Home / Space force / This Week’s Sky at a Glance, August 23 – 31 – Sky & Telescope

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, August 23 – 31 – Sky & Telescope

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Moon and Aldebaran before dawn, Aug. 23-25, 2019

In early daybreak, the waning Moon pairs with Aldebaran on Saturday morning the 24th. Then on the morning of the 25th, the Moon occults Zeta Tauri as seen from some areas. (These diagrams are all the time drawn for latitude 40°N, longitude 90°W, close to the center of North America. For readability, the Moon is drawn 3 times its precise obvious dimension.)

Friday, August 23

• Final-quarter Moon; precisely so at 10:56 a.m. on this date. The Moon rises tonight round midnight (relying in your location), beneath the Pleiades. Accompanying the Moon can be orange Aldebaran. By the start of daybreak on Saturday morning the 24th they stand excessive within the southeast, as proven right here.

Saturday, August 24

• Within the early-morning hours of Sunday the 25th, the waning Moon is kind of near Third-magnitude Zeta Tauri, one of many Taurus horn-tips, as indicated right here. The Moon’s vivid limb occults the star for the western US and Mexico earlier than or throughout daybreak. Zeta’s reappearance from behind the darkish limb, as much as an hour or extra later, can be a lot simpler to witness in a scope and even binoculars. In these detailed timetables, scroll about 40% of the way in which down for the start of the Reappearance timetable. (“CA” underneath Location means Canada.)

Sunday, August 25

• Jupiter’s Nice Pink Spot ought to cross the planet’s central meridian tonight round 11:37 p.m. EDT; eight:37 p.m. PDT.

Then 46 minutes later, watch Ganymede disappear behind Jupiter’s previous limb.

Monday, August 26

• Each time vivid Vega crosses nearest your zenith, because it does at dusk now, you understand that the Sagittarius Teapot have to be at its highest due south even when it is hidden by buildings or timber. The Teapot is at the moment marked by Saturn.

Two hours later when Deneb crosses closest to the zenith, it is the flip of Delphinus and boat-shaped Capricornus down beneath to face at their highest due south.

Tuesday, August 27

• August is prime Milky Method time now that the Moon is out of the night sky. As soon as twilight totally ends, the Milky Method runs from Sagittarius within the south, up and left throughout Aquila and thru the massive Summer season Triangle overhead, and on down via Cassiopeia to Perseus within the northeast.

The place the Milky Method goes via Aquila, plan to discover telescopic targets utilizing “The Wonderful Eagle” article, with its chart and pictures, within the August Sky & Telescope, web page 54.

Wednesday, August 28

• Search for vivid Vega passing the zenith as twilight fades away, for those who dwell on the planet’s mid-northern latitudes. Vega goes proper via your zenith for those who’re at latitude 39° north (close to Baltimore, Kansas Metropolis, Lake Tahoe, Sendai, Beijing, Athens, Lisbon).

At the moment the little triangle-and-parallelogram of the remainder of Lyra, a lot fainter, dangles straight down from Vega if you face southeast. Crane your neck up.

Thursday, August 29

• Make the most of these moonless late evenings to make use of your scope to choose up the asteroid Eunomia, now magnitude eight.5, simply north of the Capricornus star sample — utilizing the article and finder chart within the August Sky & Telescope, web page 48.

Friday, August 30

• By 9 or 10 p.m. two of probably the most well-known deep-sky objects, the Double Cluster in Perseus and the Nice Andromeda Galaxy M31, are in excessive view within the east. Do you know they’re solely 22° aside? They’re each cataloged as 4th magnitude however they give the impression of being somewhat totally different, the extra so the darker your sky. See for your self; they’re plotted on the all-sky constellation map within the middle of the September Sky & Telescope, which ought to be all of the map it’s good to discover their exact areas naked-eye. They’re beneath Cassiopeia and farther to Cassiopeia’s proper, respectively.

• New Moon, actual at 6:37 a.m. on this date EDT.

Saturday, August 31

• Altair is the brightest star on the southern aspect of the sky after darkish. (We’re not counting the planets Jupiter and Saturn, far to its decrease proper.) Spot Altair’s little orange companion Tarazed to its higher proper by only a finger width at arm’s size.

Look to Altair’s higher left, by a bit greater than a fist, for little Delphinus, the Dolphin.

Nearer above Altair is even smaller, fainter Sagitta, the Arrow.

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Need to turn into a greater astronomer? Be taught your method across the constellations. They’re the important thing to finding every part fainter and deeper to hunt with binoculars or a telescope.

That is an out of doors nature interest. For an easy-to-use constellation information protecting the entire night sky, use the massive month-to-month map within the middle of every situation of Sky & Telescope, the important information to astronomy.

Jumbo Pocket Sky Atlas cover

The Pocket Sky Atlas plots 30,796 stars to magnitude 7.6, and a whole bunch of telescopic galaxies, star clusters, and nebulae amongst them. Proven above is the Jumbo Edition for simpler studying within the evening. Sample chart.

When you get a telescope, to place it to good use you may want an in depth, large-scale sky atlas (set of charts). The essential customary is the Pocket Sky Atlas (in both the original or Jumbo Edition), which exhibits stars to magnitude 7.6.

Subsequent up is the bigger and deeper Sky Atlas 2000.0, plotting stars to magnitude eight.5; almost 3 times as many. The subsequent up, as soon as you understand your method round, are the even bigger Interstellarum atlas (stars to magnitude 9.5) and Uranometria 2000.0 (stars to magnitude 9.75). And browse how to use sky charts with a telescope.

You will additionally need a good deep-sky guidebook, corresponding to Sue French’s Deep-Sky Wonders assortment (which incorporates its personal charts), Sky Atlas 2000.0 Companion by Robust and Sinnott, or the larger Night Sky Observer’s Guide by Kepple and Sanner.

Can a computerized telescope change charts? Not for rookies, I do not assume, and never on mounts and tripods which are lower than top-quality mechanically (which means heavy and costly). And as Terence Dickinson and Alan Dyer say of their Backyard Astronomer’s Guide, “A full appreciation of the universe can not come with out growing the abilities to seek out issues within the sky and understanding how the sky works. This data comes solely by spending time underneath the celebrities with star maps in hand.”


This Week’s Planet Roundup

Mercury (magnitude –1.four early this week) gleams decrease within the daybreak each morning and is gone earlier than week’s finish. Early within the week, search for it about 30 minutes earlier than dawn very low within the east-northeast.

Venus and Mars stay out of sight behind the glare of the Solar.

Jupiter (magnitude –2.three, between the toes of Ophiuchus) is the white dot hanging within the south-southwest as twilight fades away. Get your scope on it early earlier than it sinks decrease into poorer seeing. Orange Antares, a lot fainter at magnitude +1.zero, twinkles 7° to Jupiter’s decrease proper. In a telescope Jupiter is 40 arcseconds vast and shrinking.

On August seventh, newbie imager Ethan Chappel was videorecording Jupiter when a tiny vivid flare appeared on it and light over the course of a few second — very like the six earlier meteor impacts in Jupiter’s environment which have been detected within the fashionable period of video planetary imaging. See Texas Amateur Detects Possible Impact on Jupiter.

Illustrates impact flashes

A processed red-light body of Jupiter displaying the second of the obvious affect on the SEB, and a coloration view made later by including inexperienced and blue photos of the planet. North is up. Ethan Chappel

Saturn (magnitude +zero.three, in Sagittarius) is the regular, pale yellowish “star” within the south-southeast throughout and after nightfall, 30° left or higher left of Jupiter. Under Saturn is the deal with of the Sagittarius Teapot.

Uranus (magnitude 5.eight, in Aries) is excessive within the south simply earlier than the start of daybreak.

Neptune (magnitude 7.eight, in Aquarius) is properly up within the southeast by 11 p.m. and highest within the south by 2 a.m. Finder charts for Uranus and Neptune.

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All descriptions that relate to your horizon — together with the phrases up, down, proper, and left — are written for the world’s mid-northern latitudes. Descriptions that additionally rely upon longitude (primarily Moon positions) are for North America.

Japanese Daylight Time (EDT) is Common Time (UT, UTC, GMT, or Z time) minus four hours.

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Audio sky tour. Out underneath the night sky along with your earbuds in place, take heed to Kelly Beatty’s month-to-month podcast tour of the heavens above. It is free.

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“The hazards of not pondering clearly are a lot larger now than ever earlier than. It is not that there is one thing new in our mind-set, it is that credulous and confused pondering could be rather more deadly in methods it was by no means earlier than.”
— Carl Sagan, 1996




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