Never pass up a chance to sit down or relieve yourself. -old Apache saying

Friday, July 1, 2016

July stargazing

We are already finished with HALF of 2016!? Time seems to be going faster and faster, so don't forget to slow down now and then and experience the wonders of the night sky, if you can.

Stargazing Summary
A triplet highlights the short nights of July, formed by the planets Mars and Saturn and the star Antares. Under even moderately dark skies, all three show a bit of color. Mars and Antares are orange, while Saturn has a golden hue. Antares is the brightest star of Scorpius, one of summer's best-known denizens. The scorpion's hook-shaped body curls to the lower left of Antares, with teapot-shaped Sagittarius to the right of Scorpius. Under dark skies, the Milky Way rises from the teapot's spout like steam.

More stargazing information

Radio Program Highlights

If you want to start hearing the StarDate program in your area, you can request a station to carry our program by emailing the request to

July 4-10: Heavy stars. The most massive star yet seen resides in a small companion galaxy to the Milky Way. It's a member of a cluster that's overflowing with heavy stars. Join us for heavy stars, dark storms, watery moons, and more.

July 11-17: Moon meanderings. The Moon teams up with some impressive stars and planets this week, including Mars and the heart of the scorpion. Join us for the Moon and its bright companions, plus some little explosions from the Sun and much more.

July 18-24: One year later. It's been a full year since New Horizons buzzed by remote little Pluto, and we'll have details on some of its findings, and about what it'll be doing next. Join us for the mission to Pluto, plus the celestial scorpion and more.

July 25-31: Summer skies. The faint band of the Milky Way arcs high overhead on summer nights, and we'll have details. We'll also talk about a stellar disappearing act, double stellar giants, and much more. Join us for summer's beautiful skies.

Program schedule »

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This Month in StarDate Magazine
In our current issue, we explain the latest twist on the search for extraterrestrial life. And we bring you up to date on New Horizons, laying out discoveries made so far by the historic flyby of Pluto and its cadre of moons.

Subscribe today

News from the Observatory
Young 'Super-Neptune' Offers Clues to Close-in Exoplanets
A team of astronomers led by Andrew Mann of The University of Texas at Austin has confirmed the existence the youngest "super-Neptune" yet, a planet about five times the size of Earth. The discovery lends unique insights into the origin of planetary system architectures.

About SkyTips
SkyTips is a monthly email newsletter for visitors to McDonald Observatory and StarDate Online. Each issue features stargazing highlights, upcoming StarDate radio program descriptions, and other news. Please feel free to forward this newsletter to your friends and family.

SkyTips is a publication of the University of Texas McDonald Observatory Education and Outreach Office, 2609 University Ave. A2100, Austin, TX 78712. Reproduction of SkyTips content is permitted with proper credit given to McDonald Observatory.

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