The Things You’ll See
Oh, the things you’ll see. Look up. Look up and you’ll see such amazing things.
Planets – Tomorrow is August 1, 2016. Look up at the night sky and Mars hangs in the blackness of space, big and bold and oh, so red. To it’s upper left, is the second largest planet; a dim, yellow Saturn.
Jupiter, Venus and Mercury are visible at dusk. I’ve always found Mercury to be a challenge to see regularly. It never gets far from the setting or rising Sun, but we can use the moon to help find it on August 4th. The crescent moon will be right next to little Mercury on the 4th – see the diagram from Sky and Telescope.
That’s all five planets visible to the naked eye – and you can find them all on the same night if you look.
ISS – We’re also in a nice time-frame to see the International Space Station. In August, it is making passes over the region in both morning and evening times. Visit Nasa’s website, Spot the Station, to see exact days and times for your location. There is a crew of six living and working on the station right now, so when it passes overhead, wave.
Meteor Shower – Later this month, the Perseid meteor shower peaks on the morning of August 12th. Get up early, about 2 to 3am, and lay on the grass or a lawn chair and just look up. You’ll see scores of meteors every hour. What you’ll be seeing are tiny bits of comet Swift-Tuttle’s debris tail as Earth crosses it’s orbit.
Eclipse – Next year, on August 21st, the United States will see a total eclipse of the sun. The Moons shadow will trace a thin line from Oregon to South Carolina. People within that line will see a total eclipse of the sun. The rest of the country, including New England, will see a partial eclipse.
None of these amazing sights require anything other then your eyes. Just tilt your head back…steady yourself so you don’t topple over and look up. The things you’ll see…so amazing.
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Tags: Eclipse, ISS, meteor shower, perseid, Planets, Sky and Telescope