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Star Gazing - August 19, 2019

Monday, August 19

• Whenever bright Vega crosses nearest your zenith, as it does right after dark now, you know that the
Sagittarius Teapot must be at its highest due south, even if it's hidden by buildings or trees.

Two hours later when Deneb crosses closest to the zenith, it's the turn of little Delphinus and boat-shaped
Capricornus down below it to stand at their highest due south.

Tuesday, August 20

• August is prime Milky Way time now that the Moon is finally leaving the evening sky. After twilight fully
ends, the Milky Way runs from Sagittarius in the south, up and left across Aquila and through the big Summer
Triangle very high in the east, and on down through Cassiopeia to Perseus rising low in the north-northeast.

Wednesday, August 21

• Different people have an easier or harder time seeing star colors, especially subtle ones. To me, the tints of
bright stars stand out a little better in a sky that's still the deep blue of late twilight.

For instance, the two brightest stars of summer are Vega, overhead at that time, and Arcturus, shining in the
west. Vega is white with just a touch of blue. Arcturus is a yellow-orange giant. Do their colors stand out a
little better for you in late twilight? Could this be a contrast effect of seeing yellow, orange, or orange-red
stars on a blue background?

Thursday, August 22

• Take advantage of these moonless late evenings to use your scope to pick out the asteroids Eunomia (now
magnitude 8.4), Laetitia (9.4), and Psyche (9.8) just north of the Capricornus star pattern — using the article
and chart in the August Sky & Telescope, page 48.
Moon and Aldebaran before dawn, Aug. 23-25, 2019

As seen in early dawn, the waning Moon now crosses Taurus.

Friday, August 23

• Last-quarter Moon (exactly so at 10:56 a.m. on this date). The Moon rises tonight around midnight or so
(depending on your location), below the Pleiades. Accompanying the Moon will be orange Aldebaran. By the
beginning of dawn Saturday morning, they all stand high in the southeast.

Saturday, August 24

• In the early-morning hours of Sunday, the waning Moon is even closer to 3rd-magnitude Zeta Tauri, one of
the Taurus horn-tips. The bright limb of the Moon occults the star for the western US and Mexico before or
during dawn.
current night sky over Nashville, TN
Sky map by AstroViewer®
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Starry, Starry Night . . .
"I know nothing of any certainty, but the sight of the stars
makes me dream." -Vincent Van Gogh