• View of the Milky Way from Oak Bluffs.
  • Ray Mandra

Cool Moon and Saturn

For those overwhelmed by the hot summer sun high above, the moon offers a different persona. No one gets overcooked from moon beams. And every night, the moon has a slight change, working from one phase to another.

Saturday night, the first quarter moon appears low in the southern sky, near the planet Saturn. The two are in the zodiacal constellation Scorpius. If you are outside for awhile with a cool glass of lemonade, you can’t miss them as they slowly drift to the west as the night proceeds. They’ll set together around midnight. Saturn appears as the brightest “star” near the moon.

For the next several nights, the moon moves through the southernmost zodiacal constellations. For those who love to go fishing at night, or stargazing at the beach, this is a sweet time to enjoy the stars and the moon. On Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights, the moon moves through the constellation Sagittarius. The height of the moon in the southern sky now is identical to the height of the mid-day sun in December.

Astronomers have long known that the center of the Milky Way is in Sagittarius. Use the moon as a guide to find this unique area of the heavens.

Venus is Back
Venus, the brightest planet, is back. The planet caught a lot of attention in spring and in the early part of summer setting in the west. But now Venus is back as a morning planet.

Venus is close too. The planet was in inferior conjunction a week ago, at its closest to the Earth and almost directly between the Sun and our Earth. Venus is now speeding past the Earth in its orbit around the Sun.

You may see the planet low in the southeastern sky, just before sunrise. It gets higher in the sky as we move closer to autumn.

Sunrise and Sunset
Fri., August 215:557:33
Sat., August 225:567:31
Sun., August 235:577:29
Mon., August 245:587:28
Tues., August 255:597:26
Wed., August 266:007:25
Thurs., August 276:017:23
Fri., August 286:027:22

Temperatures and Precipitation
DayMax (Fº)Min (Fº)Inches
August 1482600.00
August 1584640.00
August 1683670.00
August 1786690.00
August 1886710.00
August 1985700.00
August 2085690.00



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