Friday, 6 August 2010

Astronomy buffs - the sky this week

David Cooper, President of Mars Society Australia Inc, sent me this information which is from Astronomy WA.

"It's all happening in the evening sky this August.  All five of the naked-eye planets will be visible, four in the west and one in the east. Mercury makes an appearance in the evening sky during the first half of August and is the lowest of the planets in the west.

Above it Venus, Mars and Saturn will gradually change places over several weeks.  Venus may appear to move up past Mars and Saturn, but it's more Venus maintaining its position while Mars and Saturn sink a little lower each night.  Venus is the most brilliant of the three, you may notice a subtle orange colour with Mars and Saturn is yellow.  The moon joins them the 13th.

Jupiter is alone on the eastern side of the sky, rising as Saturn sets.  It has moved out of Aquarius into Pisces - you may spot the 'Circlet' of Pisces to the north of the bright gas giant that marks one of the fishes of this constellation.  It starts August rising around 9.30pm but by the end of the month it is rising around 7pm.

The Perseid meteor shower is active this month and you may hear about it in the news, but for most of us in southern Australia it's just not visible, only people in the far north of Australia, the top end, really have a chance to enjoy it.  If you would like to learn more about this shower and how to see it from Australia go to"

So, tell your friends or any visiting Martians whom you may have as guests.

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