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skythismonth
THE SKY THIS MONTH: Summer program offers lessons on the sun

If the rings of Saturn blew you away when you first looked though a telescope, just wait until you see the Sun.
Every second for the last 4.5 billion years, the sun has been radiating millions of watts of life-sustaining energy. Without it, we wouldn’t be here.
The sun is a fascinating celestial object converting hydrogen to energy and is a model of how other stars in the universe work. If you would like to see solar flares, sunspots and other features on the sun, the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) has brought back Solar Thursdays for another summer.
Once a week from noon to 1 p.m., special equipment that filters out the harmful bright light of the sun will be set-up on the front lawn of the RBG headquarters at 680 Plains Road West, Burlington, so everyone can see close-up views of our nearest star.
The event is free, but may be cancelled due to poor weather conditions. If you plan to attend, contact Dr. David Galbraith at 905-527-1158 for updates.
Warning: Never look at the Sun unless you have special equipment since its light could cause permanent eye damage or blindness.
Here are July stargazer events. Most are listed in the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers calendar.
Mercury can be seen in the southeast dawn sky getting brighter as the month progresses. Venus can be seen in the north eastern dawn sky. Mars is seen in the southwest evening sky becoming dimmer each night as it moves further from Earth.
Jupiter vanishes into the evening twilight sky early this month. Saturn is in the southwest evening sky setting after midnight.
Planet watching
July 5: The first quarter moon will be very close to Mars and Spica.
July 7: The moon will be very close to Saturn.
July 12: Full moon
July 13: Mars will be very close to Spica.
July 15: Mercury is below Venus for the next four nights.
July 24: The crescent moon is below Venus. Jupiter is directly behind the Sun.
July 25: The crescent moon is below Mercury low in the southeast morning sky.
July 28: South Delta Aquarid meteor shower peaks under good conditions with a moonless night.
Mario Carr, the author of this report, is the club’s director of publicity and can be reached at mariocarr@cogeco.ca. For more information, see the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers website at amateurastronomy.org or call 905-627-4323. The club offers a basic astronomy course for members.

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