Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
Credit & Copyright: Tunc Tezel
Explanation: July is drawing to a close and in the past few days, some early morning risers could have looked east and seen a crescent Moon sharing the pre-dawn skies with planets Jupiter and Saturn. Planet Mercury will also pass about 2 degrees from the thin waning crescent Moon just before sunrise near the eastern horizon on Saturday, July 29. And finally, on the evening of July 31st, Venus will take its turn near the crescent Moon. But this time it will be a day-old crescent Moon near the western horizon, shortly after sunset. In fact, on July 31 (August 1 Universal Time) the Moon will occult (pass in front of) Venus for northwestern observers in North America. This telescopic picture taken on 31 December 1997, shows a lovely young crescent Moon and brilliant crescent Venus in the early evening sky near Bursa, Turkey.
And what about the Sun? On Sunday, July 30, a partial eclipse of the Sun will be visible from some locations in North America.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.