August 2022 – What’s Up!

Week of 8th August

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 23:16 BST at the beginning of the week and at 22:55 BST by the end of the week
  • The Perseid meteor shower peaks on Friday. Under dark skies the Perseids can produce around 100 meteors per hour, but this year the Full Moon coincides with the peak and will drown out all but the brightest meteors, so expect a much lower ZHR. The Perseids are caused by Earth passing through debris deposited by comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle
  • Saturn reaches opposition on Sunday, the point in its orbit when it lies directly opposite the Sun from Earth. It will appear larger and brighter than usual at 18.8 arcseconds and magnitude +0.3, making this the best time to observe the planet
  • The Moon is Full on Friday
  • The Sun currently has five active regions: AR 3068, 3071, 3072, 3073 & 3074. The sunspot number is 69
  • There are no visible evening ISS passes this week

Week of 1st August

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 23:43 BST at the beginning of the week and at 23:20 BST by the end of the week
  • As Saturn approaches opposition on the 14th August, this is a good time to start observing the ringed gas giant. It rises at around 21:15 BST and culminates at around 02:00 BST, so is well placed for evening observing in our southeastern sky. It is quite low to the horizon at around 16°. Note how the rings appear to brighten each night as it approaches opposition
  • The Moon is First Quarter on Friday
  • The Sun currently has two active regions: AR 3062 & 3068. The sunspot number is 27
  • There are no visible evening ISS passes this week