Sky Watch: August 2018

Best Night Sky Events of August 2018

By Bob Berman
July 26, 2018
Perseids Over China
Xiang Zhan (Beijing Planetarium)

Welcome to your August 2018 Sky Watch! We’ll help you spot the best night sky events of June, including bright planets and stars, the full Moon, and celestial events.

Sky Watch August 2018

by Bob Berman, as featured in The 2018 Old Farmer’s Almanac

What’s up in the August night sky? Here are the highlights:

  • Mars remains spectacular and is brighter than Jupiter all month. Its only negative is a southerly declination of –25 degrees, which places it lower in the sky than even the winter solstice Sun.
  • Meanwhile, Venus brightens but continues to sink lower, thanks to the increasingly horizontal slant of the post-sunset zodiac. See 10 cool things about our evening star.
  • The Perseid meteor shower should be ideal on the 11th and 12th, as the Moon is completely absent. In dark skies, that means 50 or more meteors per hour! Check out view tips from where and how to view the great Perseids!

Image: Rafael Schmall/Universities Space Research Association

  • The Moon stands above Venus on the 14th, near Jupiter on the 16th and 17th, to the right of Saturn on the 20th, and above Mars on the 22nd and 23rd.
  • Mercury begins a good morning star apparition on the 24th. Far to the left of Sirius, it stands 10 degrees high as morning twilight brightens.

Click here for a free sky map to navigate the night sky!


The Old Farmer's Almanac

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