What’s In the Sky on the 4th of July Weekend (Besides Fireworks)

Enjoy your 4th of July and while you’re out watching the fireworks, enjoy these sights over the weekend.

July 4th weekend:

The Moon will start low on the horizon on July 4th and gradually climb higher in the sky over the weekend going from waxing crescent to first quarter moon. Right at sunset, Mercury and Mars are in the western sky near the moon.  However, both planets are within a couple degrees away from the Sun, causing them to be faint as they are lost in the Sun’s glare.

Jupiter and Saturn are bright in the southeastern sky just after sunset, too. Jupiter is near the bright reddish-colored star Antares that is located in the constellation of Scorpius.  Also in the eastern sky is the dwarf planet Pluto, but of course, is not visible with naked eye.

If you are up in the early morning, you can catch a glimpse of Venus in the east, just before the Sun rises.

The waxing crescent moon, Mars, and Mercury in the western sky at approximately 9:00 pm CST.
Image made with Stellarium
Jupiter and Saturn are visible with the naked eye. Around 9:30 pm CST, look for these planets in the southeastern sky.
Image made with Stellarium
Venus rises just before the Sun (approximately 6:00 am CST) in the eastern sky.
Image made with Stellarium

July 4:

Another treat this weekend is being able to see the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). On July 4th, HST will start in western sky around 9 pm and will travel across the sky, even going past Jupiter and Saturn.

Image credit: Heavens-Above.com