"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.
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