August 2019 Sky Chart

 

Observing Tips

If possible, observe at a dark location and when the Moon is not bright. A bright Moon will make it more difficult to see the stars and impossible to see clusters, nebulae and galaxies. Only a small telescope at lower magnifications, around 50x, is required to see the objects listed below. The planets and Moon are best observed with a telescope around 100x.

 

New Moon.

Thursday August 1

 

First Quarter.

Wednesday August 7

 

Full Moon.

Thursday August 16

 

Last Quarter.

Friday August 23

 

New Moon.

Friday August 30

August Notes

At the zenith is HERCULES, containing the 4 stars of the Keystone and on one of its sides, the favourite globular cluster, M13. To its west side is CORONA BOREALIS and BOOTES, punctuated by Arcturus. The Plough handle curves and points to Arcturus and then “speeds on” to Spica in VIRGO. To the east of Hercules is the small constellation LYRA and then, CYGNUS, which forms the Northern Cross. The three stars, Vega, Deneb and Altair form the Summer Triangle. Due south, just above the horizon, is SCORPIUS and to its left SAGITTARIUS. The centre to our Milky Way Galaxy lies in this direction, where a giant black hole resides. This is the thickest part of the Milky Way Band and is a great area to scan with binoculars

Objects marked with  are best with binoculars, or a small telescope, because these objects are large in size.

Clusters, Nebulae & Galaxies

 Albireo. This 3rd magnitude star becomes two stars, a blue and gold splendour, in a telescope with just 50x.

 Coma Cluster. Sprinkle of 40+ stars. Appears as a faint haze in dark skies. In COMA BERENICES.

 Coat hanger Cluster. Ten stars that form the shape of a wire coat hanger. In VULPECULA.

 IC4665. A cluster of 30 stars that is best viewed with binoculars. It spans an area larger than the Moon. In OPHIUCHUS.

M4. Globular Cluster. Distance: 7,200 ly, Mag 5.6. Contains 10,000+ stars. In SCORPIUS. Worth trying with binoculars

M6. Similar to and above M7, this cluster also has 80 stars but it is a little fainter and 1/4 the size. In SCORPIUS.

M7. Ptolemy’s Cluster. A great cluster, nice in binoculars or a telescope. About 80 stars at magnitude 3.3 spanning an area lager than the Moon. Can see as a “fuzzy patch” with the naked eye. In SCORPIUS.

M13. Globular Cluster. Distance: 21,000 ly, Mag 5.8. Contains 500,000 stars. In HERCULES. Also worth trying with binoculars

M22. Globular Cluster. Distance: 10,400 ly, Mag 5.1. 100,000+ stars. In SAGITTARIUS.

M51. Whirlpool Galaxy. Distance: 37 million ly, Mag 8.1. In CANES VENATICI.

M57. Ring Nebula (Planetary). Distance: 1360 ly, Mag 9. In LYRA. Remnants of a dying star.

M81/82. Bode’s Galaxies. Visible in many light polluted skies. M82 shaped like a cigar. Mags 6.8/8.1. In URSA MAJOR.

Mizar. Two stars with good eyes or binoculars. Three stars with a telescope at 50x. Located in the handle of the Plough.

Meteor Showers

The PERSEIDS peak around August 15 with 120–160 meteors/hour.