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Home / Explore / Astronomy Info & Events: August

Astronomy Info & Events: August

The Visible Planets

Mercury is not visible from our latitude this month. Southern hemisphere observers do, however, see Mercury after sunset in their western evening sky this month.

Venus is not visible early in the month as it will be at inferior conjunction (in between the Earth and the Sun) on August 13. By the end of August, however, Venus slowly begins to reappear above our eastern horizon before sunrise, appearing as the brightest object in eastern sky before sunrise.

Mars is not visible this month as it is lost in the glare of the setting sun.

Jupiter rises along the east-northeast horizon around midnight at the start of the month and then by 10:00 p.m. local time by the end of the month. After rising, Jupiter moves in an arc along the southern horizon, and is seen around 51° above the southern horizon by sunrise. Jupiter can be seen amongst the stars of the constellation of Aries, the ram, all year long. Before sunrise on August 8, look for Jupiter just below the last quarter Moon.

Saturn rises along the east-southeast horizon around sunset and then is visible all night long moving in a shallow arc along the southern horizon, only to set in the west-southwest at sunrise. Saturn will be at its point of opposition on the evening of August 27, providing exceptional telescopic views. On the night of August 2, through the overnight hours until sunrise on August 3, the waning gibbous Moon will be seen moving eastward just below Saturn.

Moon Phases

August 1 Full Moon (The Sturgeon Moon or the Berry Ripening Moon)

August 8 Last Quarter Moon

August 16 New Moon

August 24 First Quarter Moon

August 30 Full Moon (Blue Moon)

Special Events

International Space Station (ISS) Observable Passes

Visible passes of the ISS from our location will begin again after August 24, with these passes being seen in our predawn hours. Check the website http://www.heavens-above.com for exact viewing times for your location.

August 10 Mercury at its greatest elongation east (27°) from the Sun.

August 15-20 Saskatchewan Summer Star Party, Cypress Hills, SK. Details can be found here: https://sssp.saskatoon.rasc.ca/

August 12-13 The summer’s best meteor shower, the Perseids, peak over the evening from August 12 to the 13. The very thin waning crescent Moon’s light will not interfere with viewing this year as it only rises shortly before sunrise, giving us dark skies all night long. The anticipated zenith hourly rate from a dark site is about 110 meteors per hour.

August 13 Venus is in inferior conjunction

August 12-20 Mount Kobau Star Party near Osoyoos, BC. See https://www.mksp.ca/ for details.

August 16 Saskatchewan Summer Star Party, Cypress Hill, Sask.

Furthest lunar apogee for the year. Moon at 406,634 km from the Earth.

August 24 Lunar straight wall visible tonight!

August 25 It was 34 years ago today that Voyager 2 arrived at Neptune.

August 27 Saturn at opposition!

August 30 Largest full Moon of 2023 (Blue Moon as well!)