August is a GREAT month for watching the night sky. For me, there are two things I am looking for: first the Perseids. The meteor shower peaks on 12 to 13 August. The question is, and what has me concerned is the moon, more about this weekend. Second is the solar eclipse, no surprise there, I have plans even if it is cloudy — ham radio time!
Around here the nights are pretty short but warm. Great month to pack up a small telescope and go camping!
Try looking for globular clusters, one of my favorite summer night sights. You will need a star chart, fortunately you can download a great program to help – yes I have used it for a long while and it is free.
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Kathryn Mersmann give us this new look at the Earth after dark showing what we humans are doing. While it is quite a sight, it does point out the light pollution as it exists today.
April is a great month for this kind of thing because it is time for Globe at Night. GAN is a GREAT project!! Visit the website and get the kids involved (teachers this is a grand class project!!). The process is really quite easy, you need no special equipment and everything you need to know is at the Globe at Night website and you can compare your findings with the rest of the world.
Tonight is “my night” to see this location stacks up. My old residence was pretty good, I had a limiting magnitude of about 6.0. I will let you know.
Jupiter is at opposition today so if you are thinking it is brighter than normal in the night sky you are correct! It will be around a magnitude -2.48 or so, grab a pair of binoculars and check it out you will be able to see the moons too. If have a telescope it is an excellent target. That’s what I am up to if the rains move away.