Sunday, August 9, 2015

Astronomy hi-lites for the upcoming week

August 9: Moon and Betelgeuse
The bright orange star Betelgeuse stands to the lower right of the Moon at
dawn tomorrow. It marks the shoulder of Orion. It has held that spot for
millennia, and will stay there for tens of thousands of years longer.

August 10: Perseid Meteors
The Perseid meteor shower will "rain" meteors into Earth's atmosphere for
the next few nights. The view is enhanced because the Moon is a thin
crescent, and it doesn't rise until a couple of hours before dawn.

August 11: More Perseids
The Perseid meteor shower should be at its best the next couple of nights.
Its meteors all appear to "rain" from the direction of the constellation
Perseus. The meteors can streak across any part of the sky, though, so you
don't have to face a particular direction to see them.

August 12: Sagittarius
Sagittarius stands low in the south as night falls, and sets in the wee
hours of the morning. It represents a centaur, although modern skywatchers
are more likely to see a teapot formed by eight bright stars. The handle is
on the left, with the spout on the right.

August 13: Galactic Hub
The center of the Milky Way galaxy rolls low across the south on summer
nights. It is just above the spout of the teapot-shaped constellation
Sagittarius, which is in the south in early evening.

August 14: Aquila
Although it is faint, Aquila is a rarity: a constellation that really does
resemble its namesake - in this case, an eagle. Under dark skies, look for
it high in the southeast at nightfall. It soars across the south in late

August 15: Changing Addresses
The planet Venus will cross the line between Earth and the Sun today, moving
from the evening sky to the morning sky. It will be lost in the Sun's glare
for a few days, but will climb into easy view in a few days as the brilliant
"morning star."

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