Astronomical Events for August 26th, 2015
It’s been more than three months since Mars disappeared from our skies and vanished into the golden glow of the evening twilight. It’s finally making its return but is still nearly a year away from being at its best.
If you want a challenge, you’ll need to get up early and find somewhere with a good, clear view of the eastern horizon. Bring a pair of binoculars too; you’ll almost certainly need them, as the red planet will be faint and barely visible in the pre-dawn light.
It’ll be faintest for those in Australia, but at least you’ll have brilliant Venus to help you. Mars will be almost directly north-east but a little closer to the horizon. North American observers may just be able to glimpse Venus, but since Mars is much higher in the sky (and consequently a little brighter) you might not need the extra help. For those in the U.K., you’ll have to do without the help of the planet as it has yet to rise above the eastern horizon.
No matter where you live, look out for Procyon, the brightest star in Canis Minor, as it can also act as a signpost. To spot Mars, Australian observers should scan directly downward toward the horizon, North American observers should look midway between the star and Venus while those in the U.K. can find Mars parallel to Procyon.
Images courtesy of Mobile Observatory.
Other Astronomical Events:
05:05 UT – The waxing gibbous Moon passes Pluto. (Pluto: magnitude 14.1. Sagittarius, evening sky.)
22:02 UT – Jupiter is in conjunction with the Sun. Distance to Earth: 6.399 AU (Jupiter: magnitude -1.7, diameter 30.8”. Leo, not visible.)
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
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