Ephemera: The month of July 2016: Here’s a brief overview of the month ahead, highlighting some astronomical events, and some special days to celebrate and/or to ponder upon.
04 July. New moon
05 July. There are several people called Modwenna’s in the UK’s past, and their histories are confused. However, this one, St Modwenna of Whitby, we know, succeeded St Hilda as abbess of Whitby. She died on this day, her feast day, in AD695.
‘Hot July brings cooling showers, Apricots and gillyflowers.’ Sara Coleridge, Pretty Lessons in Verse
06 July. The beginning of Eid, most likely.
08 July. Look out for Jupiter, as it will be probably the brightest ‘star-like’ thing in the sky, and it’s quite close to the moon today, and on the 9 July.
08 July. The ancient Celts divided the year into thirteen months, each month being named after a tree. Yesterday was the last day of the month of the Oak. Today, is the first day of the month of the Holly.
09 July. The July Phoenicid meteor shower starts, peaks on 13 July, and can be seen in the constellation of the Phoenix by those in Australia and New Zealand (and similar latitudes) until the 17 July.
10 July. National ‘Don’t Step on a Bee’ Day. The recent press coverage surrounding the ‘Bee Crisis’ has been hard to ignore. Not only do our bees help provide honey, propolis and beeswax, but they also help to keep us all fed and watered! Bee aware [pun intended].
12 July. The Delta Aquarids meteor shower starts, and can be seen until 24 August, but It peaks this year on 28 July.
‘They talk about big skies in the western United States, and they may indeed have them, but you have never seen such lofty clouds, such towering anvils, as in Iowa in July.’ Bill Bryson, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid
15 July. St Swithin’s feast day. Born in Wessex, England. He became a Saxon Bishop. He died at Winchester, England, on this day in AD862. Some nine years after his death, it is said that monks tried to move the remains of St Swithin (also spelled Swithun). The saint, it seems did not approve. There was a clap of thunder and it began to rain for forty days and forty nights! It is popularly believed, in England, even today, that if it rains on St Swithin’s day, it will continue to rain for forty days and nights.
16 July. World Snail Racing Championship in Norfolk, England
‘Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon.’ ― Paul Brandt
18 July. John Glenn’s 95th birthday.
19 July. Full moon in the constellation of Capricorn. The full moon this month to ancient and latter-day Celts is known as the Moon of Calming.
20 July. The Apollo 11 astronauts made history, forty-seven years ago, when the first man is landed on the moon by, and Neil Armstrong and Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the Moon.
‘The English winter – ending in July; To recommence in August.’ Lord Byron
25 July. The world’s first international overseas airplane flight was achieved on this day in 1909, by Louis Bleriot in a small monoplane. After asking, ‘Where is England?”’, he took off from France. Landing in the south-east of England near Dover, he was greeted by British police.
30 July. On this day in 1966 England soccer team won the World Cup.