August will be another busy night sky month filled with a full moon, conjunctions, meteor shower, the return of a friend and of course the Milky Way.
The full moon will be the night of August 11-12th, also know as the Sturgeon Moon. It will reach officially "full" just after 930p an hour or so after it rises.
Moon and Planet Conjunctions
The August 11th full moon will also be in conjunction will Saturn which will reach opposition and be closest to Earth on August 14th. Jupiter is next on August 15th and Mars on the 19th. August 25th Venus will be close to the Moon and on the 29th it will be Mercury. These conjunctions are usually easy to spot since the Moon is so bright any point of light located close to it is most likely a planet.
Perseids Meteor Shower
The Perseids meteor shower will peak between the 12th and 14th depending where you are. Unfortunately this will coincide with the full moon making the meteors a bit harder to see. Look to the northeast and the constellation of Perseus after sunset and you may
just catch a glimpse of one.
Orion The Hunter
In early August Orion the Hunter is once again visible above horizon in the early morning hours just before dawn. This winter constellation is such a familiar part of our night skies it's comforting to have him back. It also signals that cooler days are not far off.
The Milky Way
The Milky Way and Galactic Center are now visible from the end of astro-twilight, sometime between 945p and 10p each evening. The horizontal arc across the southeastern sky has been replaced with a more vertical orientation in the south that extents over head. It's visible until the wee hours of the morning when the Galactic Center slides back below the horizon. Time is growing short and in a few more months the Milky Way will be gone until late winter.
Get Out Under The Stars
The warm summer nights of August are perfect for getting outside and enjoying the night sky. Make sure you pack some bug spray and remember to keep those lights turned off on the beach, sea turtle nesting season is still going on and the turtles need the dark. Please check out some of my great new night sky images in my Shop.
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse - June 2022
Milky Way and Perseid Meteor - August 2020