Night Sky Report
July 30, 2020
Ten Acre Observatory is now open and receiving visitors by appointment only (email us for new rules for COVID-19).
July has provided us with quite a few clear and dark nights that gave us excellent views of the planets and deep sky objects including occasional meteors, satellites and comets (hopefully some of this humidity will go away)!
August is going to provide a treat for those of you that enjoy watching the meteors as the Persied Meteor Shower, peaking in the early morning hours of 12th, promises to reach a projected peak rate nearing 100 meteors per hour. All of the "Summer Sights" are easily visible in the southern and eastern sky during the early evening hours after sunset.
Highlights: On the first the Moon passes to the south of Jupiter. Early on the second it passes to the south of Pluto and later in the evening it passes to the south of Saturn. Mars reaches perihelion on the third at a distance of 128.4 million miles from the Sun. Also occurring on the third is the Full Moon. On the sixth the Moon passes to the south of Neptune and passes to the south of Mars on the ninth.
On the tenth it passes to the south of Uranus. The Moon reaches third quarter on the 11th. The Persieds peak overnight on the evening of the 11th and the morning of the 12th with the highest rate projected to reach close to 100 meteors per hour sometime between 2 and 4 am on the 12th. The Moon passes to the north of Venus on the 15th and on the 17th, Mercury comes into superior conjunction (opposite side of the Sun).
New Moon is on the 18th with first quarter occurring on the 25th. For the second time this month, the Moon passes to the south of Jupiter on the 28th and then to the south of first Pluto then, later, Saturn on the 29th.
Comets: 88 P/Howell Will be visible from dark locations with at least a small telescope as it moves from a point southeast of Spica (alpha Virginis) in a southeasterly direction into the western regions of Libra.
Planetary Report: The Sun is moving from Cancer into Leo as is Mercury. Venus is moving from Taurus, through the northern reaches of Orion and into Gemini by month's end. Mars is in Pisces. Jupiter, Pluto, and Saturn are all in the eastern reaches of Sagittarius. Uranus is moving from Pisces, past the northern edge of Cetus, and into Taurus. And finally Neptune is in Aquarius.
Meteors: The Persied Meteor Shower peaks the morning of the 12th with a peak rate as high as 100 per hour.
FYI: The annual Persied Meteor Shower is courtesy of the Earth's passing through the orbiting debris that has been expelled from Comet 109 P/Swift-Tuttle (173 year period).
Planet Visibility: Evening hours-Jupiter, Pluto, Saturn, and Neptune. Overnight hours: Mars and Uranus. Early morning hours: Venus and Mercury.
Dark Sky viewing starts the eighth and goes through the 22nd with Odyssey Astronomy Club viewing sessions scheduled for the eighth and the 15th.
For information about Ten Acre Observatory, the Odyssey Astronomy Club or to schedule an appointment to come out for a visit, contact us at 405-899-4016 (leave a message) or email us at: [email protected] A visit to the observatory and the use of our equipment and facilities is always FREE.