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    Articles > August 2002
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David Levy's Guide to the Stars

All skywatchers need a planisphere. It will quickly show the night sky for any time and date. More info»

  August 2002 Sky Calendar
1 Last Quarter Moon at 10:22 UT.
2 Neptune reaches opposition at 17h UT. Magnitude +7.8.
5 Moon occults star cluster M35 at 13:15 UT as seen from Hawaii. Moon is 26-day old thin crescent.
6 Mercury 0.8° from Regulus at 4h UT. Best viewed from Southern Hemisphere (evening).
8 New Moon at 19:15 UT. Beginning of lunation 985.
10 Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 23h UT (distance 362,927 km; angular size 32.9').
10 Mars in conjunction with the Sun (not visible).
12 Venus near 4-day old crescent Moon at 3h UT. Visible at dusk from North America on August 11.
13 Perseid meteor shower peak predicted at 8h UT. One of the best "shooting star" displays of the year. Other peaks predicted at 20h and 22h UT on 12 August. Best viewing nights for skywatchers in North America are August 11­12 and 12­13. The Perseid meteors are fast, bright, and often leave persistent trains. Observe from late evening onwards after the Moon has set. The location of the Perseid radiant is shown on the sky map [Northern Hemisphere only].
14 Mars furthest from Earth (2.671AU) at 12h UT. In August 2003, 12 months from now, Mars will make its closest approach to Earth in thousands of years!
15 First Quarter Moon at 10:12 UT.
18 Flyby of Asteroid 2002 NY40 visible mostly from Earth's northern hemisphere. Experienced skywatchers can use binoculars to follow 2002 NY40 as it moves across the sky. Peak brightness is estimated at magnitude +9. More info and finder chart at: Science@NASA
20 Uranus reaches opposition at 1h UT. Shines at magnitude +5.7 in Capricornus near Aquarius border.
21 Venus at greatest elongation, 46° east of the Sun.
22 Full Moon at 22:29 UT. The full Moon of August is called the "Green Corn Moon" or "Grain Moon" in old almanacs.
26 Moon at apogee (furthest from Earth) at 18h UT (distance 405,694 km; angular size 29.5').
31 Last Quarter Moon at 2:31 UT.
31 Venus 0.8° from Spica at 18h UT. Magnitudes are ­4.4 and +1.0, respectively. Best seen from Europe and Africa at dusk on August 31.
Also... Saturn an early-morning object in Taurus, shines high in the sky at magnitude +0.1 with a distinct yellow color. Jupiter is much lower in the morning sky as it emerges from twilight. Shines at magnitude ­1.8 throughout the month. Jupiter climbs higher in the morning sky after mid-month.

Clear skies till next month!

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