The Visible Planets
Mercury starts the month being visible with some difficulty low to the east-northeast before sunrise, but it soon disappears in the twilight glow by August 7. By the end of the month Mercury tries to reappear in the western sky after sunset but is found to be lost in the glare of the setting Sun.
Venus continues to shine brightly in the eastern sky well before sunrise. It reaches it point of greatest western elongation of 46° on August 13. On August 15 look for Venus just below the waning crescent Moon.
Mars rises around midnight and can be seen high in the southern sky by sunrise. Mars continues to move amongst the southern stars of the constellation of Pisces, the fish, brightening appreciably over the month from magnitude -1.1 to magnitude -1.8. On the evening of August 8/9 look for the waning gibbous Moon just below the planet Mars. Mars will continue to brighten over the next two months as it approaches its point of opposition on October 13. When viewed through a telescope, Mars will now start showing a bigger and bigger disk, and surface features will begin to appear more resolved.
Jupiter is the brilliant object shining with a magnitude of -2.7 in the constellation of Sagittarius, the archer. It is found above the southeastern horizon at sunset and reaches its highest point in the southern sky of 14° before midnight local time. On August 1 and on August 28 look for the waxing gibbous Moon just below and to the left of Jupiter. Jupiter will be one of the highlights of evening observing at the RASC Observatory this summer.
Saturn is seen low above the southeastern horizon at sunset and is visible all night long, moving in a shallow arc along the southern horizon. On August 1 and then again on August 28, look for Saturn, Jupiter and the Moon make a grouping (conjunction) of celestial objects in the southeastern sky at sunset. Saturn remains in the constellation of Sagittarius, the archer, this month. Saturn will also be one of the highlights of evening observing at the RASC Observatory this summer.
August 3 Full Moon (The Sturgeon Moon)
August 11 Last Quarter Moon
August 18 New Moon
August 25 First Quarter Moon
International Space Station (ISS) Observable Passes
During the month of August there will be no visible passes of the ISS from our location. They will occur again starting at the beginning of September. Check the website http://www.heavens-above.com for viewing times for your location.
August 1 Jupiter and Saturn found above the waxing gibbous Moon tonight.
August 3 Civic holiday
August 9 Mars found above the waning gibbous Moon tonight
August 11/12 The summer’s best meteor shower, the Perseids, peak over the evening from August 11 to the 12. The waning gibbous Moon’s light will interfere a bit with this meteor shower when it rises around midnight.
August 13 Venus at greatest western elongation of 46°
August 15 Venus is found shining brightly below the waning crescent Moon (predawn)
August 15-23 Mount Kobau Star Party near Osoyoos, BC.
August 17 Mercury is at superior conjunction (not visible in the sky)
August 19-24 Saskatchewan Summer Star Party, Cypress Hills, SK.
August 25 It was 31 years ago today that Voyager 2 arrived at Neptune.
August 26 Lunar straight wall visible tonight!
August 29 Conjunction of the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn in the evening sky.
August 29/30 Milky Way Day, Elk Island Dark Sky Event (all day/night at Astotin Lake)