August 2017 is an Awesome Month for Stargazing

Fagjun | Published 2017-09-03 04:11

You're going to need to block off quite a number of nights this month to go stargazing.


We've probably heard of the total solar eclipse that will take place on August 21. However, it won't be the only remarkable thing to pass through August's skies. From new moons to full moons, Venus to Saturn sharing the moon, and eclipses to meteor showers, August is going to be full of astronomical events to stay up for.


August 2: Saturn's Rings and the Moon

Photo by A.Fazekas, SkySafari


August 2 may have already passed, but there's a chance that you may have spied Saturn in the sky next to the moon. Saturn will have appeared to the naked eye as a yellow star, but if you had even a small telescope at the time, you'll have seen Saturn's rings.


August 7 and 8: Partial Lunar Eclipse

Photo by Brad Riza


Several parts of the world will be able to witness a partial lunar eclipse on the evening of August 7. The event is set to begin at 15:50 UT and end at 20:51 UT. The deepest part of the eclipse will occur at around 18:20 UT.


Europe and Africa will be able to see the eclipse after sunset, India and Western China will see it late in the night, while Eastern Asia, Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand will see it early in the morning of August 8.


August 11 and 12: Perseids Meteor Shower


One of the best meteor showers to watch is coming soon. The peak of the Perseids Meteor Shower can bring out up to 60 meteors per hour, which is quite a sight to see. Stargazing will be a great experience when meteors whiz by once every minute. This year, the peak of the shower will be on the evening of August 11 and the morning of August 12.


August 21:Total Solar Eclipse

Photo by NASA


For people in North America, the coming total solar eclipse is quite a rare event. The last total solar eclipse to appear over North America took place back in 1979, and the next one will be in 2024. The total eclipse will be visible for two minutes to people in parts of Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina. People in other parts of North America and South America will see a partial solar eclipse instead of a total one.


Other Stargazing Opportunities to Watch Out For


There are actually a handful of other celestial events perfect for stargazing that you may want to know about. On August 16, the moon will appear in the sky alongside the orange-ish star Aldebaran. The moon is also set to make an appearance with Venus on August 19. August 25, meanwhile, will see the moon with a bright Jupiter. If you have binoculars, you might even catch a glimpse of the blue star Spica.


Finally, on August 30, the moon will round out a month of stargazing quite nicely by appearing once again with Saturn. If you're in a place where you can see these celestial events, try to free up some time to just look up at the sky.

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