"Earth Farthest from the Sun this Week, and: The Two Largest Planets Light Up the Morning Skies"

Scheduled air date: 2000 Jul 03-09

Our Earth reaches the farthest point in its orbit from the Sun on July 3rd this year.  This occurs less than two weeks after the Northern Hemisphere's Summer Solstice, which marks the beginning of Summer.  Nevertheless, we experience a warm season because the Earth's Northern Hemisphere is tilted toward the Sun at this time.
(Illustration from TheSky's Astronomy Tutorial, copyright Software Bisque.)

For the next few weeks, the giant planets Jupiter and Saturn can be seen in the pre-dawn skies.  They presently appear near the Pleiades—or Seven Sisters—star cluster, and will gradually make their way toward the bright red-orange star Aldebaran.
(Shown about an hour before sunrise any day this week, for mid-Northern latitudes.)

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.