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SKY HAPPENINGS

Moab UT (at City Hall)
38O34’ N Latitude 109O33’ W Longitude
4048 ft - 1234 m

The Sky for August 2014
By Faylene Roth

 

Sunrise-Sunset
For August 2014

DATE

SUNRISE

SUNSET

1

6:20am

8:28pm

2

6:21am

8:27pm

3

6:22am

8:26pm

4

6:23am

8:25pm

5

6:24am

8:24pm

6

6:24am

8:23pm

7

6:25am

8:22pm

8

6:26am

8:21pm

9

6:27am

8:20pm

10

6:28am

8:18pm

11

6:29am

8:17pm

12

6:30am

8:16pm

13

6:31am

8:15pm

14

6:32am

8:13pm

15

6:32am

8:12pm

16

6:33am

8:11pm

17

6:34am

8:10pm

18

6:35am

8:08pm

19

6:36am

8:07pm

20

6:37am

8:05pm

21

6:38am

8:04pm

22

6:39am

8:03pm

23

6:40am

8:01pm

24

6:40am

8:00pm

25

6:41am

7:58pm

26

6:42am

7:57pm

27

6:43am

7:56pm

28

6:44am

7:54pm

29

6:45am

7:53pm

30

6:46am

7:51pm

31

6:47am

7:50pm

Follow the constellations of the zodiac from west to east across the ecliptic (bright objects in parentheses): Virgo (Spica and Saturn), Libra (Mars), Scorpius (Antares), Sagittarius, Capricornus, Aquarius, Pisces. Trace the Milky Way north to south through Perseus, Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Cygnus, Aquila, Sagittarius. The Summer Triangle dominates the overhead sky with Lyra anchoring the point directly overhead during late twilight hours. Look north to find the small trapezoidal head of Draco the dragon between Lyra and Polaris (North Star at the end of the Little Dipper’s handle). The dragon’s tail wends its way around and between Ursa Major and Minor. Due west of Lyra find Hercules, Corona Borealis, and Boötes (Arcturus). To the east of Lyra find Cygnus (Deneb) and the Great Square of Pegasus with Andromeda dangling off the northeast corner of the flying horse.

Twilight extends the period of daylight in three stages at each end of the day. Morning twilight begins with astronomical twilight—about 1-1/2 hours (nearly 2 during summer months) before sunrise—as the eastern horizon brightens. Nautical twilight continues—as the overhead sky turns blue and color returns to the surrounding landscape—for another 30-40 minutes. The final stage—civil twilight—provides adequate light for most outdoor activities for the half hour before the sun crests the horizon. The opposite progression occurs after sunset.

MOON HAPPENINGS
August 3 – First quarter moon brightens evening sky until midnight.
August 10 – Largest full moon of the year occurs at 12:09pm, rises at 8:09pm,
and lights the sky throughout the night.
August 17 – Dark evening skies until last quarter moon rises after midnight.
August 25 – Dark night skies for several days during the new moon period
(The time of moonrise and moonset assumes a flat horizon. Actual time may vary.)

VISIBLE PLANETS
Jupiter – By midmonth Jupiter (which has just passed around the far side of the sun) swings far enough away from the sun to be seen in the early morning sky. It passes Venus within less than one-half degree on the morning of August 18. On subsequent mornings it rises earlier as Venus rises later. By month’s end Jupiter will appear about 15 ̊ above Venus. (Magnitude -1.8)

Mars – Look low in the southeastern evening sky for reddened Mars situated about halfway between blue-white Spica (Virgo) and golden Saturn (Libra). On August 3 a near first quarter moon passes within 2 ̊ of Mars. By August 10 Mars has moved from Virgo to Libra. On August 25 Mars approaches to within 3.4 ̊ of Saturn. Mars sets before midnight. (Magnitude +0.5)

Saturn – In the southeastern evening sky find Saturn between Mars’s red orb and Antares’s red starlight. It sets before midnight soon after Mars. On August 4 the first quarter moon occults Saturn. (Magnitude +1)

Venus – The diamond of the morning sky rises about 15 minutes after the eastern horizon brightens with the glow of astronomical twilight. By month’s end it is rising an hour later at about the time nautical twilight brings color to the horizon. In a half hour it will be lost in the glare of civil twilight. (Magnitude -3.8)

Note: Apparent magnitude values range from -4 to +6 for most planets and visible stars. The lower the value the brighter the object. A decrease of 1.0 magnitude is 2.5 times brighter.

Primary Sources: USGS; U.S. Naval Observatory; Your Sky at http://www.fourmilab.ch/yoursky/
To find out when the space shuttle and International Space Station are visible from your location, go to: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/sightings/index.html and click on Sighting Opportunities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

METEOR EVENTS
Shower


Peak
(Aug)
Range
(Aug)
Constellation Radiant Rate
(/Hr)
Details Conditions
Perseids
12/13
10-15 Perseus 50-80 Swift, bright,
persistent trains
Waning gibbous moon

Best time to view any meteor event is between midnight and morning twilight when the radiant is overhead.
Trace the path of any meteor backwards through the sky to reach its radiant--the region of the sky from which meteors appear to originate.

 

MAJOR CONSTELLATIONS this MONTH


Overhead
Ursa Minor
Draco
Cygnus
Lyra
Hercules
Aquila
Ophiucus
Sagittarius

Eastward
Cassiopeia
Pegasus
Perseus
Pisces
Aquarius
Capricornus

Westward
Ursa Major
Boötes
Virgo
Libra
Scorpius


Hold your hand at arm’s length to measure apparent distances in the sky. The width of the little finger approximates1.5̊. Middle, ring, and little finger touching represent about 5 ̊. The width of a fist is about 10 ̊. The fist with the thumb extended at a right angle equals 15 ̊. The hand stretched from thumb to little finger approximates 20 ̊-25 ̊. The diameter of both the full moon and the Sun spans only 0.5 ̊. Adjust for the size of your hand.

The star chart approximates the sky from astronomical twilight to midnight. As the night and month progresses, the constellations shift toward the northwest. The celestial equator is measured in hours (h). The ecliptic is measured in degrees

Note: Hold your hand at arm’s length to measure apparent distances in the sky. The width of the little finger approximates 1.5̊. Middle, ring, and little finger touching represent about 5̊. The width of a fist is about 10̊. The fist with the thumb extended at a right angle equals 15̊. The hand stretched from thumb to little finger approximates 20̊-25̊. The diameter of both the full moon and the sun spans only 0.5̊. Adjust for the size of your hand.

Sky Map
 
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