In the Sky this Month for SWFL.
If you are new to the night sky, and have an Android device, such as a tablet or phone, you can find a free app in the Google Play Store, called Sky Map. Sky Map will help you locate objects in the night sky.
Moon: New – August 1; Perigee – August 2; 1st Quarter – August 7; Full – August 15; Apogee – August 17; Last Quarter – August 23.
Mercury (dawn, East-Northeast) rises more than an hour before sunrise on the 3rd at magnitude of only 1.4.
Binoculars are useful. By the 9th, it is at 19° elongation and at magnitude 0, rising 3 1½ hours before sunrise (at lat. 40°N). It brightens through August, but is lost in the Sun’s glare
in the last week, approaching superior conjunction with the Sun on September 3 rd.
Venus disappeared from view about July 22 nd for about two months (Sky & Telescope, July 2019: The Astronomical Almanac). It and Mars are lost to solar glare throughout August.
Venus will become visible again in mid-September at dusk.
Mars and Venus are lost to solar glare throughout August. Mars is farthest from the Sun (aphelion), 1.67 a.u., on the 26 th. One week later it is at conjunction with the Sun and is nearly its farthest distance from the Earth, 2.67 a.u. Mars will not be visible again until October at dawn.
Jupiter (dusk – most of the night, Southeast) is close to Antares during August. It continues to retrograde (move westward) to its closest to Antares, 6 ¾ °. It starts moving slowly eastward about the 11 th away from Antares. It dims slightly in magnitude from -2.4 to -2.2, and its size changes from ~43” to 39”. It is highest around nightfall, so the cloud features
show best. It sets around 2 a.m. at the first of the month and about midnight by the end. See the detailed chart on page 51 in Sky & Telescope, August 2019, showing observation times for
Saturn (South-Southeast) was at opposition on July 9 th. It is slightly dimmer, changing magnitude from -0.3 to -0.2, and its size changes from 18.3” to 17.6”. It is to the left and above Sagittarius.
Uranus, in Aires, is brighter than Neptune and rises after twilight. For most of August it is at its highest after morning twilight. See https://is.gd/urnep for a finder chart.
Neptune, in Aquarius, will be at opposition on 10 September, after it transits the meridian after midnight EDT. See https://is.gd/urnep for a finder chart.
International Space Station: The ISS is visible mid/late (9-11p.m.) at night from the 3rd to the 10th and near dawn from the 24th to the 30th. See this link for specific times and routes for the ISS: http://www.heavens-above.com
The Hubble Space Telescope will be visible early morning (3-6 a.m.) the first week of August, twice daily for the next couple of weeks: 4-6 a.m. from 3 rd -9 th August, 8-9 p.m. from 9 th – 12 th, once/twice daily from 13 th -25 th 9-10 p.m.. See this link for specific times and routes for the HST: http://www.heavens-above.com