Science

The July New Moon provides dark skies tonight to see Jupiter, Mars and more.

Good night for sky watching.

Today (July 28) at 1:55 pm EDT (5:55 pm GMT), the moon has officially reached its new moon phase, according to astronomer Chris Vaughan of Astrogeo.ca. (will open in a new tab)which produces the monthly Night Sky calendar for Space.com in collaboration with Simulation Curriculum.

The Moon will be completely hidden from view anywhere on Earth for about a day, Vaughan said, because the new Moon is in the same region of the sky as the Sun, and sunlight can only illuminate the far side of the Moon.

Related: Brightest planets in July night sky: how to see them (and when)

After its brief disappearance, “the celestial night light will return to shine as a crescent moon in the western evening sky,” Vaughan writes. Until then, skywatchers will enjoy evening stargazing, completely uninterrupted by moonlight.

The planets Jupiter, Saturn and Mars will be clearly visible early Friday morning (July 29).

Jupiter will be bracketed by reddish Mars to its left (or celestial northeast) and yellowish Saturn to its right (or celestial southwest).

Visible planets in the night sky at approximately 2am from New York on July 29th. (Image credit: Starry Night Pro 7) (will open in a new tab)

Look into the lower eastern sky around midnight to see Jupiter near the border between Pisces and Ketus. The bright gas giant will be visible all night as it rises south. Jupiter is a great target for the telescope in July, Vaughan said. “His four Galilean satellites will dance east and west of his striped ball,” writes Vaughan, “which will increase in apparent size from 41 to 45 arcseconds.”

If you’re looking for a telescope to observe the planets, our best planetary observing telescopes will help you make an informed decision, while our best deep space telescopes will help you travel the universe on an even deeper level.

Sharp-eyed skywatchers who love challenges might try to spot a main belt asteroid, designated Juno, near the background stars of western Pisces. Vaughan said Juno is likely to slow to a standstill, and after tonight will begin a westward retrograde loop that will last until the end of October.

The main belt asteroid Juno will change course on July 28. After tonight, Juno will begin a westward retrograde loop that will last until the end of October (red carpet with dates and hours). (Image credit: Starry night) (will open in a new tab)

Lucky stargazers can also catch a meteor show as the southern Delta Aquarids approach peak activity on Friday (July 29) before dawn on Saturday (July 30). Delta Aquarids will last from July 21 to August 23. Look up into the southeastern sky for a meteor shower radiant—a patch of the sky where meteors seem to come from—located in the constellation of Aquarius.

Editor’s Note: If you’ve taken a great astrophoto and would like to share it with Space.com readers, please send your photos, comments, name, and location to spacephotos@.

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