What to see in the sky in July: Year's biggest supermoon and meteor showers

A meteor during the Perseid meteor shower seen over Happisburgh lighthouse, Norfolk.

There will be two meteor showers this month - Delta Aquariids and Alpha Capricornids - Credit: PA Wire

From meteor showers to supermoons to the international space station, there is plenty to see in the skies above the UK this month.

Here is everything you can see in the night sky in July 2022.

The moon

Phases for March are as follows:

  • New moon - June 29
  • First quarter - July 7
  • Buck Moon - July 13
    • This moon gets its name from the male deers whose antlers are in full growth mode at this time. Other names are the Thunder Moon and the Berry Moon.
  • Last quarter - July 20
  • New moon - July 28

This month's full moon will be the biggest and brightest supermoon of the year due to being lower in the sky.

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The supermoon over St Albans Cathedral in June 2022 - Credit: Tom Shepheard Photography

Supermoons are a combination of a lunar perigee (when the moon is close to Earth) and a full moon. They appear up to 7pc bigger and 15pc brighter than normal.

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The planets and stars

The earth reaches its annual aphelion, the point of orbit where we are the farthest from the sun, on July 4.

Saturn and Jupiter will begin to appear in the morning sky. Rising before midnight and at their highest by dawn.

On the evening of July 17 the sun will be in opposition with Pluto which will illuminate the dwarf planet, making it a great time to see.

There will be a conjunction between the moon and Jupiter on July 18, appearing about 2° apart. They will be easy to spot as Jupiter is very bright and the moon will be illuminated.

The summer triangle constellation, made up of bright stars Bega, Altair and Deneb, will be prominent in the southern sky. 

Mercury will be too low in the sky to see this month.

Other

Star trails and a lone shooting star from the Perseids meteor shower. It is one of the brightest an

The Perseid meteor shower over Salhouse in August 2021

Delta Aquariids

Active between July 12 and August 23, this shower will peak on July 30.

There will be up to 25 meteors per hour.

The shower is characterised by having a steady stream of meteors over several days and a low rate per hour.

Alpha Capricornids

Active between July 3 and August 15, this shower will peak on July 30.

There will be up to 5 meteors per hour.

The shower is characterised by slow bright and yellow fireballs.

International Space Station

The ISS will be visible from July 1 to July 12. 

It will appear for up to seven minutes between 12.30am and 4am, moving from the west or southwest to the east.