Last Quarter: 4th
New Moon: 11th
First Quarter: 18th
Full Moon: 26th
THE PERSEID METEOR SHOWER runs annually from approximately July 13 until August 26, with the peak on August 12. The best time for seeing meteors is after midnight. The meteors are debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle. The moon cooperating this year and should be absent at peak.
Mercury starts the month behind the sun. The best chances to see it is later in the month (August 26 or so) in the predawn sky rising around 4:45 am. At best it is close to the sun so the chance to see it doesn’t last long. Binoculars are the best way to spot it.
Venus remains the brightest object in the evening sky after the moon and can be seen in the west after sunset. Venus is getting lower in the sky as the month goes on as it pulls further away from us as time goes by, reaching it’s furthest point from us on August 12th. Still, a thing of great beauty, and after that it starts moving towards us again!
MARS Past Opposition!
It’s true that Earth and Mars are now pulling away from each other but Mars still looks really, really great in the night sky and will for a while to come! At the beginning of the month Mars rises around 8:30 pm and sets at 5 am. Towards the end of August Mars sets around 2:30 am.
The King reached opposition back on May 8th, and continues to get smaller as distance grows between us. Still he is The King and will be visible early in the evening, setting around midnight at the beginning of the month and about 10:15 pm by the end. It is very bright. Jupiter’s equatorial bands, the four Gallilean moons, and sometimes the Great Red Spot should make for a fun view through even a small telescope. On Thursday, August 16, Europa’s shadow will begin to transit at 7:56 p.m. EDT (in evening twilight). At 8:05 p.m. EDT, Io’s shadow will join Europa’s and the pair will transit Jupiter until they both move off the planet at 10:10 p.m.
Saturn rises around 6 pm and sets around 3 am at the beginning of the month, and about sets about 1 am. The rings aren’t as wide as they were a few months ago but are still at a great angle.
Uranus, rises around 9:30 pm and is visible all night.
Rises around 9:45 pm at the beginning of the month and 7:45 pm at the end. Visible all night, but never easy.