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Images: Best Stargazing Events of August 2013 (Sky Maps)

Juno at Opposition

Saturday, August 3, 2013, 9 p.m. EDT. The asteroid 3 Juno reaches opposition in eastern Aquarius. Four nights later it crosses the boundary into the constellation Aquarius, where it remains until September 1, when it continues into Capricornus.

New Moon, August 2013

Tuesday, August 6, 2013, 5:51 p.m. EDT. The moon is not visible on the date of New Moon because it is too close to the Sun, but can be seen low in the east as a narrow crescent a morning or two before, just before sunrise. It is visible low in the west an evening or two after New Moon.

Mercury, August 2013

Mercury was at its greatest elongation west of the sun on July 30, so will be well placed for observation just before sunrise in the eastern sky for observers in the Northern Hemisphere for the first half of August.

Venus and the Moon, August 2013

Friday, August 9, 2013, sunset. The thin waxing crescent moon passes just south of the bright planet Venus, low in the western sky just after sunset.

Venus, August 2013

Venus is now a bright “evening star” setting just after the sun.

Perseid Meteor Shower, August 2013

Sunday and Monday, August 11 and 12, 2013, all night. The peak of the Perseid meteor shower, usually the best in the year, occurs in the middle of the day on Monday August 12, so both the night before and the night after will both be good to observe meteors. Usually meteors are more frequent after local midnight, around 1 a.m. local daylight saving time. The crescent moon setting before 11 p.m. won’t interfere with the meteors, which are best observed from a dark country location.

Saturn and the Moon, August 2013

Monday, August 12, 2013, evening. Saturn will be just above the waxing crescent moon.

First Quarter Moon, August 2013

Wednesday, August 14, 2013, 6:56 a.m. EDT. The First Quarter Moon rises around 2:30 p.m. and sets around 12:30 a.m. It dominates the evening sky.

Uranus, August 2013

Uranus is in Pisces, rising in the late evening.

Saturn, August 2013

Saturn is low in the southwestern sky as dusk falls, and sets around 11 p.m.

Mars, August 2013

Mars is now a bright object in the morning sky. For the first three weeks of August, Mars is in Gemini, then on August 25 it moves into Cancer.

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