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What’s Up for July 2017

Prepare for the August total solar eclipse by observing the moon phases this month. Plus, two meteor showers peak at the end of July.

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Solar eclipses occur when the new moon passes between the Earth and the sun and moon casts a traveling shadow on Earth. A total solar eclipse occurs when the new moon is in just the right position to completely cover the sun’s disk.

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This will happen next month on August 21, when the new month completely blocks our view of the sun along a narrow path from Oregon to South Carolina.

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It may even be dark enough during the eclipse to see some of the brighter stars and few planets!

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Two weeks before or after a solar eclipse, there is often, but not always, a lunar eclipse. This happens because the full moon, the Earth and the sun will be lined up with Earth in the middle.

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Beginning July 1, we can see all the moon’s phases.

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Many of the Apollo landing sites are on the lit side of the first quarter moon. But to see these sites, you’ll have to rely on images for lunar orbiting spacecraft.

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On July 9, the full moon rises at sunset and July 16 is the last quarter. The new moon begins on July 23 and is the phase we’ll look forward to in August, when it will give us the total solar eclipse. The month of July ends with a first quarter moon.

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We’ll also have two meteor showers, both of which peak on July 30. The Delta Aquarids will have 25 meteors per hour between midnight and dawn.

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The nearby slow and bright Alpha Capricornids per at 5 per hour and often produce fireballs.

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Source: NASA

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What’s Up for July 2017

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