July stargazing is always wonderful with the great constellations of summer climbing higher in the heavens. This July is even sweeter because Jupiter and Saturn, the giants of the solar system, are also on the rise. They’ll be side by side, like cat’s eyes glaring at you out of the darkness. Not far behind is Mars. All three will be available for the rest of the summer and autumn. If you ever wanted to purchase a telescope, now would be a great time to do it.

After 10 p.m. look for the giants of our solar system rising together in the low Shamokin southeast sky. You can’t miss them as they’ll be the brightest star-like objects in that part of the sky. I see them as “cat’s eyes.” This month, Jupiter and Saturn will be less than 10 degrees apart, the closest they’ve been to each other in the sky in 20 years.

Mike Lynch is an amateur astronomer and retired broadcast meteorologist for WCCO Radio in Minneapolis/St. Paul.

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