Space and Astronomy

Phases Of The Moon

New Moon

First Quarter

Full Moon

Last Quarter

Saturday August 27
1:17 a.m.

Friday August 5
4:07 a.m.

Thursday August 11
6:36 p.m.

Thursday August 18
9:36 p.m.

The Planets and Special Events

The Perseids Meteor Shower peaks on the night of August 12-13. But, they are actually active from July 14 - September 1. Unfortunately the Full Moon will interfere at the peak of the shower.

Venus (Mag -3.8) can be found in the early morning sky in the southeast. Venus rises at 4:20 a.m. on the 1st.

Jupiter (Mag -2.8) can be found in the late evening sky and rises at 10:38 p.m. in the east on the 1st.

Mars (Mag +0.0) rises in the east at 12:31 a.m. on the 1st.

Saturn (Mag +0.3) rises in the east at 8:35 p.m. on the 1st and a few minutes earlier each morning aftrer.

Reprinted with permission, the information above is made available in the Griffith Observer , a monthly publication by the Griffith Observatory. For complete information on the Planets and other items related to Astronomy, please visit the Griffith Observatory Web Site.

Fun Facts

When you hear somebody talk about a celestial object being 30° (or 30 degrees) above the horizon, how in the world do you know how far up that is ? Well, hold your hand out at arms length with your thumb and fingers together, the palm of your hand facing you with the sky behind it. The distance from the edge of the little finger on the bottom of your palm to the edge of your thumb on the top is about 10° (10 degrees). Two palm widths is 20°, three is 30° and so on.

The theory that our Sun is the center of the universe and our planets revolve around it was first documented by Nicolas Copernicus. The interesting thing is that Copernicus was a Catholic Priest and Philosopher, not an Astronomer. But he believed that God would have made the movements of the planets more simple than the previously documented theory (which was very complex). As we know today, Corpernicus was right !

Space and Astronomy Related Links

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