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 J​uly 2014​


The Temperature Range of the Moon
The Moon has no atmosphere to protect it from the Sun. Temperatures range from about -150 degrees F all the way up 280 degrees F. It is doubtful that life ever existed on the Moon - that is, except for a few brief days in the 20th Century. Twelve men, during six Apollo missions, walked and existed on its surface in specially designed space suits that protected them from the harsh conditions.

What to See in the Sky during July
You can’t miss Venus climbing in the southeastern sky before sunrise.

Look for Mars halfway up the southeastern sky after sunset.  Its distinctive red disk can be easily located to the right of the Moon (very close) on the evening of the 5th.

Saturn seems to be chasing after the red planet this month and you’ll be able to spot it a bit lower in the sky than Mars.  If you have trouble picking out the beautiful ringed planet, look for it above the Moon on the evening of the 7th. Its rings will be visible even in small telescopes.

Jupiter sets in the west right about sunset, but will be visible again in September before sunrise.

Full Moon – July 12
New Moon – July 26

July 4th -  Happy birthday USA!
July 19th – 45th anniversary of the first Moon landing

Summer is an excellent time to observe the night sky. If you don’t have a telescope, try viewing the sky with binoculars. But the sky is still wondrous to observe, even in the city, with the unaided eye. You’ll be surprised what you can see and learn just by taking the time to look up. See if you can spot a planet or two. Look for the outlines of constellations. It’s easy to find star maps online, at the library or in astronomy magazines.

Some Local Events
Find out if there’s a star party in your area. Star parties are scheduled for June 21 in Black Star Canyon and in Anza on June 28th. Contact the Orange County Astronomers for more information (Starline 714-751-6867) or go to

Visit the Heritage Museum in Santa Ana on Aug. 1st for a beginner’s class.

And don’t forget to see one of our planetarium shows when we re-open later this year. Watch this website or follow us on Facebook (“Tessmann Planetarium”) for the latest updates.





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​What's in the Sky
This Month

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May 2013 


What’s in the Sky in May     
Venus is back! If you have a clear view of the horizon, you can see the shrouded planet just after sunset early in the month. Otherwise you should be able to spot it  in the west after sunset (it is very bright) around the middle of the month. It will be higher in the sky each night as the month progresses.
But what a month for planets! Jupiter will be lower and lower in the west as the month flies by, and will be do a two-step with Venus near the end of the month.  They will draw very close by the 26th, and be side by side on the 27th and 28th.  Venus is the brighter of the two. Point them out to your friends after your Memorial Day Bar-B-Q.
If you have dark skies, you may be lucky enough to spot Mercury. Typically, Mercury is difficult to spot under the light-polluted sky of Orange County. This tiny planet will be hovering near Venus all month, and will form a tight triangle with Jupiter and Venus on the 26th. On the 31st, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter will form a straight line, each planet about an equal distance from each other, with Mercury at the top and Jupiter at the bottom of the line.
The best night to spot Saturn is on the 22nd, when it will be to the left of the moon.
New Moon:  May 10th
Full Moon: May 25







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