them before they go live.
You can choose the level of your support.
Stay kind, vigilant and ready!