Night sky, August 2021: What you will survey this month [maps]

Night sky, August 2021: What you will survey this month [maps]

A particular evening sky affords an ever-altering show camouflage of inspiring objects to seem at — stars, constellations, and sparkling planets, most steadily the moon, and customarily particular events cherish meteor showers. Watching the evening sky might perhaps perhaps perhaps moreover even be completed with out a particular tools, although a sky blueprint might perhaps perhaps perhaps moreover even be very useful. Binoculars or a legit newbie telescope will toughen some experiences and lift some in every other case invisible objects into mediate about. You would moreover moreover utilize astronomy apps and machine to make your watching more straightforward, and utilize our Satellite Tracker online page powered by N2YO.com to rating out when to seem at the World Dwelling Roar and other satellites. Underneath, rating out what’s up in the evening sky tonight (Planets Considered Now, Moon Phases, Watching Highlights This Month) plus other property (Skywatching Phrases, Night Sky Watching Guidelines and Extra Reading).

The night sky is more than just the moon and stars, if you know when and where to look.

The evening sky is bigger than merely the moon and stars, if when and the build to see. (Image credit: Karl Tate/SPACE.com)

Month-to-month skywatching knowledge is equipped to Dwelling.com by Chris Vaughan of Starry Night Schooling, the chief in condo science curriculum solutions. Follow Starry Night on Twitter @StarryNightEdu and Chris at @Astrogeoguy.

Editor’s tell: While you’ve got an exceptional skywatching voice you will cherish to allotment for a imaginable story or image gallery, you will send pictures and feedback in to [email protected].

Night Sky Guides:

Calendar of Watching Highlights

Sunday, Aug. 1 — Crescent moon advance Uranus (earlier than dawn)

august 2021 starry night crescent moon near uranus

(Image credit: Starry Night)

When the waning crescent moon rises in the Americas at about 12: 30 a.m. native time on Sunday morning, Aug. 1, this might perhaps be positioned so a lot of finger widths below (or 3.5 levels to the celestial southeast) of the magnitude 5.8 planet Uranus. Early risers in Europe and Africa will survey the pair closer together. While Uranus can most steadily be viewed without complications in binoculars (crimson circle), tell its space between the stars of Aries and Cetus, and mediate about it on an evening when the intense moon has moved away.

Sunday, Aug. 1 — Double shadow transit and Jupiter’s Huge Crimson Arena (1009-1020 GMT)  

august 2021 starry night Double shadow transit and Jupiter's Great Red Spot

(Image credit: Starry Night)

On the morning of Sunday, Aug. 1, observers with telescopes in the western half of of North The usa and the Pacific Ocean space can survey a rare event on Jupiter! At 3: 30 a.m. CDT (0830 GMT) the Huge Crimson Arena will likely be a part of the spherical sad shadow solid by Jupiter’s moon Ganymede whereas it is far crossing Jupiter’s disk. At 5: 09 a.m. CDT (1009 GMT), Europa’s smaller shadow will likely be a part of them. About 12 minutes later, Ganymede’s shadow will total its transit and go, leaving the GRS and Europa’s shadow to tainted till about 8 a.m. CDT (1300 GMT). In additional easterly time zones, the sun will rise earlier than the event has ended. 

Monday, Aug. 2 — Saturn at opposition (all evening)

august 2021 starry night Saturn at opposition

(Image credit: Starry Night)

At some stage in the wee hours of Monday, Aug. 2 in the Americas, Saturn will attain opposition among the many stars of central Capricornus. Objects at opposition are visible all evening long — rising at sundown and environment before all the pieces gentle — because Earth is positioned between them and the sun. At opposition, Saturn will likely be at a distance of 830.6 million miles, 1.337 billion km, or 74.3 gentle-minutes from Earth, and this might shine at magnitude of 0.18 — its brightest for 2021. While planets at opposition continuously see their brightest, Saturn’s top magnitude 0.18 will likely be enhanced by the Seeliger attain, backscattered sunlight from its rings. In a telescope (inset) Saturn will demonstrate an obvious disk diameter of 18.6 arc-seconds, and its rings will subtend 43.3 arc-seconds. Saturn’s rings will likely be tilting extra edge-on to us yearly till the spring of 2025. This year they’re already closed ample for Saturn’s southern polar space to elongate previous them. Opposition is moreover a ravishing time to mediate a pair of handful of Saturn’s moons with a yard telescope in a heart-broken sky.

Wednesday, Aug. 4 — Juno stands gentle (in a single day)

august 2021 starry night Juno stands still

(Image credit: Starry Night)

On the evening of Wednesday, Aug. 4, the most necessary belt asteroid designated (3) Juno will total a westerly retrograde loop all the contrivance via the stars of central Ophiuchus. After standing gentle tonight, this might return to traveling prograde eastward. To survey the magnitude 10.7 object, aim your telescope 2.3 levels above and between the intense stars Saik and Yed Posterior, which outline the lower honest (southwestern) nook of the Serpent-Bearer’s body.

Friday, Aug. 6 — Milky Scheme wide name clusters (all evening)

august 2021 starry night Milky Way star clusters

(Image credit: Starry Night)

With the moon drawing end its unique segment, this weekend’s darker evenings will likely be perfect to to find the assorted knots and clumps of stars distributed along the Milky Scheme, a amount of which were integrated in Charles Messier’s list of the sky’s finest deep sky objects. Scan with binoculars to space the objects, and then apply up with a yard telescope at low magnification. Significantly good clusters encompass Messier 39 and Messier 29 in Cygnus, Caldwell 16 in Lacerta, the Wild Duck cluster (Messier 11) and Messier 26 in Scutum, and the Sagittarius Star Cloud (Messier 24).

Sunday, Aug. 8 — Double shadow transit on Jupiter (1245-1420 GMT)

august 2021 starry night Double shadow transit on Jupiter

(Image credit: Starry Night)

Within the wee hours of Sunday, Aug. 8 observers with telescopes in the Pacific Ocean and Japanese Asia regions can survey the spherical, sad shadows of two of Jupiter’s moons drift all the contrivance via that planet together. At 12: 45 a.m. Hawaiian Long-established Time (1045 GMT), Ganymede’s shadow will launch to apply the Huge Crimson Arena all the contrivance via Jupiter. At 2: 45 a.m. HST (1245 GMT), Europa’s smaller shadow will launch to tainted. Ganymede’s shadow will switch off the planet at 4: 20 a.m. HST (1420 GMT). Europa’s shadow will total its transit an hour later, merely because the Ganymede itself clears Jupiter’s limb.

Sunday, Aug. 8 — Fresh moon (1350 GMT)

august 2021 starry night New moon

(Image credit: Starry Night)

The moon will attain its unique segment on Sunday, Aug. 8 at 9: 50 a.m. EDT (1350 GMT). While unique, the moon is travelling between Earth and the sun. Since sunlight can easiest attain the far facet of the moon, and the moon is in the same space of the sky because the sun, the moon becomes unobservable from wherever on Earth for a pair of day (other than all the contrivance via a voice voltaic eclipse). After the unique moon segment Earth’s planetary accomplice will return to shine in the western sky after sundown.

Tuesday, Aug. 10 — Crescent moon advance Venus (after sundown)

august 2021 starry night Crescent moon near Venus

(Image credit: Starry Night)

Explore merely above the western horizon after sundown on Tuesday, Aug. 10 to seem at the young crescent moon sparkling a palm’s width to the honest (or 6.5 levels to the celestial northwest) of the extremely sparkling planet Venus. On the next evening, the orbital movement of the moon will shift it the same distance to Venus’ upper left (celestial east). At some stage in August, the vastly tilted ecliptic (inexperienced line) will forestall Venus from ice climbing very excessive for mid-Northern latitude skywatchers.

Thursday, Aug. 12 — Perseid Meteor Bathe top (predawn)

august 2020 night sky Perseid Meteor Shower Peak

(Image credit: Starry Night)

The spectacular Perseid meteor shower, which runs between July 17 and  26 yearly, will top all the contrivance via mid-day in the Americas on Thursday, Aug. 12. That contrivance that the finest time for seeing the most Perseid meteors in North The usa steadily is the hours earlier than dawn on Thursday morning, when the shower’s elegant in Perseus will likely be perfect in the northeastern sky. Here’s the hottest shower of the year, handing over as a lot as 100 meteors per hour at the tip. Derived from debris dropped by Comet Swift-Tuttle, many Perseids are extremely sparkling and go chronic trails. Even supposing fewer meteors are viewed earlier than and after the tip, skywatchers can moreover ask to seem at masses of meteors on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday evening. To revel in meteor showers, rating a safe rural space with masses of launch sky and merely see up. This year, the young crescent moon will space at the moment after sundown on the tip date — leaving the total evening dark for meteor-watching.

Sunday, Aug. 15 — Three shadows dance all the contrivance via Jupiter (1442-1820 GMT)

august 2021 starry night Three shadows dance across Jupiter

(Image credit: Starry Night)

On the evening of Sunday, Aug. 15 observers with telescopes all the contrivance via Asia can see three of the dinky sad shadows solid by Jupiter’s moons as they tainted the planet’s disk in a elaborate dance. At 11: 42 p.m. Japan Long-established Time (1442 GMT), Ganymede’s shadow will switch onto Jupiter, joining Callisto’s shadow. They’ll seem together for about 10 minutes till Callisto’s shadow completes its like transit at 11: 52 p.m. JST. At 12: 08 a.m. Ganymede itself will launch to switch onto Jupiter, and at 12: 16 a.m. JST (1316 GMT) Europa’s smaller shadow will seem at Jupiter’s limb. The two shadows will tainted Jupiter till 3: 20 a.m. JST (1820 GMT). Within the interval in-between, Europa’s faster-transferring shadow will overtake and merge with Ganymede’s shadow for so a lot of minutes surrounding 2: 24 a.m. JST (1724 GMT).

Sunday, Aug. 15 — First quarter moon (1519 GMT)

august 2021 starry night First quarter moon

(Image credit: Starry Night)

When the moon completes the valuable quarter of its hunch around Earth on Sunday, Aug. 15 at 11: 19 a.m. EDT (1519 GMT), its 90-stage angle far flung from the sun will reason us to seem at the moon half of-illuminated — on its eastern facet. On the beginning quarter, the moon continuously rises around midday and devices around slow evening, so it is far moreover visible in the afternoon daytime sky. The evenings surrounding first quarter are the finest ones for seeing the lunar terrain when it is far dramatically lit by low-angle sunlight, especially along the terminator, the pole-to-pole boundary between the lit and dark hemispheres.

Wednesday, Aug. 18 — Mercury merely misses Mars (after sundown)

august 2021 starry night Mercury just misses Mars

(Image credit: Starry Night)

On Wednesday, Aug. 18, the rapid eastward orbital movement of Mercury (crimson route) will lift it very closely previous Mars, permitting every planets to allotment a blurry eyepiece mediate about in a yard telescope (crimson circle) — however utilize optics easiest after the sun has completely space. Magnitude -0.46 Mercury will likely be eight times brighter than Mars. On Wednesday, Mercury will likely be positioned 9 arc-minutes to the lower honest (southwest of) the crimson planet. The next evening, mediate about Mercury positioned 1 stage to Mars’ upper left. This conjunction might perhaps perhaps perhaps moreover no longer be viewed without complications at mid-northerly latitudes; however observers in the southern USA and farther south can survey the pair in a darker sky, sitting merely above the western horizon earlier than they space at 8: 45 p.m. native time.

Friday, Aug. 20 — Jupiter at opposition (all evening)

august 2021 starry night Jupiter at opposition

(Image credit: Starry Night)

On Friday, Aug. 20, Jupiter will attain opposition among the many stars of eastern Capricornus. Since Earth will likely be positioned between the sun and the gas big on that date, Jupiter will rise at sundown, remain visible all evening long, and space before all the pieces gentle. At opposition, Jupiter will likely be 373.1 million miles, 600.4 million km, or 33.3 gentle-minutes from Earth, and this might shine at its maximum brightness of magnitude -2.88 for 2021. Because Jupiter is drawing end perihelion in January, 2023, the planet will sport a beneficiant, 49 arc-seconds-huge disk at this year’s opposition. Views of Jupiter in amateur telescopes (inset) will demonstrate its equatorial bands, and the Huge Crimson Arena every 2d or third evening. Around opposition, Jupiter and its four substantial Galilean satellites time and again eclipse and occult one one more, and solid their spherical, sad shadows on this planet — singly and in pairs.

Friday, Aug. 20 — Uranus pauses in Aries (in a single day)

august 2021 starry night Uranus pauses in Aries

(Image credit: Starry Night)

On Friday, Aug. 20, Uranus will stop its movement all the contrivance via the stars of southern Aries and put together to birth a westward retrograde loop that might remaining till January, 2022. Tonight the magnitude 5.7 planet will rise at the moment earlier than 11 p.m. native time and remain visible till the predawn. Uranus will likely be surrounded by the Fifth magnitude stars Sigma, Omicron, Pi, and Rho Arietis — constructing a distinctive asterism for anybody viewing Uranus in binoculars (crimson circle).

Friday, Aug. 20 — Intellectual moon below Saturn (all evening)

august 2021 starry night Bright moon below Saturn

(Image credit: Starry Night)

After the sun devices on Friday evening, Aug. 20, see against the southeast for the intense waxing gibbous moon sparkling so a lot of finger widths below (or 4.5 levels to the celestial south of) yellowish Saturn — with exceptional brighter Jupiter positioned off to their left (east). As they tainted the sky all the contrivance via the evening, the moon and the ringed planet will (merely barely) allotment the realm of mediate about of binoculars (crimson circle), and the diurnal rotation of the sky will select the moon to Saturn’s left. They’ll space together in the west-southwest earlier than dawn.

Saturday, Aug. 21 — Gibbous moon joins Jupiter and Saturn (all evening)

august 2021 starry night Gibbous moon joins Jupiter and Saturn

(Image credit: Starry Night)

After 24 hours of movement, the gibbous moon will hop east to take a seat below (south of) Jupiter and Saturn in the southeastern sky after nightfall. The trio will make a comely huge-arena voice when tranquil with some inspiring surroundings. The moon will likely be reasonably closer to brighter Jupiter than Saturn — and merely end ample for them to fit together in binoculars (crimson circle); however easiest till after slow evening, since the moon’s eastward orbital movement will plot it farther from the planet. By the point the moon drops below the west-southwestern horizon because the sun is rising (one more voice different), this might perhaps have shifted to Jupiter’s left.

Sunday, Aug. 22 — Beefy Inexperienced Corn Moon (1202 GMT)

august 2021 starry night Full Green Corn Moon

(Image credit: Starry Night)

The August tubby moon will happen on Sunday, Aug. 22 at 8: 02 a.m. EDT or 12: 02 GMT. This tubby moon, colloquially known as the “Sturgeon Moon,” “Crimson Moon,” “Inexperienced Corn Moon,” and “Grain Moon,” continuously shines among or advance the stars of Aquarius or Capricornus. The indigenous Anishinaabe folk of the Huge Lakes space call this moon Manoominike-giizis, the Wild Rice Moon, or Miine Giizis, the Blueberry Moon. The Cree Nation of central USA and Canada calls the August tubby moon Ohpahowipîsim, the Flying Up Moon. The Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) of Japanese North The usa call it Seskéha, the Freshness Moon. The moon becomes fully illuminated because it is far reverse the sun in the sky, causing the moon to rise at sundown and space before all the pieces gentle. Since the tubby segment will officially happen on Sunday morning in the Americas, the moon will seem like tubby on every Saturday evening and Sunday evening. However magnified views will repeat a thin strip of darkness along the moon’s western and eastern limbs on Saturday and Sunday evening, respectively.

Sunday, Aug. 22 — Europa and Ganymede shadows on Jupiter (1842-2040 GMT)

august 2021 starry night Europa and Ganymede shadows on Jupiter

(Image credit: Starry Night)

On Sunday evening, Aug. 22, observers with telescopes all the contrivance via Japanese Europe, eastern Africa, and Asia can see the dinky sad shadows of two of Jupiter’s moons tainted the planet’s disk at the same time. At 8: 42 p.m. Central European Long-established Time or 18: 42 GMT, Ganymede’s substantial shadow will likely be a part of Europa’s smaller shadow already crossing. The two shadows will seem together for 2 hours till Europa’s shadow moves off at 10: 40 p.m. CEST, or 20: 40 GMT, leaving Ganymede’s shadow to total its transit at 12: 20 a.m. CEST or 22: 20 GMT. In eastern Asia, the double shadow event will likely be observable all the contrivance via the wee hours of Monday morning.

Wednesday, Aug. 25 — Double stars in Lyra’s parallelogram (all evening)

august 2021 starry night Double stars in Lyra's parallelogram

(Image credit: Starry Night)

Each nook of Lyra’s parallelogram is marked by a double wide name. Zeta Lyrae (ζ Lyr), the nook closest to sparkling Vega, might perhaps perhaps perhaps moreover even be split with binoculars. Each parts are white — one wide name somewhat brighter than the other. Each of these stars moreover has a accomplice that is too end together to split visually. Engaging clockwise, the southwest nook wide name is Sheliak, the brightest of a tight limited grouping of stars visible in a telescope. Sheliak itself has a end-in, shadowy accomplice in an eclipsing binary machine with a 13 day interval. The scorching, blue big wide name Sulafat sits at the farthest nook from Vega. 620 gentle-years-far-off Sulafat is a lot increased than Vega — an ancient wide name on its manner to turning into an orange big a protracted time from now. Add the marginally dimmer stars Lambda Lyrae and HD 176051 to its south and west, respectively to form a unadorned-note triple. Delta Lyrae (δ Lyr) marks the northeast nook of the parallelogram. Appealing eyes and binoculars will without complications split the double into one blue and one crimson wide name. The blue wide name is a hundred gentle-years farther away than the crimson one; they merely happen to seem end together along the same line of sight. 

Friday, Aug. 27 — The Teapot tilts west (evening)

august 2021 starry night The Teapot tilts west

(Image credit: Starry Night)

Moonless August evenings are perfect for viewing the deep sky objects advance one in every of the finest asterisms in the sky, the Teapot in Sagittarius. This informal wide name pattern aspects a flat bottom fashioned by the stars Ascella on the left (east) and Kaus Australis on the honest (west), a pointed spout on the honest (west) marked by the wide name Alnasl, and a pointed lid marked by the wide name Kaus Borealis. The stars Nunki and Tau Sagittarii form a take care of on the left-hand (eastern) facet. The bent line of three stars named Kaus — Borealis (north), Meridianalis (middle), and Australis (south) — reveal over with the archer’s bow. The asterism reaches maximum top above the southern horizon earlier than 10 p.m. native time, when this might perhaps even see as if it is serving its scorching beverage — with the Milky Scheme representing rising steam.

Friday, Aug. 27 — Intellectual moon advance Uranus again (in a single day)

august 2021 starry night Bright moon near Uranus again

(Image credit: Starry Night)

For the 2d time this month, the intense, waning gibbous moon will breeze end to Uranus. After the moon has climbed excessive ample to change into visible above the treetops dead on Friday evening, Aug. 27, mediate referring to the magnitude 5.8 planet sitting so a lot of finger widths to its upper left (or 3.5 levels to the celestial northeast) — end ample for them to allotment the mediate about in binoculars (crimson circle). While the blue-inexperienced dot of Uranus might perhaps perhaps perhaps moreover even be viewed in binoculars, it is a legit conception to tell its space between the stars of Aries and Cetus and hunt for it on an evening when the intense moon has moved away.

Sunday, Aug. 29 — Two shadows and the Huge Crimson Arena tainted Jupiter (2242-2317 GMT)

august 2021 starry night Two shadows and the Great Red Spot cross Jupiter

(Image credit: Starry Night)

Starting in dead evening on Sunday, Aug. 29, telescope-customers in the UK, Europe, and Africa can see the Huge Crimson Arena and the shadows of Jupiter’s moons Europa and Ganymede tainted Jupiter together. At 11: 42 p.m. British Long-established Time or 22: 42 GMT, Ganymede’s substantial shadow will seem along Jupiter’s edge, no longer far from the Huge Crimson Arena. Meanwhile, Europa’s smaller shadow will likely be polishing off its like passage. The trio will remain visible till Europa’s shadow moves off Jupiter at 12: 17 a.m. or 23: 17 GMT. Observers in the eastern allotment of South The usa can mediate referring to the same event after native nightfall.

Monday, Aug. 30 — A 2d third quarter moon (0713 GMT)

august 2021 starry night A second third quarter moon

(Image credit: Starry Night)

When a lunar segment happens in the valuable few days of a calendar month, it’ll re-happen at month’s terminate. For the 2d time in August, the moon will attain its third quarter segment at 3: 13 a.m. EDT or 07: 13 GMT on Monday, Aug. 30. The ensuing week of moonless evening skies will likely be perfect for watching deep sky targets.

Planets

august 2021 starry night mercury

(Image credit: Starry Night)

On Aug. 1 Mercury will likely be at superior conjunction with the sun and unobservable — till about one week later, when the rapid planet will reappear in the northwestern sky after sundown. This steadily is the finest apparition of the year for Southern Hemisphere observers. Sadly, Mercury’s space end to a shallow evening ecliptic will make this its worst appearance of the year for mid-northern latitude dwellers; however they’ll strive to investigate cross-test the planet sitting low over the west-northwestern horizon all the contrivance via a mercurial interval beginning off at about 8: 30 p.m. native time. On Aug. 18, the rapid eastward orbital movement of Mercury will lift it no longer as a lot as 9 arc-minutes south of eight times fainter Mars, permitting every planets to allotment a blurry eyepiece mediate about via a yard telescope. Mercury will halve in brightness all the contrivance via August, from magnitude -1.1 to -0.1. Considered in a telescope, the rapid planet will wane in illuminated segment from 95% on Aug. 10 to 74%-illuminated at month’s terminate. Meanwhile, the planet will tell a mean obvious disk diameter of 5.5 arc-seconds. A slim, 12-hours-ancient crescent moon will shine a pair of finger widths to the honest (celestial northwest) of Mercury on Aug. 8.

august 2021 starry night venus

(Image credit: Starry Night)

Extraordinarily sparkling Venus will continue to lend a hand court in the western sky after sundown all the contrivance via August — however its space hugging the steeply tilted evening ecliptic will forestall the magnitude -3.95 planet from ice climbing very excessive — or from sparkling in a heart-broken sky — for observers in the Northern Hemisphere. A advance-vertical ecliptic in the Southern Hemisphere will enable the planet to shine in total darkness. At mid-northern latitudes, Venus will space at about 10 p.m. native time on Aug. 1 and 45 minutes earlier on the 31st. On Aug. 10, Venus will tainted into Virgo. That evening the young crescent moon will shine a palm’s width to its honest (or 6 levels to the celestial northwest). Considered via a telescope all the contrivance via August, Venus will demonstrate a gradually waning gibbous segment and an obvious disk diameter that grows from 12.7 to 15 arc-seconds.

august 2021 starry night mars

(Image credit: Starry Night)

Magnitude 1.8 Mars, travelling prograde eastward in Leo all month long, will change into extra and extra complicated to investigate cross-test as it sinks deeper into the western post-sundown skyglow every evening. When the month begins Mars will space at about 9: 45 p.m. native time. That time will attain to 8: 30 p.m. at month’s terminate. Mars’ miniature 3.6 arc-2d obvious disk diameter will likely be complicated to solve in a telescope because this might perhaps be sparkling via so many air masses of the ambiance. On Aug. 18, eight times brighter Mercury will breeze 9 arc-minutes to the south of Mars, permitting every planets to allotment a blurry eyepiece mediate about via a yard telescope. (For safety, utilize optics easiest after the sun has completely space.) On Aug. 9, the young crescent moon will take a seat so a lot of finger widths to the upper honest (or 3.7 levels northwest) of Mars.

august 2021 starry night jupiter

(Image credit: Starry Night)

Intellectual, white Jupiter will likely be properly-placed for watching all evening long all the contrivance via August. The planet will likely be travelling retrograde westward all the contrivance via the stars of Aquarius till it crosses into Capricornus on Aug. 18. Yellowish Saturn will shine 19° to Jupiter’s honest (or celestial east). Sadly, the low summertime ecliptic will forestall those planets from ice climbing very excessive up the southern sky. When Jupiter reaches opposition on Aug. 20, the gas big will likely be 373.1 million miles, 600.4 million km, or 33.3 gentle-minutes from Earth, and this might shine at its maximum brightness of magnitude -2.88 for 2021. Because Jupiter is drawing end perihelion in January, 2023, the planet will sport a beneficiant, 49 arc-seconds-huge disk at this year’s opposition. Views of Jupiter in amateur telescopes will demonstrate its equatorial bands, and the Huge Crimson Arena will seem every 2nd or 3rd evening. Around opposition, Jupiter and its four substantial Galilean satellites time and again eclipse and occult one one more, and solid their spherical, sad shadows on this planet, every singly and in pairs. The tubby moon will shine no longer as a lot as 5 levels below (celestial south of) Jupiter on Aug. 21. 

august 2021 starry night saturn

(Image credit: Starry Night)

Yellowish Saturn will moreover be ideally positioned for viewing all evening long all the contrivance via August. This will likely be travelling retrograde westward all the contrivance via the stars of Central Capricornus — with exceptional brighter Jupiter positioned 19 levels to its left (east). Sadly, the low summertime ecliptic will forestall either planet from ice climbing very excessive up in the southern sky. On Aug. 2, Saturn will attain opposition. For the time being, the ringed planet will likely be at a distance of 830.6 million miles, 1.337 billion km, or 74.3 gentle-minutes from Earth. While planets at opposition continuously see their brightest, Saturn’s top magnitude 0.18 will likely be enhanced by the Seeliger attain, backscattered sunlight from its rings. In a telescope at opposition Saturn will demonstrate an obvious disk diameter of 18.6 arc-seconds, and its rings will subtend 43.3 arc-seconds. Saturn’s rings will likely be tilting extra edge-on to us yearly till the spring of 2025. This year they’re already closed ample for Saturn’s southern polar space to elongate previous them. Opposition is moreover the finest time to mediate about Saturn’s moons with a yard telescope in a heart-broken sky. The almost tubby moon will take a seat so a lot of finger widths below Saturn on Aug. 20.

august 2021 starry night uranus

(Image credit: Starry Night)

At some stage in August, Uranus will likely be finest noticed all the contrivance via the 2d half of of the evening. On Aug. 1 this might rise at 12: 20 a.m. native time, and climb bigger than halfway up the southeastern sky earlier than dawn. By month’s terminate Uranus will likely be rising earlier than 10: 30 p.m. native time and can culminate over the southern horizon, two-thirds of the manner up the sky, at around 5 a.m. native time. On Aug. 20, Uranus will stop its movement all the contrivance via the stars of southern Aries in preparation to birth a westward retrograde loop that might remaining till January, 2022. That evening, the blue-inexperienced, magnitude 5.75 planet will likely be surrounded by the Fifth magnitude stars Sigma, Omicron, Pi, and Rho Arietis — constructing a distinctive asterism for anybody viewing Uranus in binoculars. The waning gibbous moon will breeze two finger widths below (or 1.5 levels to the celestial south) of Uranus on Aug. 28.

august 2021 starry night neptune

(Image credit: Starry Night)

At some stage in August the far-off planet Neptune will likely be observable all the contrivance via numerous the evening whereas it travels slowly retrograde westward via northeastern Aquarius. Gaze the blue, magnitude 7.83 planet positioned a slim palm’s width to the left (or 5.5 levels to the east) of the 4th-magnitude stars Psi, Xi, and Phi Aquarii. On Aug. 1 Neptune will rise at about 10: 25 p.m. and then culminate halfway up the southern sky around 4 a.m. native time. At month’s terminate, two weeks earlier than its opposition, Neptune will rise at the moment after sundown, at 8: 25 p.m. native time.

Skywatching Phrases

Gibbous: Ragged to lisp a planet or moon that is bigger than 50% illuminated.

Asterism: A noteworthy or inserting pattern of stars inner a increased constellation.

Degrees (measuring the sky): The sky is 360 levels the total manner around, which contrivance roughly 180 levels from horizon to horizon. It’s straightforward to measure distances between objects: Your fist on an outstretched arm covers about 10 levels of sky, whereas a finger covers about one stage.

Visual Magnitude: Here’s the astronomer’s scale for measuring the brightness of objects in the sky. The dimmest object visible in the evening sky below completely dark conditions is about magnitude 6.5. Brighter stars are magnitude 2 or 1. The brightest objects get negative numbers. Venus might perhaps perhaps perhaps moreover even be as sparkling as magnitude minus 4.9. The tubby moon is minus 12.7 and the sun is minus 26.8.

Terminator: The boundary on the moon between sunlight and shadow.

Zenith: The purpose in the sky straight overhead.


 

Night Sky Watching Guidelines

Alter to the dark: While you cherish to survey faint objects, such as meteors or shadowy stars, give your eyes a minimum of 15 minutes to alter to the darkness.

Gentle Air pollution: Even from a gigantic city, one can survey the moon, a handful of sparkling stars and customarily the brightest planets. However to fully revel in the heavens — especially a meteor shower, the constellations, or to seem at the exceptional swath all the contrivance via the sky that represents our mediate about toward the heart of the Milky Scheme Galaxy — rural areas are finest for evening sky viewing. While you’re caught in a city or suburban condo, a constructing might perhaps perhaps perhaps moreover even be weak to dam ambient gentle (or moonlight) to learn repeat fainter objects. While you’re in the suburbs, merely turning off out of doors lights can advantage.

Prepare for skywatching: While you idea to be out for bigger than a jiffy, and it is no longer a warmth summer season evening, costume hotter than you mediate necessary. An hour of watching a iciness meteor shower can take a seat back you to the bone. A blanket or lounge chair will tell exceptional extra cheerful than standing or sitting in a chair and craning your neck to seem at overhead.

Daytime skywatching: When Venus is visible (that is, no longer in front of or in the abet of the sun) it’ll most steadily be noticed all the contrivance via the day. However you will must know the build to see. A sky blueprint is precious. When the sun has substantial sunspots, they would perhaps moreover even be viewed with out a telescope. Nonetheless, it is unsafe to see at the sun without protective eyewear. Gaze our video on securely survey the sun, or our safe sunwatching infographic.

Extra Reading

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Chris Vaughan

Chris Vaughan, aka @astrogeoguy, is a geophysicist and lifelong amateur astronomer basically based mostly mostly in Toronto, Canada. He’s an stuffed with life member of the Royal Gargantuan Society of Canada, and an operator of the ancient 74˝ telescope at the David Dunlap Observatory. Highly engrossing in science public outreach and training, he time and again organizes native wide name parties and sidewalk voice voltaic astronomy classes, and on a frequent foundation delivers presentations about astronomy, and earth and planetary science, to students and the overall public. For bigger than three years, he has published Astronomy Skylights, a weekly e-newsletter which is accessible via Tumblr, Fb, and Google+. He writes the Mobile Stargazing column for Dwelling.com in cooperation with SkySafari machine.

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