Sunday, August 16, 2015

Astronomy hi-lites for the upcoming week

August 17: Saturn in Balance
The planet Saturn stands between the balance scales and the scorpion. It
looks like a bright golden star, a third of the way up the southwestern sky
at nightfall. The scales of Libra line up to the right of Saturn, with the
scorpion to its lower left.

August 18: Earthshine
If you look at the crescent Moon with binoculars this evening, you can pick
out many of the features that are visible when the Moon is full. That's
because the dark portion of the Moon is illuminated by earthshine - sunlight
reflected from Earth.

August 19: Moon and Spica
The crescent Moon slides just above Spica, the brightest star of the
constellation Virgo, this evening. They are low in the west-southwest as
night falls, with Spica close below the Moon.

August 20: Polaris
The North Star, Polaris, isn't all that bright. Yet it's easy to find
because of some bright pointers. Line up the two stars at the outer edge of
the Big Dipper's bowl. Extend that line above the bowl to the first
moderately bright star: Polaris.

August 21: Moon and Saturn
The giant plan Saturn is in great view tonight. It stands to the left of the
Moon as night falls, and looks like a bright golden star. The true star
Antares, the heart of the scorpion, stands to Saturn's lower left.

August 22: Moon, Saturn, and Antares
The planet Saturn snuggles quite closer to the lower right of the Moon this
evening. It looks like a bright golden star. The true star Antares, at the
heart of the scorpion, is farther to the lower left of the Moon.

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