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TOPIC: August 2010


L

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RE: August 2010
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Last Quarter Moon in the constellation Aries, 5:58.6 UT, 3rd August, 2010.

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Transit of Jupiter's Great Red Spot, 0:16.5 UT, 3rd August, 2010.

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Venus, Mars and Saturn can be seen in August "coming together in their most compact configuration," retired Palm Springs astronomer Bob Victor said.
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Ed ~ On the 7th, a 'perfect triangle' of the planets Saturn, Mars and Venus will lie within a circle of just 4.7 degrees across, (An angular diameter that fits into a 10x50 binocular FOV).

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Last Quarter Moon in the constellation Aries, 22:47.2 UT, 2nd August, 2010.

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On Aug. 20, Neptune will be at opposition. This occurs when Earth is positioned directly between another planet and the sun. Neptune will rise as the sun sets and set as the sun rises, providing an entire night of observation as it travels along the ecliptic. It will also be at its closest point to us in our annual orbit.
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Uranus is close to Jupiter in the constellation Pisces.

Uranus010810.gif

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Mars is in conjunction in Right Ascension with Saturn (1.9 separated from Saturn), 20:37 UT, 1st August, 2010.

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The Summer Triangle of Vega, Deneb and Altair dominates our high southern sky, while Arcturus is sinking in the west and Pegasus and Andromeda are climbing in the east. Look for the Pleiades in Taurus low in the north-east where they lie above and right of the waning Moon next Wednesday night.
Sunrise/sunset times for Edinburgh change from 05:17/21:20 BST on the 1st to 06:15/20:10 on the 31st while the duration of nautical twilight at dawn and dusk plummets from 121 to 89 minutes. The Moon reaches last quarter on the 3rd, new on the 10th, first quarter on the 16th and is full on the 24th.

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augustus2.gif

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Highlights

August 1 is the date of an ancient Pagan festival of Lammas or Lughnasadh (LOO-nah-sah). It marks the beginning of the last quarter of the Celtic year. The festival is associated with the god Lugh, or Samildanach, which means "he of many gifts".

The Perseids Meteor Shower Peaks on August 13th

Albireo
Probably the most colourful double star in the night sky can now be found nearly overhead at 11:30 p.m. local daylight time, in the constellation of Cygnus the Swan, also known as the Northern Cross. Albireo supposedly marks the swans beak.
A small telescope, or even a pair of steadily held binoculars, will readily split Albireo into two tiny points of light of beautiful contrasting colours: the brighter one a rich yellowish-orange, the other a deep azure blue, both placed very close together. An absolutely stunning view will come with a telescope magnifying between 18 and 30 power.

Sagittarius and the Galactic Centre.
For northern observers, the Teapot of Sagittarius should be dashing across the southern horizon. Observe the lower western corner, which lies immediately above the stinger of Scorpio, the scorpion. You are now looking straight toward the heart of the galaxy, the galactic centre. The actual centre is not visible to us due to the unimaginable amount of dust and stars blocking the way, but we do know something about it thanks to both radio and infrared radiation that is not so easily blocked.

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