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Best Night Sky Events of August 2015 (Stargazing Maps)

The Sky in August: Last Quarter Moon

Starry Night Software

See what's up in the night sky for August 2015, including stargazing events and the moon's phases, in this Space.com gallery courtesy of Starry Night Software.

New Moon, August 2015

Starry Night Software

Wednesday/Thursday, Aug. 5/6, dawn. 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.

First Quarter Moon, August 2015

Starry Night Software

Saturday, Aug. 22, 3:31 p.m. EDT. The First Quarter Moon rises around noon and sets around midnight. It dominates the evening sky.

Full Moon, August 2015

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Saturday, Aug. 29, 2:35 p.m. EDT. The August Full Moon is known as the Corn Moon, Sturgeon Moon, Red Moon, Green Corn Moon, or Grain Moon. It rises around sunset and sets around sunrise; this is the only night in the month when the moon is in the sky all night long. The rest of the month, the moon spends at least some time in the daytime sky.

Uranus and the Moon, August 2015

Starry Night Software

Wednesday/Thursday, Aug. 5/6, dawn. The moon will be close to Uranus just before sunrise. In southern South America, the Falkland Islands, and parts of Antarctica, the moon will actually occult Uranus.

Mercury and Jupiter Within 0.6 Degrees, August 2015

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Thursday, Aug. 6, dusk. Mercury and Jupiter will pass close to each other, appearing within the same telescope field.

Mercury, Jupiter and Regulus Within 1 Degree, August 2015

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Friday, Aug. 7, dusk. These three bright objects will form a tight triangular pattern low in the western sky after sunset.

Aldebaran and the Moon, August 2015

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Saturday, Aug. 8, early morning. The waning crescent moon will pass close to the bright red star Aldebaran low in morning twilight. The moon will occult Aldebaran as seen from the Middle East, eastern Europe, northwestern Asia, Scandinavia, Russia, Alaska, and northwestern Canada.

Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks, August 2015

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Thursday, Aug. 13, 2 a.m. The Perseid meteor shower is always the most reliable in the year, and this year benefits from having the moon out of the sky for most of the night.

Mars in the Beehive, August 2015

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Thursday, Aug. 20, before dawn. Mars, just past conjunction with the sun, passes in front of the Beehive Cluster, Messier 44.

Moon Close to Perigee, August 2015

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Saturday, Aug. 29, 8 p.m. local time. The moon will be closest to the Earth at 11 a.m. on Aug. 30, 222,631 miles or 358,290 km. distant. The moon will be below the horizon at that time for observers in North America. The best time to observe this “supermoon” will be just after it rises on Saturday night, Aug. 29. Those living near the ocean should expect higher tides than normal for the next few days.

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Geoff Gaherty was Space.com's Night Sky columnist and in partnership with Starry Night software and a dedicated amateur astronomer who sought to share the wonders of the night sky with the world. Based in Canada, Geoff studied mathematics and physics at McGill University and earned a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Toronto, all while pursuing a passion for the night sky and serving as an astronomy communicator. He credited a partial solar eclipse observed in 1946 (at age 5) and his 1957 sighting of the Comet Arend-Roland as a teenager for sparking his interest in amateur astronomy. In 2008, Geoff won the Chant Medal from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, an award given to a Canadian amateur astronomer in recognition of their lifetime achievements. Sadly, Geoff passed away July 7, 2016 due to complications from a kidney transplant, but his legacy continues at Starry Night.