"Earth at Aphelion; Saturn Meets the Moon, and; Venus Meets the Heart of Leo"

Scheduled air date: 2002 Jul 01-07

On the night of July 5th-6th, 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.)

In the pre-dawn skies of July 7th, 8th and 9th, the Waning Crescent Moon will appear near the star Aldebaran, the ringed planet Saturn and the closest planet to the Sun, Mercury, respectively.
(Shown about an hour before sunrise for mid-Northern latitudes.)

Next week, the Waxing Crescent Moon will pass by the star Regulus and the "Evening Star"—brilliant planet Venus—in the western sky.  Venus and Regulus appear closest on the evening of July 10th, while the Moon, Venus and Regulus will be lined up on the evening of the 13th.
(Shown about an hour after sunset 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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