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Mars by Bull’s horns in late July – plus hottest part of summer

25 Jul 2011, 08:01 UTC
Mars by Bull’s horns in late July – plus hottest part of summer
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You can see two red points of light before dawn: the planet Mars and the star Aldebaran. Around now the northern hemisphere summer reaches its peak temperatures, in a phenomenon called "the lag of the seasons."

Look eastward before morning dawn (on Tuesday, July 26) to see the waning crescent moon, and two ruddy points of light in the constellation Taurus the Bull. Mars is the red “star” shining between the Bull’s horn stars: Elnath and Zeta Tauri. Aldebaran, the nearer red light to the moon on Tuesday morning, depicts the Bull’s glaring eye. On Wednesday morning, July 27, a thinner waning crescent moon will have moved closer to Mars.
Keep watching the eastern predawn sky into early August, and you’ll eventually see Mars passing away from the Bull’s horns and into the constellation Gemini.
EarthSky’s meteor guide for 2011
By the way, it’s now a solid month past the June solstice, the longest day in the northern hemisphere. However, it’s probably just as hot – if not hotter – than it was a month ago. People often ask why the hottest weather of the year comes after the year’s longest day, on the solstice.
Although the June solstice ...

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