August 2017

2 Moon Near Antares

2 Venus 2.4° S of M35 Up early to observe this.

2 Moon at Apogee

7 Full moon

12 Perseid meteor shower. Average magnitude of meteors is 2.2, ZHR 100. We will be at the Battle of Britain Memorial in Capel le Ferne from 21:00. Unless there’s cloud, in which case there will be a lot of swearing.

Objects of note:

Messier 15 or M15 (also designated NGC 7078) is a globular cluster in the constellation Pegasus. It was discovered by Jean-Dominique Maraldi in 1746 and included in Charles Messier’s catalogue of comet-like objects in 1764. At an estimated 12.0 billion years old, it is one of the oldest known globular clusters.

M15 is about 33,600 light-years from Earth, and 175 light years in diameter. Messier 15 is one of the most densely packed globulars known in the Milky Way galaxy.

Home to over 100,000 stars, the cluster is notable for containing 112 variable stars and 8 pulsars.

At magnitude 6.2, M15 approaches naked eye visibility under good conditions and can be observed with binoculars or a small telescope, appearing as a fuzzy star. Telescopes with a larger aperture (at least 6 in./150 mm diameter) will start to reveal individual stars.

Messier 3 (M3 or NGC 5272) is a globular cluster of stars in the northern constellation of Canes Venatici. It was discovered by Charles Messier on May 3, 1764, and resolved into stars by William Herschel around 1784. Since then, it has become one of the best-studied globular clusters.

Messier 2 or M2 (also designated NGC 7089) is a globular cluster in the constellation Aquarius, five degrees north of the star Beta Aquarii. It was discovered by Jean-Dominique Maraldi in 1746 while he was observing a comet with Jacques Cassini. Charles Messier rediscovered it in 1760, but thought it a nebula without any stars associated with it. William Herschel, in 1783, was the first to resolve individual stars in the cluster.

The Saturn Nebula or NGC 7009 is a planetary nebula in the constellation Aquarius. It appears as a greenish-yellowish hue in a small amateur telescope. It was discovered by William Herschel on September 7, 1782, using a telescope of his own design in the garden at his home in Datchet, England, and was one of his earliest discoveries in his sky survey. The nebula was originally a low-mass star that ejected its layers into space. The central star is now a bright white dwarf star of apparent magnitude 11.5.

Collinder 399 (Cr 399) is a random grouping of stars located in the constellation Vulpecula near the border with Sagitta. Collinder 399 is known as Al Sufi’s Cluster or Brocchi’s Cluster. The brighter members of this star cluster form an asterism also known as the Coathanger.


The planet Uranus makes a return to the northern skies in august, as we get further in to August Uranus will be higher above the horizon and can be found in the lower part of the left fish. You can use the constellation of Aries to help you find the planet.