Look on the western horizon shortly after sunset to see the crescent moon and Saturn on Aug. 3 and 4.
Why not celebrate the Year of the Solar System while following the upcoming launch of the Juno spacecraft on August 5 by staying up late to see Jupiter rising in the Eastern sky after midnight? From the launch site at Kennedy Space Center, Jupiter will appear to rise on the horizon of the Atlantic Ocean, weather permitting! By dawn it will be nearly overhead -the brightest object in the sky! You'll need binoculars to see the four moons: Ganymede, Callisto, Europa and Io.
And speaking of Dawn, you can spot Vesta this month too! The Dawn spacecraft achieved orbit around the asteroid Vesta on July 16, and Vesta reaches opposition on Aug. 5, when it shines at its brightest. It's the brightest asteroid and the only one to see with the unaided eye! You will need to know your way around the constellations to see Vesta, but with a pair of steady binoculars you should be able to catch a glimpse of it. Find both Uranus and Neptune between Jupiter and Vesta.
If late-night planet partying is not your thing, you won't want to miss the crescent moon and Saturn right after sunset. Saturn glows above the moon on Aug. 3, and to the left on Aug. 4. They will set a few hours after sunset.
What's Up Archives