Starry Night This Week

Each week most PBS stations air "Jack Horkheimer: Star Gazer", the world's first and only weekly TV series on naked-eye astronomy. The Starry Night images on this page illustrate the show for the week of Monday July 1, 2002. You can view the complete show script, or watch a RealPlayer video of the show.

Earth At Aphelion; Saturn Meets The Moon; And Venus Meets The Heart Of Leo

The Earth will be 94 million, 511 thousand miles away at midnight on July 6th, the farthest distance away from the Sun. Even though we're furthest to the Sun in July our northern hemisphere is then tilted towards the Sun and receives more direct rays and thus it's warmer. In the southern hemisphere, the opposite occurs and its actually colder. Unlike common myth, the Earth's distance from the Sun does not determine the seasons, rather it is the tilt of the Earth relative to the Sun.

Saturn and a thin crescent Moon have a close encounter on July 8. They will be a little over one degree apart. Mercury lukes below while Aldebaran shines high above.