Southern Colorado Skies / August 19-25, 2018

Consider a planetarium program to help you plan your observations. There are many commercial products available; an excellent program (STELLARIUM) is available free at http://www.stellarium.org/.

THIS WEEK

Early in the week, look for the waxing Moon to slide by Saturn then on towards Mars.

Wednesday (August 22)

As shown in the above graphic, the waxing gibbous Moon is to the upper right (west) of Mars. If you look farther west just after dark, you can also see Saturn, Jupiter and Venus all lined up along the ecliptic.

DAYLIGHT


PLANETS

Mercury (in Cancer)

Mercury is lost in the glare of the Sun this week.

Venus (in Virgo)

Look for Venus low in the west shortly after sunset, but look soon – Venus is dropping a bit lower every day.

Mars (in Capricornus/Sagittarius)

The bright red planet is dimming, but on the other hand it now rises higher in the southeast earlier in the evening; Mars is in its best viewing position in the south about 11 p.m. The bad news is that the dust storm is still obscuring details on the surface of Mars – the good news is that the storm is still thinning and some dark surface markings may be visible. Grab a look – Mars won’t be this big again until 2035!

Jupiter (in Libra)

Jupiter appears in the southwest during twilight. The best views are soon after dark.

Saturn (in Sagittarius)

Look for Saturn just above ‘spout’ of the Sagittarius ‘teapot.’ The ringed planet will rise before dusk, and its rings are still tilted near their maximum angle.

Uranus (in Aries/Pisces)

Look in the east between midnight and 1 a.m.

Neptune (in Aquarius)

Look in the southeast between midnight and 1 a.m.

BRIGHT IRIDIUM FLARES

The following data are based on my location in Pueblo West, Colorado. If you live well outside this area, you should consider checking this information for your location in order to be assured of accurate times, elevations, etc. If you’re unfamiliar with Iridium flares, check out my short article at: http://scaspueblo.com/blog/2017/02/25/iridium-flares/.

Tuesday (August 21) 9:28:14 p.m. / Magnitude -2.5 / E / Elevation 49 degrees

 

INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION (ISS) and TIANGONG2 (CHINESE SPACE STATION)

These are too numerous to list here! If you’re seriously interested, load the ISS DETECTOR or HEAVENS-ABOVE app on your smart phone or tablet.

Carpe noctem

Dave Furry
Pueblo West, Colorado

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