Southern Colorado Skies / August 26-September 1, 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

Each day this week, look for Mercury finally making an appearance after a long absence.

Sunday (August 26)

Full Moon at 5:56 a.m. MDT.

DAYLIGHT


PLANETS

Mercury (in Cancer/Leo)

Look for elusive Mercury in the east-northeast about 45 minutes before sunrise (see above graphic). Over the course of this week Mercury will double in brightness.

Venus (in Virgo)

Look for Venus low in the west-southwest 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 between 10 and 11 p.m. The dust storm is reportedly thinning and some dark surface markings may be visible. Grab a look while you can!

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 around midnight.

Neptune (in Aquarius)

Look in the southeast around midnight.

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 28) 8:55:09 p.m. / Magnitude -3.5 / ESE / Elevation 55 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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