Weymouth Astronomy

The Planets - August 2019

Observing the planets can be extremely rewarding. Everyone remembers the first time they observed Saturn and it's rings or the gas giant Jupiter and it's Galillean Moons. Solar System


Mercury, the innermost planet is heading west of the Sun following its inferior conjunction last month and during the first couple of weeks rises higher in the pre-dawn twilight.


Venus passes through superior conjunction on the far side of the Sun on the 14th August so will not become visible again in the evening twilight until late autumn.


For 4 months Mars, which passes behind the Sun (superior conjunction) on September 2nd and lies too close to the Sun to be visible.


Jupiter can be seen in the south as darkness falls in the southern part of Ophiuchus. It ends its retrograde motion on the 11th of August and will begin to move away from Antares in Scorpius initially lying some 7 degrees up and to its left.


Saturn crosses the meridian (so highest in the sky) at around 11pm BST as August begins. Currently in Sagittarius and lying on the southern side of the milky way and is at the lowest point of the ecliptic and will only reach an elevation of 14 degrees.

Information collated from Jodrell Bank and Astronomy Now magazine