July 2021

Bright Sky Digest 

Monthly SAS Newsletter
Summer 2021 Astrophotography Contest Winner
Objects: M81 and M82
Image Credit: Ben Waldman

July, Venus and Mars Conjunction

Welcome to the July newsletter! Despite the longer daylight we hope you all have been able to snag a clear sky with temperate weather. This month Bob lets us know where to best find Venus and Mars. Additionally, we get to know a little bit more from one of our webmasters, David Hamilton. As always we look forward to seeing all of you are our monthly membership meetings!

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, July 13th,
7:15 PM - 9:00 PM
Astrophotography Special Interest Group Meeting

Wednesday, July 14th,
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM:
SAS Boarding Meeting

Wednesday, July 21st,
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM:
SAS Monthly Meeting
Thursday, July 29th,
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM:
New Member & Volunteering Info Session

Stargazing in Seattle

Bob Mulford

Venus will be visible low in the west shortly after Sunset for the next few months. Venus is chasing the Earth around the Sun, but will not catch up with us until the end of the year. The combined motion of Venus and the Earth results puts Venus in our evening sky for the remainder of 2021. Look for Venus as soon as the sky begins to get dark, which is about 9:45 PM for Seattle in July. Don't wait too long to look for this brilliant evening star; Venus sets around 10:30 PM this month. On Sunday July 11, Mars will be less than one degree to the left of Venus, and a two-day old, five percent illumined crescent Moon will be about 4 degrees to the right. The next evening, a ten percent illuminated Moon will be higher in the sky, but Mars and Venus will have moved even closer together and will be separated by only 36 arc-minutes (0.6 degrees). Venus is about two hundred times brighter than Mars (almost six magnitudes), and you may need to use binoculars to locate Mars next to brilliant Venus.

Times and positions have been adjusted for Seattle’s location (47.6N, 122.3W) and are useful throughout the Pacific Northwest. There is much to see in the sky even if you don’t have a telescope. In-the-sky,org has an excellent calendar of sky events (, in a convenient monthly calendar format. The graphic was produced in part with the SkySafari 6 planetarium program.

Member Spotlight

David Hamilton, Webmaster
Name: David Hamilton

Member Since: 2019

Location: Seattle, WA

Hobbies: Hiking, Paddle Boarding, Travel, Video Games, working on my computer systems and electronics. 

Favorite Space Movie, Show, or Character:  Futurama

Favorite Space Fact: That stars are the crucibles in which almost all elements have been created. 

Favorite Space Related Memory: On the first night of hiding out to move across the country I saw the strongest aurora I have ever seen. It was my good omen for the trip ahead.
Want to nominate someone for the next member spotlight?
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