Astronomy Minute

Good Views of Planets in August – Earth will be passing between the sun and the planets Saturn (8/2) and then Jupiter (8/19) during August. This is called opposition and means two important things for us. At opposition, the planets are opposite the sun in our sky. Thus, they come up over the eastern horizon early in the evening. Additionally, they are as bright as they get for the next year or so because the earth is as close as it will be until the next oppositions with these planets. So, look southeast in early evening. Venus is also quite obvious now. This brightest planet has emerged from behind the sun and is climbing higher in the western sky each evening. Oh, and don’t forget the Perseid meteor shower late evenings on August 11-13. Best viewing is from midnight to 4am! Happy viewing!

By Russ Hanson