We get it: it is arduous to get away from bed on a chilly evening to observe the August sky, however anybody courageous sufficient will likely be rewarded. In this month, we may have the height of one of the crucial anticipated meteor showers of the yr, the Perseids, and a number of other good alternatives to look at planets equivalent to Mars, Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter, and Mercury.
Additionally, on August 29 we may have the primary launch “window” of NASA’s Artemis I mission, the primary in an area program that goals to place people again on the lunar floor. This would be the first unmanned flight, but it surely’s a vital step: it is the place NASA will take a look at all of the devices on the SLS rocket and the Orion capsule earlier than we ship astronauts to, or try and land on, Artemis II in 2023. Artemis III, in 2025 or 2026.
Important astronomical events within the August sky
August 2: We begin the month with a conjunction between Mars and Uranus, that means these two planets will likely be very shut within the sky. The pair seems on the jap horizon round 1 a.m., with Uranus to the suitable of Mars. The stars will likely be increased within the sky simply earlier than daybreak, within the north, with Uranus under and to the left of the Red Planet.
The proximity to Mars makes it simpler to seek out Uranus, and this can be a nice alternative to look at it. But to see something you want good binoculars or a small telescope, as a result of it is likely one of the most distant planets within the photo voltaic system, so it shines brightly.
August 12: In the second week of the month, we may have one other conjunction, this time between the Moon and Saturn. Look for the pair transferring north at 0:55 a.m., when Saturn is barely under and to the suitable of the Moon.
At the identical time Jupiter will likely be a really brilliant “star” under and to the suitable of Saturn, within the northwest course, and Mars will seem on the horizon, additional to the east. This sort of occasion is good for a novice observer, as it’s not seen to the bare eye.
August 13: The Perseid meteor bathe will likely be lively for a lot of the month: it begins on July seventeenth and lasts till August twenty fourth. But the height will likely be on August 13, when beneath splendid situations (clear skies, away from the sunshine air pollution of massive cities) as much as 24 meteors are estimated per hour.
To see it, search for the constellation Perseus beginning at 2:30 a.m., when it rises within the north. The finest time is earlier than dawn, round 6 am.
August 14: Saturn will likely be in opposition, that means immediately reverse the Sun within the sky, making it brighter. The planet will likely be seen all evening, rising on the jap horizon at 6:33 pm and setting within the west at 5:54 am.
We will even have a conjunction between the Moon and Jupiter on August 14th. The pair seems on the jap horizon round 21:20 and the gap between them decreases through the evening. Around 6 AM on the fifteenth, Saturn will likely be very near the Moon, simply to the suitable, to the west.
August 19: The conjunction between the Moon and Mars will likely be seen within the sky from 00:40 when it seems on the northwest horizon, and will likely be at its highest level within the sky to the north round 6:00.
August 28: Mercury will attain its highest level within the sky at 5:54 p.m., when the solar units, and will likely be utterly brilliant, making it straightforward to look at: simply look to the horizon to the west.
In reality, the viewing window is far bigger: it is going to be 20 levels or extra above the horizon for a couple of month, between August 10 and September 9. August twenty eighth is the one day that will likely be “highest”. The level is all the time the identical: look west at sundown.
Moon phases within the August sky
August begins with the primary quarter moon and ends with the brand new moon. These would be the phases of the moon through the month:
- On August 5, 2022 at 08:06, the moon will likely be within the first quarter part
- We may have a full moon on August 11, 2022 at 10:35 PM
- On August 19, 2022 at 1:36 AM, the Moon will likely be in a waning quarter.
- We may have a brand new moon on August 27, 2022 at 5:17 AM
Mission to the moon
NASA plans to launch the primary Artemis mission between late August and early September: the earliest attainable date is August 29 at 10:33 a.m. ET. Launching on this date, Artemis I’ll final for 42 days, and the Orion capsule will return to Earth on October 10, 42 days after launch.
Artemis I will likely be unmanned: The objective of this mission is to check the Orion capsule and all its techniques on a visit “across the moon” earlier than the same mission, however with three American astronauts and a Canadian, referred to as Artemis II, is to be achieved. It takes place in May 2024.
If a launch just isn’t attainable on the primary date, NASA may have different alternatives on September 2 at 2:48 PM and September 5 at 7:12 PM. Whatever the date, you’ll be able to observe the occasion stay on NASA’s YouTube channel.
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