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Post Info TOPIC: August 2011


L

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RE: August 2011
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The gibbous moon will occult the 2.9 magnitude star Pi Sagittarii.
The event is visible from the North Americas; 

New York city:                    2 15 13 UT
Mexico City:                       2 17 50 UT

Position (2000):     RA 19 09 45.83293  |  Dec -21° 01' 25.0103''



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L

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Although well positioned throughout August, Scorpius and Sagittarius will really be best seen during the second half of the month. That's because tonight, and over the next week, the moon is a waxing gibbous passing through this part of the sky. It fills the night sky with light as it builds to its full phase on Aug. 13, when it will rise at sunset and dominate the heavens until dawn.
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Perseids meteor shower to peak Aug 13

If weather permits, stargazers will get a treat this month with the Perseids meteor shower in the early morning hours of Aug. 13.
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L

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Mars is near the star cluster M35 on the 6th August

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Last Saturday's new moon signalled the start of a new lunar cycle. Our closest neighbour in space started moving east, away from the sun, and a very young wafer-thin crescent moon can be seen tonight and Tuesday evening just above the western horizon 30 minutes after sunset.
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This month Jupiter brightens from mag -2.4 to -2.6 as its distance falls and it swells to 45 arcsec in diameter. Small telescopes show its cloud bands while binoculars are all we need to glimpse its four main moons. Catch Jupiter near the Moon on the 20th and 21st.
Saturn, mag 0.9 and 12° to the right of Spica in Virgo, is sinking in our W evening twilight and may be lost from Britain by mid-month, though observers farther S may follow it for another month or more. Look for it very low down and almost directly below Arcturus, the most conspicuous star in the W at nightfall.

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Each August brings the return of the year's most famous shower, the Perseid meteor shower. The Perseid shower is well-known because it's a reliable shower, and also because it occurs in mid-summer, when the weather is better.
The Perseids get their name from the constellation of Perseus the Hero, which rises in the northeast right around midnight in mid-August. The shooting stars appear to come from that part of the sky where Perseus is located.

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Hanging out in the heart of the constellation Virgo, Saturn now starts the night in the west-southwest, about 20 degrees above the horizon, and sets at about 11 p.m. Catch the ringed planet now, because it sets after 10 p.m. in mid-month and at about 9:20 p.m. at month's end. This zero magnitude object is bright enough to find in Washington's murky and light-polluted summer sky.
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As August begins, we're still at the summer tilt orientation with regard to our orientation to the sun, making the days long and the nights short. So, for Lawnchair purposes, the sky doesn't get really dark until nearly 10 p.m.
For best viewing recommendations, you'll want to shoot for cool nights well away from city lights. And generally, stay away from nights that end with those typical high-humidity dog days. With that much moisture in the atmosphere, looking straight up will be more like looking across the horizon, making for distorted telescopic views.

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Summer is prime time for stargazing in New Jersey

Darkness comes late to the summer sky, but it's worth the wait, bringing celestial beauty to warm nights when it's more comfortable to stargaze at length - for those who notice, at least.
The biggest and best landmark in the summer sky is the Summer Triangle. Find it directly overheard in August, and it will look like clouds are running through it. Actually, that's part of the Milky Way, but you can't see its stars from here because of the ambient light. Astronomers call it "light pollution," and it is the trade-off of living in a populated area and so close to New York City.

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