August Night time Sky – Astronotes

August 1, 2019 - Comment

Hey stargazers! We’re simply previous mid-summer; September is looming across the nook however worry not – now we have one other pretty month of summertime stargazing to take pleasure in earlier than the sun-soaked (for some) season fades away. Stargazing throughout August shall be finest at round 11pm, after you could have given your eyes


Hey stargazers! We’re simply previous mid-summer; September is looming across the nook however worry not – now we have one other pretty month of summertime stargazing to take pleasure in earlier than the sun-soaked (for some) season fades away. Stargazing throughout August shall be finest at round 11pm, after you could have given your eyes round 20 minutes to regulate to the low-light situations. The beginning and finish of the month shall be higher occasions for stargazing because of the full moon current within the sky mid-August – nonetheless you shouldn’t low cost the center of the month as there’s a lot to see!

To kick off August now we have the return of the Perseids meteor bathe; that is finest considered the nights of the 2nd and third of August in the course of the “moonless” evening sky. This yearly meteor bathe is brought on by the earth passing by way of the particles of the comet Swift-Tuttle. The combination of ice and dirt fritter away in our ambiance making a scintillating show of sunshine. It would resemble a group of capturing stars – anticipate to see round 5 each hour! Be sure to are dealing with the North of the sky to view this meteor bathe.

This composite picture is made from a number of exposures shot at Sundown Crater, Arizona, over almost 2 hours on the morning of August 12, 2016. The picture exhibits 48 Perseids — together with two spectacular fireballs — and 5 sporadics (meteors not related to the Perseids, recognized by the paths not in alignment with the bulk). Jeremy Perez , Sky & Telescope

The celebrities (or… Planets plus satellite tv for pc) of the present in August shall be Jupiter, Saturn and, our pretty pure satellite tv for pc, the Moon. Jupiter and Saturn have been options of the evening sky all summer season lengthy nonetheless August is a good time to catch a glimpse of a present placed on by the aforementioned trifecta! As demonstrated beneath, Saturn, the Moon and Jupiter will align superbly within the evening sky side-by-side over the weekend of the ninth – 11th August. The Moon will look like immediately in the course of the 2 fuel giants on the 10th August, however the 11th shall be a deal with for anybody seeking to spot Saturn’s rings by way of a telescope because the moon shall be simply to the precise hand facet of the ringed planet. Additionally seen would be the four Galilean Moons of Jupiter.

Moon between two Saturn and Jupiter, 10th August. Credit score: Stellarium

Excessive within the South-West of the August Sky would be the constellation of Hercules. The central area is best to pinpoint first because it seems a bit like a flowerpot while the complete constellation barely resembles a squashed spider. Within the picture beneath we are able to see the art work of the famed Hercules wrestling Hydra the water monster.

Hercules wrestling Hydra. Credit score: Stellarium

Of explicit notice this time of 12 months is an object that lies inside the higher left hand facet of Hercules (in his armpit); globular cluster Messier 13. A small telescope will allow you to see a fuzzy blob of sunshine; you’ll require entry to a bigger telescope to see the person stars within the centre of this cluster. M13 is a spherical assortment of very previous stars, all a couple of mild 12 months aside. Nonetheless, this cluster is at occasions so densely packed that stars do often collide! Don’t fear although, it’s 22,200 mild years from Earth so no collisions for our Solar.

“An enormous sea of stars”: Globular cluster M13 (picture credit score: by way of NASA)

An attention-grabbing object to look out for within the North-West of the August Night time Sky lies inside Ursa Main, The Nice Bear, famed for holding the asterism of The Plough. Simply dipping beneath The Plough now we have an thrilling Nebula seen with a telescope – M97; dubbed The Owl Nebula. Astronomers name it as they see it; Pierre Méchain known as M97 The Owl Nebula as a result of it seemed a bit like an owl with their early telescopes – an odd owl for positive (see beneath).

Brackets marking out location of Owl Nebula. Credit score: Stellarium

Early sketch of Owl Nebula by William Parsons, the third Earl of Rosse, utilizing the Leviathan Telescope he constructed at Birr Citadel in County Offaly.

If all these celestial goings on aren’t sufficient for you, you can even observe the whereabouts of the Worldwide House Station (or ISS). Seen because it drifts throughout the evening sky between the 12th of August of the 23rd of August you might be positive to identify it! It would transfer slowly throughout the sky – you may mistake its mild for starlight till you see it transferring! For detailed info on when to view the ISS out of your precise location, try NASA’s spotthestation.nasa.gov

The ISS seen in an extended publicity . The path signifies it’s transferring whereas the digital camera shutter was open Credit score: EarthSky.com

Nicely I hope this has impressed you to get stargazing as there’s a lot to see in August. Wave good day to the ISS in case you see it!

Written by Courtney Allison, Schooling Officer



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