Skies for July and August 2005

Venus and Jupiter are now prominent in the Western sky at sunset and visible until around 11 p.m. in most areas, with Venus, the brighter of the two, setting first. Jupiter and Venus are getting closer to each other and will be within a few degrees of each other by the end of August and start of September.

The very dim Neptune and Uranus are now in the evening sky and near their closest positions to Earth, but you will still need a telescope to find and see both objects which are well below eye visibility.

Mars is still in the morning sky, seen high in the South West at sunrise. It will be moving into the evening skies by the winter season where it will be seen brightly all night long.

Saturn is moving into the morning sky, but too close to the sun to be seen until later in the fall.

The Perseid meteor shower, the most reliable visible eye parade of streaks in the midnight sky, occurs on August 12th and 13th. Best time to view is from Midnight until about 3 a.m. This would be the night of the 11th going into the morning of the 12th and the night of the 12th going into the morning of the 13th.

You generally see about 40 meteor streaks per hour in a dark, clear, rural sky and maybe 20 of the brighter ones per hour in the city skies. Look up overhead and a little to the North and West to see this shower the best.


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