Southern Colorado Skies / July 9-15, 2017

Consider a planetarium program to help you plan your observations. There are many commercial products available; an excellent program (STELLARIUM) is available free at


Look for the Pleiades star cluster above bright Venus just before dawn, as shown in the graphic. Also, Venus is passing about 3 degrees north of Aldebaran later this week.

Wednesday (July 12)

At 8:18 p.m. MDT, Jupiter’s moon Europa emerges from behind the gas giant, and only three minutes later it gets eclipses by Jupiter’s shadow.



Mercury (in Cancer):

Not in a favorable apparition, but you might be able to make it out in the west-northwest about 1/2 hour after sunset. Good luck!

Venus (in Taurus):

Look for very bright Venus in the east at dawn. Venus is only a few degrees to the upper left (north) of Aldebaran, while the Pleiades (M45) may be seen high over Venus (see above graphic).

Mars (in Gemini):

Deep in the glare of the Sun.

Jupiter (in Virgo):

Jupiter is high and bright in the southwest as night begins. That bright star to the left (east) by about 10 degrees is Spica, the brightest star in the constellation Virgo.


Saturn (in Ophiuchus):

Saturn rises as night falls and stays low in the sky to the southeast and south. It’s to the upper right (west) of the Sagittarius “teapot.” Reddish Antares is about 14 degrees to Saturn’s right (west).

Uranus (in Pisces):

In the southeast before dawn. (Watch out for the Sun if viewing through your telescope!)

Neptune (in Aquarius):

In the southeast before dawn. (Watch out for the Sun if viewing through your telescope!)


The following data are based on my location in Pueblo West, Colorado. If you live well outside this area, you should consider checking this information for your location in order to be assured of accurate times, elevations, etc. If you’re unfamiliar with Iridium flares, check out my article at:

Sunday (July 9) 11:09:57 p.m. / Magnitude -3.4 / WSW / Elevation 23 degrees

Tuesday (July 11) 11:06:56 p.m. / Magnitude -2.6 / WSW / Elevation 19 degrees

Wednesday (July 12) 11:01:00 p.m. / Magnitude -4.1 / WSW / Elevation 20 degrees

Thursday (July 13) 3:40:40 a.m. / Magnitude -3.6 / ESE / Elevation 30 degrees

Thursday (July 13) 4:55:50 a.m. / Magnitude -1.4 / E / Elevation 14 degrees

Thursday (July 13) 11:04:00 p.m. / Magnitude -1.3 / WSW / Elevation 16 degrees

Friday (July 14) 3:34:28 a.m. / Magnitude -7.2 / SE / Elevation 29 degrees

Friday (July 14) 10:58:05 p.m. / Magnitude -6.4 / WSW / Elevation 17 degrees

Saturday (July 15) 4:58:48 a.m. / Magnitude -6.6 / E / Elevation 21 degrees

Saturday (July 15) 10:52:09 p.m. / Magnitude -2.1 / WSW / Elevation 18 degrees

Saturday (July 15) 11:01:06 p.m. / Magnitude -1.1 / WSW / Elevation 14 degrees


These are too numerous to list here! If you’re serious, load the ISS DETECTOR app on your smart phone or tablet.

Carpe noctem

Dave Furry

Pueblo West, Colorado

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