In America, the answer is the Fourth of July. In Canada, it’s July 1. Waiting for fireworks to start, crowds of sky-impaired adults stare blankly into the darkening dome, unable to identify the stars and planets that make astronomy such a joy. This year around 9:30 P.M., Venus will capture millions of eyes, as it blazes in the fading twilight at its greatest brilliancy, a dazzling magnitude –4.6, in the western sky. Saturn conspicuously floats alongside, despite being 100 times less bright.
Bob Berman’s strange universe: When do most people watch the sky?
July 2007:On the Fourth of July, the real fireworks in the sky are celestial bodies.