Read our August sky notes to find out what’s in the night sky this month!
These constellations are well placed in the evening this month, but many more can be seen. Check the star map for more.
Aquila appears high in the southern sky at sunset. It moves to set in the west around sunrise, so best views are just after sunset.
Aquarius rises in the south east around midnight and continues to be well placed in the southern sky in the early hours of the morning.
Cygnus appears at sunset very close to the zenith. It gets lower as the night goes on, to set in the west after sunrise, so best views will be just after sunset.
Mercury is too close to the Sun to be seen this month.
Venus only appears immediately above the north eastern horizon just before dawn. It will be very low and therefore difficult to observe.
Mars rises in the east after midnight. It reaches it’s highest point just before dawn in the south eastern sky. Mars will be in conjunction with Uranus on the 1st, and with the Moon on the 19th.
Jupiter rises in the east in the evening. It rises later as the month goes on, so best views will be earlier in the month. Jupiter will be in conjunction with the Moon on the 15th.
Saturn rises in the south east just after sunset and moves across the southern sky over the course of the night. It stays relatively low in the sky this month. Saturn will be in conjunction with the Moon on the 12th, and at opposition on the 14th.
Uranus is too faint to be seen with the naked eye. It rises in the north east and moves high in the southern sky before disappearing at dawn, rising earlier as the month continues. Uranus will be in conjunction with Mars on the 1st, undergoes lunar occultation on the 18th, and enters retrograde motion on the 24th.
Neptune is too faint to be seen with the naked eye. It rises in the east, moves low across the southern sky to set in the west at sunrise.
The Perseids reach their peak on the 13th. The radiant (apparent origin point) of the meteors will be in the constellation of Perseus. This constellation is circumpolar so meteors can be seen all night long. Best displays are likely to be just before dawn as Perseus reaches its highest point after sunrise. You will be able to see around 144 meteors per hour.
The κ-Cygnids reach their peak on the 18th. The radiant (apparent origin point) of the meteors will be in the constellation of Draco. This constellation is circumpolar so meteors will be visible all night. Best displays are likely to be around 22:00 BST when Draco is highest in the sky. You will be able to see around 2 meteors per hour.
Full Moon: 12th
Last Quarter: 19th
New Moon: 27th
First Quarter: 5th
The Moon reaches perigee, its closest point to the Earth, on the 10th and apogee, its furthest point on the 22nd. This effect is not visually apparent.
The Moon will be at aphelion, its furthest point from the Sun, on the 10th and 23rd and perihelion, its closet point to the Sun, on the 29th. This effect is not visually apparent.
Points of Interest
Asteroid 4 Vesta is at opposition on the 22nd. It lies in the constellation of Aquarius and reaches its highest point around midnight. This will be visible with standard binoculars but stays low on the horizon.
Visit Spot the Station to find out when the ISS will be visible from your location.
Last updated: 26th July.