August 2008 Eye on the Sky

Friday, July 25, 2008

August 2008 Eye on the Sky

This is for US Region, I am not sure about the rest of the Earth. Someone, please add more info...

PlanetsAugust sports many celestial highlights for those that dare to look up. The five brightest planets, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will be visible this month along with the annual Perseid Meteor Shower.

As August starts out, look to the western sky, about 30 minutes after sunset, to find the planets Mars, Saturn and Venus. Venus will be low along the horizon, shining at a magnitude of -3.9. To the upper left of Venus will be Saturn, shining at a dimmer magnitude of +0.8. To the upper left of Saturn will be the dull red glow of Mars, shining at an even dimmer magnitude of 1.7. The thin crescent Moon will skirt under this trio on the nights of August 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

By August 9th, Mercury will have popped above the western horizon. Shining at a magnitude of -0.9, Mercury, Venus and Saturn will make a nice grouping for the next 2 weeks.

By August 12th, Venus will be just below and to the right of Saturn with Mercury a bit farther to the lower right. By the 13th, Venus has passed Saturn with Mercury getting closer. On the 15th, Mercury has passed Saturn and is getting closer to Venus where on the 19th, Mercury is just below Venus with Saturn off to the lower right of this pair. On the night of the 20th, Mercury has passed Venus in this part of the sky. This dramatic movement is due in part to the motion of the Earth orbiting the Sun, but the visual effect is just stunning.

The fifth planet to be seen is Jupiter, which will be shining at a magnitude of -2.6. Find Jupiter high in the southeastern sky as evening twilight darkens. August is a good month to view Jupiter through a telescope. The planet's disk is large enough to easily see the red and white alternating colored cloud bands on the surface and the 4 largest moons of Jupiter.

On the evening of August 12th and the morning of the 13th, the annual Perseid Meteor Shower will be at its peak activity. A near full Moon will hamper seeing the fainter meteors, but one will see as many as 30 brighter meteors per hour. The meteors can be seen as soon as it get sufficiently dark, but the peak activity of this shower for Colorado observers will be after 11 PM. Properly protect yourself from mosquitoes and place a blanket or lawn chair in a place away from house and street lights. By casting your gaze high in the northeastern sky, you will see many bright, long meteor streaks from this shower.

Source :

ATOzTOA : Latest Headlines


Anonymous said...

12:30AM in what timezone, what part of the world?

Srikanth said...

Can you give us the source? How did you come to know about it?

atoztoa said...

@Anoop, Srikanth

Sorry, that was a news from 2003, I posted it without checking. This was the news at NASA.

Thanks for pointing out. :)

I have replaced the post with something current.

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