Weekly Stargazing Tips

Provided by StarDate.org. Unless otherwise specified, viewing times are local time regardless of time zone, and are good for the entire Lower 48 states (and, generally, for Alaska and Hawaii).

August 15: Moon and Spica

Spica, the brightest star of Virgo, stands below the Moon this evening. They’re flanked by two bright planets. Jupiter, the giant of the solar system, is to the upper left, with Venus, the “evening star,” to the lower right.

August 16: Moon and Jupiter

Jupiter appears near the Moon tonight. The giant planet looks like a brilliant star to the lower left of the Moon. Zubenelgenubi, one of the brightest stars of Libra, is just a fraction of a degree below Jupiter.

August 17: More Moon and Jupiter

The bright star-like point of light to the lower right of the Moon tonight is Jupiter, the solar system’s largest planet. It is about 11 times Earth’s diameter, and more massive than all the other planets, moons, asteroids, and comets combined.

August 18: Moon and Antares

Look for bright orange Antares, the star at the heart of Scorpius, to the lower left of the Moon as darkness falls tonight. It will be to the lower right of the Moon tomorrow night.

August 19: North vs. South

Most of the action in the evening sky right now is in the south. The four brightest lights in the entire night sky are there — the Moon and the planets Venus, Jupiter, and Mars. So are the planet Saturn, and the bright stars Antares and Spica.

August 20: Moon and Saturn

The Moon slides past Saturn the next couple of nights. The giant planet looks like a bright star. It’s close to the lower left of the Moon tonight, and farther to the right of the Moon tomorrow night.

August 21: Sirius Rising

Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, is low in the east-southeast before sunrise. Also known as the Dog Star for its location in Canis Major, the big dog, it will climb into better view as the month progresses.