The magnificent ringed planet Saturn, the jewel in the Solar System’s crown, comes to opposition on the night of 20/21 July. At around this time, the ringed wonder offers its best observing circumstances for 2020.
Comet 2020 F3 (NEOWISE) is proving to be a smash hit, provoking an incredible level of interest as it captivates astronomers across the Northern Hemisphere, who have been crying out for a comet that’s visible to the naked-eye and also looks like a ‘proper’ comet.
Mighty Jupiter, the king of the planets, comes to opposition at 08:00 UT on 14 July, the moment when it lies opposite the Sun in sky at a distance of 619.4 million kilometres (384 million miles), or 4.139 astronomical units.
If you’ve never seen a meteor shower, then with no work or school for many people in the morning thanks to the continuing COVID-19 lockdown, the Lyrids are a great opportunity to stay up late and witness nature’s own fireworks.
During the warm evenings and clear skies of recent weeks, you may have noticed a brilliant, shining beacon towards the west, far brighter than anything else in the night sky other than the Moon. That’s the planet Venus.