"Earth Farthest From the Sun On the 4th of July!  The Moon Pays a Visit to Dazzling Mars!  and; A 4-Planet Pre-Dawn Tease!"

Scheduled air date: 2001 Jun 25-Jul 01

On July 4th Earth will be at the point in its orbit—called aphelion—which is farthest from the Sun, at a distance of 94.5 million miles (152 million kilometers).
(Earth's orbit shown from above the Sun's North Pole; seasonal references are for Earth's Northern Hemisphere, and would be opposite for the Southern Hemisphere.)

This week Mars continues to move slowly toward its "rival star," Antares.  Next week a Waxing Gibbous Moon will pass the pair, forming a triangle with them on the night of July 2nd.
(Shown about an hour after sunset for mid-Northern latitudes.)

Four planets—Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn—are gathering in the pre-dawn skies, giving a hint of the spectacular double-duo they will form at mid-month.
(Shown about twenty minutes before sunrise on July 1st 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.

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