Southern California Desert Video Astronomers
To educate & promote astronomy in order to preserve the dark skies of the California Desert and everywhere for future generations.
SCDVA, moving the line for dark skies
For our next Star Party Event, To Be Announced
Why Not Make it an All Nighter Under the Starry Nights of the Joshua Tree Desert Skies.
Make your camping reservations early
at the Joshua Tree Lake RV & Campground
* * * * * *
The Globe at Night campaign of
Next Event September 15 - 24
For more info go to
Globe at Night
Contact us at:
Scroll down to see
in our night skies
Check out the
Joshua Tree Astronomy Arts Theater
for further & future details
Visible Planets for August.
We have 5 visible planets this month. Mars and Saturn pop into view as soon as darkness falls throughout August. Mercury, the innermost planet, transitions into the evening sky on August 8. Venus and Jupiter, the sky’s brightest and second-brightest planets.
As the days start getting shorter and the nights longer, The Milky Way is the "star" of the night skies at the beginning of the month and at the end of the month due to very little to no moonlight.
On the 2nd, Minor auroras might be visible across the northern U.S. and southern Canada tonight, the result of a coronal mass ejection from an erupting filament on July 30th Also on the 2nd, the waxing crescent moon will pass just north of the planet Mars and will be visible the western sky just after sunset.
On the 3rd at 5:50 p.m. PDT is the First Quarter Moon. The First Quarter Moon rises around 10:30 a.m. and sets around 09:15 p.m. PDT. Making room for the Milky Way to pop overhead.
photo credit: starry night software
Aug. 10th, 2:09 p.m. EDT Full "Super Moon"
This is the closest and largest full Moon of the year, an annual event that has come to be known as a "Super Moon" by the media. The truth is that it is only slightly larger and brighter than normal and most people are not really able to tell the difference.
This Augusts Full Moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Sturgeon Moon because the large sturgeon fish of the Great Lakes and other major lakes were more easily caught at this time of year. This Full Moon known as the Corn Moon, Green Corn Moon, Red Moon, or Grain Moon.
It rises around sunset and sets around sunrise; this is the only night in the month when the moon is in the sky all night long. The rest of the month, the moon spends at least some time in the daytime sky. Tonight the moon is very close, known as perigee, (the point where an object traveling around the Earth is closest) only 221,765 miles from Earth, resulting in high tides.
Aug. 12th/13th The Perseid meteors peak
Produced by comet Swift-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1862. The Perseids are famous for producing a large number of bright meteors. The shower runs annually from July 17 to August 24.
It peaks this year on the night of August 12 and the morning of August 13. Best time for viewing is 01:00am 'til dawn. Sadly, the bright moon will interfere with the Perseid meteor shower. But you may get some good views in earlier at the beginning and the end of the month.
August 18th - 20th
Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is always a highlight in the evening. And for you early birds, on the 18th Jupiter and Venus will rise together around 5 a.m., they will be only 15 arc minutes apart, ( A unit of angular measure equal to 60 arc seconds, or 1/60 of a degree.) making them able to fit into the lens view of a telescope. Another highlight of that morning thru the 20th is, if you happen to have a very low clear view of the eastern horizon is Venus and the Beehive. Venus passes just south of the Beehive Star Cluster in Cancer.
Aug. 25, New Moon
The moon is not visible on the date of New Moon because it is too close to the Sun, but can be seen low in the East as a narrow crescent a morning or two before, just before sunrise. It is visible low in the West an evening or two after New Moon. Perfect time for some serious star gazing.
In the early evening Saturn will be just to the right of the crescent moon in North America. But if you happen to be observing in West Africa will see the moon pass in front of Saturn.
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Last updated August 24, 2014