This Week’s Sky: August 28th- September 3rd

Sunday, August 28th: Cassiopeia rises high in the northeast sky, while Ursa Major (the Big Dipper) declines in the northwest. Both these shifts signal the transition from summer to autumn skies.  Since Cassiopeia and Ursa Major lie on opposite sides of the North Celestial Pole, there movements center around Polaris-the …

Continue reading

This Week’s Sky: August 22nd-27th

Monday, August 22nd:  Jupiter and Venus continue their close dance in the sky. After sunset they rise 6˚ apart due west.  Venus is the the right of Jupiter.  We can’t forget about Mercury, positioned 4˚ to Jupiter’s lower left.  The Moon is 83% visible as a waning gibbous, with moonrise …

Continue reading

This Week’s Sky: August 14th-20th

The 2010 Perseids over the European Southern Observatory's (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT)

Sunday, August 14th  Jupiter shines at a magnitude -1.7 within the western portion of the Virgo constellation a half hour after sunset.   Since it is low in the sky- around 10 degrees high- the planet’s detail is limited when seen through a telescope.  During the predawn hours, M31, the Andromeda …

Continue reading

Skywatching: The Iconic Summer Triangle

Image credit and copyright: Alan Dyer

Look directly overhead at 10:30 pm EDT and you will see Vega- the brightest star in the constellation Lyra and the fifth brightest in the night sky. Using Vega as a reference point, Altair is located to the lower left (southeast) and Deneb to the left (east). Together, these three …

Continue reading