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The August Night Sky

The sky is not a painting, it's a movie. Stars pulse, flare, some explode as supernova, asteroids whiz by the earth, new comets appear in the sky, Aurora sets the northern skies ablaze and meteors streak through Earth's atmosphere.

 Astronomy Picture of the Day

See below Hubble site Tonight's Sky, highlights of this months night sky movie with narration below. Click on photo below.

The Full Moon for August

 The August Full Sturgeon Moon. The fishing tribes are given credit for the naming of this Moon, since sturgeon, a large fish of the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water, were most readily caught during this month. A few tribes knew it as the Full Red Moon because, as the Moon rises, it appears reddish through any sultry haze. It was also called the Green Corn Moon or Grain Moon. Courtesy Farmers Almanac.

Lunar Phase

Last Quarter Moon August 6 10:03 pm EDT
New Moon August 14 10:53 am EDT
First Quarter Moon August 22 3:31 pm EDT
Full Moon August 29 2:53 pm EDT

August  Visible Lunar Highlights

August 2, Neptune 3 S. of Moon - August 5, Uranus 1.0 N. of Moon - August 8, Aldebaran 0.7 S. of Moon - August 13, Mars 6 N. of Moon - August 16, Mercury 2 N. of Moon - August 22, Saturn 3 S. of Moon - August 29, Neptune 3 S. of Moon.

All times are EST

The Planets Visibility for August

Mercury

Lost in Sun's glare Evening W

Venus

Lost in Sun's glare Evening W

 Venus will next appear in the morning sky late August. 

Mars

Morning Sky E

 Midmonth August Mars will be in the morning sky just before sunrise at 1.7 magnitude in the constellation Cancer the Crab rising at 4:44 a.m.. 

To find Mars look for a reddish object low in the west northwest sky. To see which part of the surface is visible at any time, check out the Mars Profiler at Sky & Telescope Magazine's web page.

JUPITER

 Lost in Sun's glare Evening sky W

  A small telescope will easily reveal four of Jupiter's largest and brightest moons. Check out Sky & Telescope's Jupiter Moons Utility for other configurations. Sky and Telescope Red Spot Calculator 

SATURN

  Evening - Morning sky S

Saturn midmonth is at +0.4 magnitude and diameter 0000'.17" setting around 1:11 a.m. It will be highest in the south sky after sunset midmonth. Saturn is in the constellation Libra the Scales. Through a small telescope Saturn will reveal the famous rings of the planet. Rings currently are 24.0 tilt. See: Saturn's moons locations

URANUS

Evening - Morning Sky E

 Uranus midmonth at 5.8 magnitude and diameter 0000'.04" rising around 10:18 p.m.. Uranus is located in the constellation Pisces. Best observed around 4:00 - 5:00 a.m. when higher in the sky. A moderate-sized telescope will show it as a green-gray disk. See: Sky and Telescope location PDF. Courtesy: Sky and Telescope

NEPTUNE 

Evening - Morning Sky ESW

Neptune midmonth  is at 7.8 magnitude and diameter 0000'.02" rising around 8:45 p.m.. A moderate-sized telescope will show it as a blue green disk. Neptune is located in the constellation Aquarius. Best observed around 2:00 a.m. when highest in the sky. See: Sky and Telescope location PDF. Courtesy: Sky and Telescope

Bright Asteroids

4Vesta and Ceres

4Vesta at 6.9 magnitude is in the constellation Cetus the Whale. 4Vesta is best observed around 4:30 a.m. when highest in the sky. Ceres at 7.5 magnitude. It is in the constellation Microscopium the Microscope, it is best observed around midnight when highest in the sky low in the south.

Dwarf Planets

Pluto

 Pluto at midmonth is located amid the stars of the Milky Way in the constellation Sagittarius. Pluto is at magnitude +14.1 and diameter 0000'.00".  Pluto is highest in sky around 10:30 p.m.. A large telescope is needed to see this distant object.

COMETS

Comets Brighter than 8 Magnitude

NA

For more on current Comets and locations see: Seiichi Yoshida web site here.

METEOR SHOWERS

Perseids

Get ready for the Perseids! This shower is the most popular meteor shower. The shower peaks on August 12/13th. Expect 50-75 meteors per hour at maximum. Conditions will be ideal for observing with no moon to interfere. The Perseids are particles released from comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle during its numerous returns to the inner solar system.

See: Listen to Meteors , American Meteor Society, Meteors Online also NASA All Sky Network

Some local links below to Heavens Above satellite information website.

Satellites Visible from York

Satellites visible from Hanover

Satellites visible from Gettysburg

Satellites visible from Lancaster

Satellites visible from Baltimore

Satellites visible from Harrisburg

Also see: Spaceflight NASA

 The Sun

Real time solar wind dials are linked live to the ACE Spacecraft.

 If the dial on the left (Magnetic Field) has dipped below zero, the speed is high and the dial dynamic pressure is in the yellow/red, be alert for Aurora. Anytime the gauges are in the Red and the dial on the left, the Magnetic Field BZ has dipped to the yellow-red... Aurora will be occurring in our area. See link to solar wind gauge here: REAL TIME SOLAR WIND

See explanation of  solar wind dials below by clicking on photo of dials

   

Use your hand to find degrees

NASA Night Sky Network Planner

Free download. AstroPlanner  

Download a free starmap at: Skymaps

Make your own starmap at: Star Finder

Download a free Planetarium for your computer at: Stellarium or Hallo Northern Sky Stellarium has many extra features.

Your Sky - Fourmilab

AstroViewer
Your night sky map on the internet

Sky & Telescope Interactive Sky Chart Register to use.

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