Stargazing: August 2016 Celestial Events

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July 28, 29 – Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower

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Delta Aquarids meteor shower takes place every year from about July 12 to August 23. Its nominal peak occurs around July 28-29, during which we can observe up to 20 meteors per hour. The moon is waning, so its slender crescent shouldn’t get in the way too much.


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August 11, 12 – Perseids Meteor Shower

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Probably the most famous meteor shower, Perseids are traditionally known as Tears of Saint Lawrence. They are the easiest to spot since during their peak they produce up to 60 falling stars per hour. Just look toward Cassiopeia—the W-shaped constellation—during the night of August 11 and enjoy the show.


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August 16 – Mercury at Greatest Eastern Elongation

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On August 16, Mercury reaches maximum distance away from the Sun. This means it can be spotted by the naked eye, looking to the western horizon just after sunset. Since its light is very weak, you can use Jupiter and Venus as a reference.


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August 27 – Conjunction of Venus and Jupiter

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On August 27 we are going to see a rare phenomenon: Venus and Jupiter are going to be just 0.06 degrees from one another—so close that (for the naked eye) they are going to merge together in a single star! Don’t miss it!


 

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