Today’s Astronomical Events – August 19th, 2015

Tonight the waxing crescent Moon passes Spica, the brightest star in the constellation of Virgo. Like yesterday, those in Australia will get the best view with Mercury still shining brightly above the western horizon.

Observers in the United Kingdom won’t be so lucky. Mercury will be too low and Spica will be very close to the horizon but using binoculars might help the spot the faint star. For those in North America, Spica should present no problems at all, especially with the Moon quite close by. The Moon will drift past the star and then appear near to Saturn around the 22nd of the month.

(Click on an image to enlarge. Adapted from 2015: An Astronomical Year, available in Kindle and paperback formats from Amazon in the US, Canada and the United Kingdom.)

Images courtesy of Mobile Observatory.



16:15 UT – Mercury appears 1.3° south of asteroid 3 Juno. (Mercury: 75% illuminated, magnitude -0.1, diameter 5.8”. Juno: magnitude 10.7. Leo, not visible.)

19:22 UT – The waxing crescent Moon passes Spica. (Naked eye, Virgo, evening sky. See images above.)

Venus returns to Cancer from Leo. (2% illuminated, magnitude -4.0, diameter 57.5”. Not visible.)

The Beta Cassiopeid meteor shower ends. A maximum zenith hourly rate: 10. (Naked eye, Cassiopeia, all night but best seen in the pre-dawn sky.)



Events in bold involve objects and/or events that are visible with the naked eye.

All times are in Universal Time (UTC). To convert the time to your timezone, click here.

2015 An Astronomical Year (Kindle Edition) 2016 An Astronomical Year Paperback Cover 2016 The Night Sky Sights The Astronomical Almanac 2015-2019

2015: An Astronomical Year

2016: An Astronomical Year 2016: The Night Sky Sights The Astronomical Almanac (2015-2019) The Amateur Astronomer’s Notebook (Pocket Edition)

(Kindle & Paperback)

(Kindle & Paperback) (Kindle & Paperback) (Kindle & Paperback)


Amazon – US

Amazon – US Amazon – US Amazon – US Amazon – US
Amazon – UK Amazon – UK  Amazon – UK Amazon – UK

Amazon – UK

Details of all available books across the world can be found here or by visiting the author’s page on Amazon. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me at astronomywriter “at”


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