THE end of July is now on the horizon, and after an early start to the 2019 observing season, it seems that noctilucent cloud activity has died right down, writes STUART ATKINSON. But we can't complain: we have been treated to some stunning displays of these silvery-blue 'night shining clouds' this year, including a couple that were the best I've seen since the magical storm season of 2014. There's always a chance that the season has one more good display in it, so keep an eye on the northern sky on any clear night between now and first week of August - you don't want to miss something beautiful.

With NLC activity fading what else is there to see? Well, the annual Perseid meteor shower peaks on the evening of August 12 but we're already starting to see some early activity, so be on the look out for shooting stars late on any clear nights for the next three weeks. By mid-August meteor activity will have risen considerably - but more details nearer the time.

As far as planets are concerned the evening sky belongs to Jupiter and Saturn at the moment. You'll spot Jupiter shining low in the south as soon as the sky begins to darken, looking like a silvery star, and when the sky has darkened enough to let you see stars overhead you'll be able to spot yellow-white Saturn shining an arm's length over to Jupiter's left. Both planets are visible to the naked eye, but binoculars will show you Jupiter's four largest moons close to it, looking like tiny stars. They won't show you Saturn's rings though, you'll need a telescope for those.