August Skies 2018

August 2018 Skies as seen from Denver Colorado.
Viewing southward in Denver at 10:00 PM on August 15th. Telrad circles are centered on the Lagoon Nebula, M8; note position of the Trifid Nebula, M20, just inside the 4° circle, and thus in most finderscopes’ field of view (remember that M20 will be shown at the bottom of an inverted finderscope view). Vesta passes between b Ophiuchi and C Ophiuchi this month, as illustrated by the thin curving arrow at center-right. Look at last month’s chart to get a feel for this area of Ophiuchus, located right above Scorpius (just off this month’s chart at bottom-right). –Object positions, constellation and meridian lines charted in SkySafari, and then enhanced. (Tap on image above for larger version.)

© Zachary Singer

The Solar System

If you follow the planets, you’re likely aware that Mars is just past opposition at the beginning of August, and thus more or less at its biggest and brightest for the year. Dust storms, though, have blanketed the planet, cloaking surface details that should’ve been visible even in moderately sized telescopes. Recent NASA reports suggest Continue reading “August Skies 2018”