Space and Astronomy

Phases Of The Moon

New Moon

First Quarter

Full Moon

Last Quarter

Friday August 30
3:37 a.m.

Wednesday August 7
10:31 a.m.

Thursday August 15
5:29 a.m.

Friday August 23
7:56 a.m.

The Planets and Special Events

The Perseid Meteor Shower reaches it's peak on the night of August 12/13. The almost Full Moon will interfere. But, Meteors can actually be seen several days before and after. NASA's network of all-sky cameras is already detecting a few Perseid fireballs every night. So try watching early in the month when the young Moon will not interfere.

A Public Star Party with telescopes provided by the Los Angeles Astronomical Society and the Los Angeles Sidewalk Astronomers will take place on the front lawn of the Griffith Observatory from 2 p.m. until 9:45 pm on Saturday August 10..

Venus is too close to the Sun for observing this month.

Jupiter (Mag -2.3) can be seen high in the south at twilight. Great time for observing this beautiful planet.

Mars is hidden by the glare of the Sun this month.

Saturn (Mag +0.2) is visible in the southeast after susnset. It is well placed for viewing all night long. The rings are tilted 25 degrees.

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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