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OUT OF MIND » PLANET AWARENESS » GUIDE TO THE NIGHT SKY » Night sky guide for August 2015

Night sky guide for August 2015

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1Night sky guide for August 2015 Empty Night sky guide for August 2015 on Sat Aug 01, 2015 10:48 pm

PurpleSkyz

PurpleSkyz
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Night sky guide for August 2015



Posted by Adonai on August 01, 2015 in categories Editors' picks , Night Sky

Night sky guide for August 2015 Night_sky_guide_august_2015_f



Every year, sky watchers in northern hemisphere enjoy in one of the best meteor showers of the year - Perseids. This year, Perseids will peak on the night of August 12 and the morning of August 13. This meteor shower is known for its very fast and bright meteors which leave long wakes of light and color as they streak through the atmosphere. Fireballs, larger explosions of light and color that can persist longer than an average meteor streak, are also associated with this shower and you can expect an increase in fireball events around its peak.
The thin crescent moon will be no match for the bright Perseids this year so be prepared for a great show.
The best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters - New Moon - is scheduled for August 14.
Planet Venus will reach inferior solar conjunction on August 15 and will be totally unobservable for several weeks. This marks the end of its apparition in the evening sky and its transition to become a morning object over the next few weeks.
Full supermoon, the first of three for this year, is scheduled for August 29. It will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be fully illuminated while appearing slightly larger and brighter than usual. If you don't own a telescope, call a friend which does or plan a visit to your local observatory. 

  • August 2 - Alpha Capricornid meteor shower. Some shooting stars associated with this meteor shower are visible each night from July 15 - August 20, 2015, but this year it will reach its maximum rate of activity on August 2. The maximum rate of meteors expected to be visible from a dark location is around 5 per hour (ZHR). The Moon will be 17 days old at the time of peak activity, and being so close to the Full Moon, will severely limit the observations that will be possible.
  • August 5 - Conjunction between the Moon and Uranus. The Moon and Uranus will make a close approach, passing within 0°57' of each other on August 5. At the moment of the closest approach, the Moon will be at mag -12.3, and Uranus at mag 5.8, both in the constellation Pisces. The pair will be visible to the naked eye or a through pair of binoculars.
  • August 6 - Tau Aquarid meteor shower. The Tau Aquarid meteor shower will reach its maximum rate of activity on August 6, 2015. The maximum rate of meteors expected to be visible from a dark location is around 8 per hour (ZHR). The Moon will be 21 days old at the time of peak activity, and so will present significant interference in the pre-dawn sky.
  • August 11 - C/2015 F4 (Jacques) at perihelion. Comet C/2015 F4 (Jacques) will make its closest approach to the Sun, at a distance of 1.64 AU.
  • August 12, 13 - Perseid meteor shower. The Perseid meteor shower is one of the best to observe, producing up to 60 meteors per hour (ZHR) at its peak. It is produced by comet Swift-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1862. The Perseids are famous for producing a large number of bright meteors. The shower runs annually from July 17 to August 24. It peaks this year on the night of August 12 and the morning of August 13. The thin crescent moon will be no match for the bright Perseids this year so be prepared for a great show. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Perseus, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
  • August 13 - 51P/Harrington at perihelion. Comet 51P/Harrington will make its closest approach to the Sun, at a distance of 1.70 AU.
  • August 13 - 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at perihelion. Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the home of Philae lander, will make its closest approach to the Sun, at a distance of 1.24 AU. Expect news from ESA about their Rosetta mission.
  • August 13 - 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko reaches its brightest. The comet is forecast to reach its brightest, at around mag 10.3. It will lie at a distance of 1.24 AU from the Sun, and at a distance of 1.77 AU from the Earth.
  • August 14 - New Moon - 14:53 UTC. The Moon will be located on the same side of the Earth as the Sun and will not be visible in the night sky. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.
  • August 14 - M15 is well placed. The globular cluster M15 (NGC 7078) in Pegasus will be well placed for observation. It will reach its highest point in the sky at around midnight local time. At a declination of +12°10', it is easiest to see from the northern hemisphere; it can be seen at latitudes between 82°N and 57°S. At magnitude 6.4, M15 is quite faint, and certainly not visible to the naked eye, but can be viewed through a pair of binoculars or small telescope.
  • August 14 - 141P/Machholz reaches its brightest. Comet 141P/Machholz is forecast to reach its brightest, at around mag 12.0 on August 14. It will lie at a distance of 0.78 AU from the Sun, and at a distance of 0.85 AU from the Earth.
  • August 15 - Venus at inferior solar conjunction - 19:17 UTC. From our vantage point on the Earth, planet Venus will appear very close to the Sun in the sky as it passes between the Sun and Earth. At closest approach, Venus and the Sun will appear at a separation of only 7°, making Venus totally unobservable for several weeks while it is lost in the Sun's glare. Venus will also pass perigee, the time when it is closest to the Earth, within a few days of the same time, since it will lie on exactly the same side of the Sun as the Earth in the Solar System. It will move to within a distance of 0.29 AU from the Earth, making it appear with its largest angular size. Venus's reaching inferior conjunction marks the end of its apparition in the evening sky and its transition to become a morning object over the next few weeks.
  • August 15 - M2 is well placed. The globular cluster M2 (NGC 7089) in Aquarius will be well placed for observation and will reach its highest point in the sky at around midnight local time. At a declination of -00°49', it is visible across much of the world; it can be seen at latitudes between 69°N and 70°S. At magnitude 6.5, M2 is quite faint. View it through a pair of binoculars or small telescope.
  • August 21 - Alpha Cygnid meteor shower. The Alpha Cygnid meteor shower will reach its maximum rate of activity on August 21. The maximum rate of meteors expected to be visible from a dark location is around 5 per hour (ZHR). The Moon will be 7 days old at the time of peak activity, and so will present significant interference in the early evening sky.
  • August 22 - Conjunction between the Moon and Saturn. The Moon and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within 2°30' of each other on August 22. At the moment of closest approach, the Moon will be at mag -11.8, and Saturn at mag 1.0, both in the constellation Libra. The pair will be too widely separated to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will be visible to the naked eye or through a pair of binoculars.
  • August 25 - 141P/Machholz at perihelion. Comet 141P/Machholz will make its closest approach to the Sun, at a distance of 0.76 AU.
  • August 27 - Jupiter at solar conjunction - 22:07 UTC.  From our vantage point on the Earth, Jupiter will appear very close to the Sun in the sky as it passes around the far side of the solar system from the Earth. At closest approach, Jupiter and the Sun will appear at a separation of only 0°52', making Jupiter totally unobservable for several weeks while it is lost in the Sun's glare. At around the same time, Jupiter will also be at its most distant from the Earth, receding to a distance of 6.40 AU, since the two planets will lie on opposite sides of the solar system. If Jupiter could be observed at this time, it would appear at its smallest and faintest on account of its large distance. It would measure 30.1 arcsec in diameter. Over following weeks and months, Jupiter will re-emerge to the west of the Sun, gradually becoming visible for ever-longer periods in the pre-dawn sky. 
  • August 29 - Full Moon, Supermoon - 18:35 UTC. The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Sturgeon Moon because the large sturgeon fish of the Great Lakes and other major lakes were more easily caught at this time of year. This moon has also been known as the Green Corn Moon and the Grain Moon. This is also the first of three supermoons for 2015. The Moon will be at its closest approach to the Earth and may look slightly larger and brighter than usual.






Thanks to: http://thewatchers.adorraeli.com
Video courtesy of The Hubble Space Telescope.
Sources: InTheSkySeaSky
Featured image credit: SolarSystemScope. Edit: The Watchers.



Video courtesy of The Hubble Space Telescope.
Sources: InTheSkySeaSky
Featured image credit: SolarSystemScope. Edit: The Watchers.



  

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