"A Special Sky for the 4th of July"

Scheduled air date: 2000 Jun 26-Jul 02

A 3-day old Waxing Crescent Moon will appear low in the Western sky on the evening of July 4th.  The bright star Regulus will also appear a little less than two degrees to the lower left of the Moon on this night.

Around midnight on the 4th of July, two great Summer constellations—Scorpius and Sagittarius—can be seen just above the Southern horizon.  The Milky Way (which is a portion of our own galaxy) appears like a faint cloud extending from the Southern horizon, high overhead, and on to the Northern horizon.  Two open-type stellar clusters—M6 and M7—can be seen by the unaided eye under dark skies, just above the tail of Scorpius, the Scorpion.  The bright orange star Antares can be seen at the heart of Scorpius; it is a giant at approximately 700 times the diameter of our own Sun!
(Shown at midnight of July 4th for mid-Northern latitudes.  Simulated binocular/low-power telescope views of M6 and M7 are shown in the insets.)

If you wish to view illustrations for other episodes, please see our Star Gazer Illustrated directory.

Illustrations on this page were created using TheSky Astronomy Software, an advanced desktop planetarium program designed for Windows.

Copyright 1999-2006 by Software Bisque, Inc.