The Night Sky - August 2018
High Lights of the Month
Noctilucent clouds also known as polar mesospheric clouds are most commonly seen in the deep twilight towards the north from our latitude. They are the highest clouds in the atmosphere at heights of around 80 km or 50 miles. Normally too faint to be seen they are visible when illuminated by sunlight from below the northern horizon whilst the lower parts of the atmosphere are in shadow. So on a clear dark night as light is draining from the north western sky after sunset take a look towards the north and you might just spot them.
Perseid Meteor Shower
The early morning of the 12th August will give the best chance if clear, of viewing the shower but the peak is quite broad and so it is well worth observing on the nights before and after. Most meteors are seen looking about 50 degrees from the 'radiant' which lies between Perseus and Cassipeia. This year the maximum is only a few days after the New Moon on the 11th so that the Moon will have set.
Information collated from Jodrell Bank and Astronomy Now magazine
|Weymouth Astronomy Estab 2006|