This page shows a brief summary of what interesting things we can see in the sky this month.
A more detailed version of 'What's Up' this month is available as a downloadable Word document right at the bottom of this page.
A much better month for observing, the nights are drawing in, such that by mid-month it is dark by 9 o'clock. Perseus, Andromeda and even the lovely Pleiades grace the midnight sky.
The phases of the Moon are as follows:
Darkest Skies due to the lack of moonlight are from the 15th August to the 21st of the month, hence the best time to observe the sky.
Mercury, is always tricky, a morning object but very low, it was better in July...
Venus, also a morning object, brilliant above the sunrise, highest and brightest on 13th August.
Mars is rising at 11:00 pm on 1st August and at 10:00 pm on 31st August.
Jupiter is still a brilliant evening object, Brightest thing in the sky.
Saturn is almost as bright and difficult to miss. Both visible in Sagittarius.
Uranus is visible all night rising about 10:30 pm, and not far from Mars.
Neptune is in Aquarius and rising about 9:30 pm, and is also visible all night.
Pluto is conveniently between Jupiter and Saturn.
No comets have been forecast.
The first ever asteroid to be discovered, Ceres (Asteroid 1) reaches opposition on 28th August and will be visible in binoculars all month.
Alpha Capricornids (ZHR 5) Big and bright Sunday 2nd the full Moon ruins them.
Iota Aquarids (ZHR 8) peak on the Thursday 6th the nearly full Moon spoils them.
Perseids (ZHR 80) peak on the night of the 12th and morning of the 13th August, but the Moon is a crescent rising at midnight so spoiling what is often the best display of the year.
Good objects to view this month are: