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5 reasons to look at the sky this July

Credit: AJC

Lunar eclipse visible in most of US on Fourth of July

Credit: AJC

There might not be fireworks because of the coronavirus pandemic, but Mother Nature is putting on her own sky show.

Although the stargazing events might not produce the “Oooohs” and “Ahhhhhs” of a fireworks display, they will occur all month and you can watch from your backyard.

» Astronomical events happening this summer and where to see them in Georgia

July 4-5

Just after midnight tonight — technically, July 5 — the moon will darken. During this penumbral lunar eclipse, the Earth's main shadow (umbra) misses the moon, so it can be a bit hard to see. The shadowed part is only a little bit fainter than the rest of the moon, according to timeanddate.com.

July 8

Earth's sister planet is now visible in the morning sky and will be at its brightest in 2020 on Wednesday. Venus will reach its greatest brightness in its 2020 morning apparition. It will be shining brightly at mag -4.5, according to In the Sky.

July 11

The moon and Mars will get together close enough to be seen with the naked eye. The pair will be too widely separated to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will be visible through a pair of binoculars or just looking up. You can find the coordinates at In the Sky.

July 14

Jupiter will make its closest approach to Earth and will be in line with the Earth and sun. According to In the Sky, Jupiter will be visible most of the night.

July 28

Later this month, the Delta Aquariid meteor shower will be at its peak. You'll need to be in a very dark area to see it well, however. This shower typically produces about 10-20 meteors an hour.

Where are the best places to go stargazing in Georgia?