SkyDiary
Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Find out what’s up in the night sky:
Upcoming astoronomical events, interesting observations, packed with everything a stargazer needs to know.

Observations are described for the NORTHERN hemisphere and can be made by naked eye, small binoculars or by small telescope.

August 2019

Phases of the Moon

New Moon:August 01
First Quarter:August 07
Full Moon:August 15
Last Quarter:August 23
New Moon:August 30

New Moon Twice

On August 01 and 30, there are two New Moons which is quite a rare phenomenon. In year 2019, only the month August has New Moon twice.

Mercury

On August 9, there is the greatest western elongation of the planet Mercury. This means that its angular distance from the Sun is at maximum (19 deg), and Mercury is placed to west of the Sun, i.e., it rises about 1.5 hours before the Sun and can be seen on the MORNING sky. Its brightness will be around 0.0 mag. To locate the planet on the sky, you will need binoculars, but once located it should be seen with naked eyes. Try it!

Venus

On August 14, Venus is at Superior Conjuction with the Sun, i.e., behind the Sun's disk as seen from our Earth. Hence, it is invisible almost during the whole month, and we need to wait until the end of August/beginning of September, when it appears again on the evening sky.

Perseid Meteor Shower

This famous meteor shower has its predicted peak activity on August 13 morning, but it can be observed about a week before its maximum. Unfortunately, there is the Full Moon on August 15 so that the observations of meteors will be severely damaged by the light from Moon.

Jupiter and Saturn

Both giant planets are well located for the observation on the evening sky - Jupiter in the constellation Scorpius and Saturn in Sagittarius. They are magnificent in a middle-sized telescope with lens of 100 mm diameter and magnification above 100x. However, you will also need a sturdy tripod.

Article by (C) G. Okša