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CURRENT SKY HIGHLIGHTS

Be VERY CAREFUL NOT TO OBSERVE SUN DIRECTLY!  INSTANT BLINDNESS CAN OCCUR!!!  Instruments can explode!!! Cease viewing before Sun actually rises 
if you're using binoculars or telescope!!!  

Hubble Space Telescope imaged Aurorae on Saturn in 2004, images two days apart and in UV band.  Aurorae on Saturn are more closely modulated by Solar Wind than aurorae on Earth and Jupiter, and persist for several days on Saturn.

PLANET and SKY INFORMATION:  (updated August 14th, 2014)

Major Sky Events upcoming:

Planet Parade:
Mercury will be breifly visible low in predawn eastern sky next several weeks but use extreme caution trying to search for Mercury near the Sun!

Bright coppery Mars is low in western sky by twilight, brightest and orangiest dot in that part of sky, don't confuse with Mars' rival, star Antares, same color, but further toward the east.  Mars is edging toward Saturn, the yellowish dot currently to upper left of Mars, Mars appears to slide to left under Saturn night by night, will appear closest adjacent on August 23rd due to line of sight effect, the planets are separted actually by almost a billion miles distance-wise.

Jupiter is low in the predawn eastern sky, with Venus sneaking up to provide pair of bright whitish dots almost appearing to touch, but very low in the predawn eastern sky on August 18th, as Venus appears to drift closer to Sun due to its orbital position being more in line with Earth's.

Golden Saturn appears low in western sky by darkness, slightly above the redder dot of Mars, don't confuse with brilliant golden star, Arcturus, which shines more toward north, higher in sky, and brighter than Saturn.

If you are an early riser, brilliant Venus rises in east around 400 AM just ahead of sunrise, will remain as the "morning star" for several more weeks.  The Crescent Moon slips by Venus later in the month, making a stunning pairing, and Venus slips by Jupiter on August 18th as mentioned above.

Uranus and Neptune are emerging from being opposite the Sun from where we are, so are just becoming visible in wee hours if you have a telescope.

The constellations of Spring are setting in the dusk western sky, led by Leo with its bright stars, Regulus and Denebola, and followed by Virgo with the bright blue star, Spica.

The Summer Triangle is visible high overhead by darkness, marked by stars Vega, Deneb, and Altair.

Galaxy M31, the Great Andromeda Galaxy, rises after sky achieves total darkness, and will be higher in the east each night.

If you stay up into wee hours, observe Capella, the bright star of Auriga, appears in the northeast, and the stars of Orion just peak out in the southeast prior to morning twilight, harbingers of Fall and Winter.


 
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