Night Skies for July and August 2004



Jupiter is still very prominent in the western sky at sunset, setting about two hours later. It is that very bright white star-like object you see about half-way up from the Southwestern sky.

Saturn and Mars are barely with us and will be approaching the sun as they head back into the morning skies, along with Venus that will slowly be seen in the early morning sky by late July, becoming very, very prominent throughout all of August. It will be that brilliant blue-white star-like object you see half-way up in the East two hours before sunrise by the middle of August as it reaches greatest brilliancy with only the moon and Sun brighter in the sky.

In mid-Augst the Perseid meter shower, one of the best and most regular nake eye events, will be seen around and after midnight. Look up to the top of the sky (the zeinth) and to the North and on a clear, moonless night you will easly see a dozen or more streaks of debris burning up in our atmosphere as the Earth passes through a band of matter probably left over from a comet long, long ago.

By the end of August Saturn and Mars still start to become visible in the morning sky and will remain their through the rest of this year, becoming spectacular in the winter months as they start to head back into the evening sky late at night, shining until just before dawn.

By that time, of course, Venus will return to the evening sky and Jupiter will once more be seen in the morning sky.






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