Weymouth Astronomy

The Night Sky - July 2019

The nights begin lengthen for observers in the British Isles during July and by the month's end proper dark skies are available around 1am BST. It's well worth keeping an eye open for noctilucent clouds low in the twilight northern sky especially during the first 2 weeks of the month. From a dark location away from light pollution the Milky Way can be seen streaming upwards from Sagittarius to the prominent bulge of the Scutum star cloud and on through Aquila towards Cygnus high overhead.

The Night Sky

High Lights of the Month

  • 13th (late evening): Jupiter near the Moon
  • 15th (around midnight): Saturn and the Moon looking south around midnight
  • 16th (after sunset): A partial eclipse of the Moon low in the southeast
  • 28th (before dawn): A crescent waning Moon and the Hyades Cluster

Noctilucent clouds

Noctilucent clouds Noctilucent clouds also known as polar mesospheric clouds are most commonly seen in the deep twilight towards the north from our latitude. They are the highest clouds in the atmosphere at heights of around 80 km or 50 miles. Normally too faint to be seen they are visible when illuminated by sunlight from below the northern horizon whilst the lower parts of the atmosphere are in shadow. So on a clear dark night as light is draining from the north western sky after sunset take a look towards the north and you might just spot them.


Information collated from Jodrell Bank and Astronomy Now magazine