Sky Map

Evening sky in August 2016

The constellation of Virgo, the Maiden is not easy to recognize. Look for its brightest star, Spica, marking the hip of the Maiden, halfway above the western horizon. Spica is a binary star with the two stars so close together that no telescope can resolve them as individual stars. High above the southwestern horizon are the stars of Crux, the Southern Cross. Three of its stars are bright while the fourth is somewhat fainter. Careful observation will reveal an even fainter fifth star. Higher up are the bright Pointers, Alpha and Beta Centauri, part of Centaurus, the Centaur. To the northwest the bright star Arcturus helps one locate Boötes, the Herdsman, while Altair, above the northeast is the brightest star in Aquila, the Eagle. To the southeast is Fomalhaut, brightest star in Piscis Austrinus, the Southern Fish. Directly overhead is Scorpius, the Scorpion, with its brightest star the red supergiant, Antares.

The red planet Mars outshines Antares in Scorpius. Planet Saturn is relatively nearby in Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer. Look out for planets Jupiter, Venus and Mercury presenting a spectacular show low in the west after sunset.

The Moon is in the early evening sky from 4 August until 20 August.

 

 

 

 

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