August 2008

Lunar Events

There are two new moons in the month of August: The First New Moon occurs on Friday, August 1st, which will make the weekend of August 2nd-3rd as an excellent weekend for dark sky viewing.  The Second New Moon occurs on Saturday, August 30th, which will make August 30th-31st as a second fantastic weekend for dark sky viewing.

The Full moon for this month occurs on August 16th and is known as the "Full Sturgeon Moon" or "Full Barley Moon."

Celestial Events

There will be a Solar Eclipse seen across Northern Asia on August 1st, 2008.

August 14 - Mercury, Venus and Saturn
August 14, Sunset -
On August 14th and 15th, there is a triple planetary conjunction between Mercury, Venus and Saturn.

Mercury

Mercury is not visible at the beginning of the month due to its proximity to the sun.  Mercury emerges into the evening sky around August 9th right after sunset.

Unseen, Mercury being this month in the constellation Cancer, the Crab, and crosses into the constellation Leo, the Lion, on August 3rd. On August 24th, Mercury cross into the constellation Virgo, the Maiden, where it finishes the month.

August 14 - Mercury, Venus and Saturn
August 15, Sunset -
On August 14th and 15th, there is a triple planetary conjunction between Mercury, Venus and Saturn.

Venus

Venus is the Evening Star for the entire month on August.  It begins the month in the constellation Leo, the Lion, until August 24th, when it moves into Virgo, the Maiden.

August 13 - Venus and Saturn
August 13, sunset - On August 13, Venus will pass within a mere 0°25′
of the planet Saturn.

On August 14th and 15th, Venus, Mercury and Saturn are within 2°45′ of each other.

August 20 - Mercury, Venus and Saturn
Finally August 20th, Venus will pass with 1° of the planet Mercury.

Mars

Mars is visible all month in the evening.  Mars begins August in the constellation Leo, the Lion, until August 9th, when it moves into the constellation Virgo, the Maiden.

August 3 -Mars and the Moon
On August 3rd, Mars sets within 6° of the Waxing, Crescent Moon.

Jupiter

Jupiter is located in the constellation Sagittarius until January 2009.  Since Jupiter reached Opposition last month (July 9th), it is in excellent position for observing most of the night all month.

August 13 - Jupiter and the Moon
In the very early morning of August 13th, Jupiter will set within 4°45′
of the waxing, gibbous moon.

Saturn

Saturn is found in the constellation Leo, the Lion, September of 2009 and is visible this month until around August 25th, when it will disappear into the glare of the evening sun.

August 14 - Mercury, Venus and Saturn
August 14, Sunset -
On August 14th and 15th, there is a triple planetary conjunction between Mercury, Venus and Saturn.

Uranus

Uranus is located in the constellation Aquarius, the Water Bearer, until March 2009.  Since Uranus will reach Opposition next month (September 9th), it will be in excellent position for viewing for almost the entire night.

Neptune

Neptune reaches Opposition this month on August 14th.

August 14 - Neptune at Opposition
August 14th, 2008 - Neptune reaches it’s Opposition. Shown here in
relative position to Uranus, Jupiter and the Moon.

This places Neptune in excellent position for observation all night, all month.  Neptune is located in the constellation Capricornus, the Sea Goat, until the year 2010.

Pluto

Pluto is found in the constellation Sagittarius, the Archer, until the year 2023. Pluto is in position for observation from evening to the very early morning hours this month.  At the beginning of the month Pluto will set around 3:15am, and by the end of the month, Pluto will set around 1:10am.

August 15 the position of Pluto
August 15th - Pluto’s position relative to Jupiter, Neptune and the Moon.

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