Welcome, Jupiter & Saturn!

This month’s Sky Tour astronomy podcast tells you “what’s up” within the night skies. No expertise or gear is critical — simply obtain or stream the audio file and take it with you outdoors.

August’s perennial celestial spotlight is the Perseid meteor bathe, one of many two greatest shows of “shooting stars” all year. These meteors are brought on when little bits of mud shed by Comet Swift-Tuttle slam into our environment at 37 miles per second. Every August, we cross the comet’s orbit and plow proper by means of this dusty particles. You don’t want any particular gear to benefit from the Perseids, and so this annual sky present makes an exquisite exercise on your complete household. The Sky Tour podcast provides nice ideas for when and the place to see the bathe’s peak exercise.

Jupiter-Saturn-Moon in mid-August 2021
The practically full Moon glides close to Jupiter and Saturn throughout August.
Sky & Telescope

But August additionally marks the arrival of planetary royalty within the night sky. You’ll discover Jupiter and Saturn shining low within the southeast as quickly because it begins to get darkish after sundown. Jupiter is kind of a bit brighter, each as a result of it’s the larger world and since it’s rather a lot nearer than Saturn each to the Sun and to Earth.

August can be a time when the constellation Scorpius is effectively positioned for viewing after sundown. Perhaps greater than in every other constellation, the stars of Scorpius actually do appear like their namesake. Antares is the Scorpion’s coronary heart, and to its higher proper and decrease left are two medium-bright stars representing its physique. Less than one fist to Antares’ higher proper are three stars marking the pinnacle. Trailing from Antares to the decrease left is a curving string of stars that type the Scorpion’s tail.

Think of Sky Tour as your individual private information to the nighttime sky! You can use it not solely to learn to determine key stars in Scorpius and neighboring Sagittarius, but additionally how one can spot the elusive Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown, close to the Big Dipper.

So obtain Sky Tour, and let your August sky journey start!

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