August 2022 Astronomical Highlights
The Visible Planets
Mercury is not favourably positioned for viewing from our northern latitude this month as it remains in the glare of the setting Sun along the northwest horizon.
Venus is still seen shining brilliantly very low along the northeastern horizon before sunrise all month long. It will be the brightest object in that part of the sky.
Mars is increasing in brightness this month as it starts getting closer and closer to the Earth in its orbit for its opposition date in December of this year. Mars rises around 11:30 p.m. local time above the east-northeastern horizon in early August but by the month’s end, Mars rises early at about 10:00 p.m. local time. From August 1 until August 9, Mars is seen amongst the stars of Aries, the ram. However, after August 9, Mars moves into the adjacent zodiac constellation of Taurus, the bull, and continues its eastward journey through that constellation during the month. On the night of August 19, look for Mars near the last quarter Moon and just below the Pleiades star cluster (M45).
Jupiter rises in the east just after sunset this month and is visible all night long moving westward with the rotation of the sky until it disappears in southwest with the rising sun. Jupiter is still found in the upper western portion of the constellation of Cetus, the sea monster. On the evening of August 14, look for Jupiter just above the waning gibbous Moon
Saturn rises in the southeast at sunrise and traverses the southern sky during the night only to disappear in the southwestern sky by sunset. So, Saturn is up all night long! Saturn is at opposition on August 14 (about 74 light minutes from Earth), making this the best time this year to view Saturn through a telescope. Saturn will be the highlight of summer observing at the RASC/TWOSE Observatory. Through a telescope the majestic ring system and the many moons of Saturn can be seen beautifully during this time of opposition.
August 5 First Quarter Moon
August 11 Full Moon (The Sturgeon Moon)
August 18 Last Quarter Moon
August 27 New Moon
International Space Station (ISS) Observable Passes
During most of the month of August there will be no visible passes of the ISS from our location. Visible early morning predawn passes of the ISS will begin again around August 25. Check the website http://www.heavens-above.com for viewing times for your location.
August 1 Civic holiday, Heritage Day
August 12/13 The summer’s best meteor shower, the Perseids, peak over the evening from August 12 to the 13. However, the Full Moon’s light this year will interfere with viewing this meteor shower, leaving only the brightest meteors to be visible.
August 14 Saturn at opposition
August 19 Moon, Mars and the Pleiades together in the sky.
August 21-27 Mount Kobau Star Party near Osoyoos, BC. See https://www.mksp.ca/ for details.
August 24-29 Saskatchewan Summer Star Party, Cypress Hills, SK. Details can be found here: https://sssp.saskatoon.rasc.ca/