Friday, August 2, 2013

Sky Events August 2013


Moon Phases

Tue., August 6, 5:51 p.m. EDT

New Moon

The Moon is not visible on the date of New Moon because it is too close to the Sun, but can be seen low in the east as a narrow crescent a morning or two before, just before sunrise. It is visible low in the west an evening or two after New Moon.

Wed., August 14, 6:56 a.m. EDT

First Quarter Moon

The First Quarter Moon rises around 2:30 p.m. and sets around 12:30 a.m. It dominates the evening sky.

Tue., August 20, 9:45 p.m. EDT

Full Moon

The Full Moon of August is usually called the Corn Moon, Sturgeon Moon, Red Moon, Green Corn Moon or Grain Moon. In Cree it is called Opunhopizun, meaning “moon young ducks begin to fly.” The Full Moon rises around sunset and sets around sunrise, the only night in the month when the Moon is in the sky all night long. The rest of the month, the Moon spends at least some time in the daytime sky.

Wed., August 28, 5:35 a.m. EDT

Last Quarter Moon

The Last Quarter Moon rises around 11:30 p.m. and sets around 2:45 p.m. It is most easily seen just after sunrise in the southern sky.

Observing Highlights

Sat., August 3, 9 p.m. EDT

Juno at opposition

The asteroid 3 Juno reaches opposition in eastern Aquarius. Four nights later it crosses the boundary into the constellation Aquarius, where it remains until September 1, when it continues into Capricornus.

Fri, August 9, sunset

Venus and the Moon

The thin waxing crescent Moon passes just south of the bright planet Venus, low in the western sky just after sunset.

Sun. and Mon., August 11 and 12, all night

Perseid meteor shower

The peak of the Perseid meteor shower, usually the best in the year, occurs in the middle of the day on Monday August 12, so both the night before and the night after will both be good to observe meteors. Usually meteors are more frequent after local midnight, around 1 a.m. local daylight saving time. The crescent moon setting before 11 p.m. won’t interfere with the meteors, which are best observed from a dark country location.

Mon., August 12, evening

Saturn and the Moon

Saturn will be just above the waxing crescent Moon.

Mon., August 26, 10 p.m. EDT

Neptune at opposition

The planet Neptune will reach opposition to the Sun in the constellation Aquarius. It will be visible all night in binoculars or a small telescope.

Sat., August 31, morning

Jupiter and the Moon

Jupiter will be just to the left of the waning crescent Moon.


Mercury was at its greatest elongation west of the Sun on July 30, so will be well placed for observation just before sunrise in the eastern sky for observers in the Northern Hemisphere for the first half of August.

Venus is now a bright “evening star” setting just after the sun.

Mars is now a bright object in the morning sky. For the first three weeks of August, Mars is in Gemini, then on August 25 it moves into Cancer.

Jupiter is the brightest object in the morning sky all month. As the month begins, three planets, Jupiter, Mars and Mercury, are all gathered together in Gemini. Jupiter stays in Gemini all month, while the others move off into Cancer.

Saturn is low in the southwestern sky as dusk falls, and sets around 11 p.m.

Uranus is in Pisces, rising in the late evening.

Neptune is in opposition in Aquarius on August 26, and is visible all night.

Geoff Gaherty
Starry Night Software Support
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