July,2018 is an excellent month to observe the visible outer planets. The waxing gibbous Moon aligns with bright Jupiter on the evening of Friday, July 20. After that, the Moon draws closest to the planet Saturn on the evening of Tuesday, July 24. Keep an eye on the Moon from night to night as it draws near Mars on the evening of Friday, July 27. At this time Mars is at OPPOSITION, which is generally closest to the Earth, and therefore brightest in the sky. You can’t miss the ruddy, copper color of Mars at its brightest. 2018 is the closest approach of Mars to the Earth since 2003, and the closest it will be until 2035! So don’t miss this! For more information, read the full story in our email newsletter, the Classical Astronomy Update.