by Maya del Mar
The two most brilliant objects in the sky, Venus and Jupiter, come together this month to dazzle us. During the first week in August, Venus moves downward, and by August 5 and 6, they lie very close together.
On August 15, we can see this flashy pair joined by the crescent moon. Later that day, Moon occults Jupiter for observers in most of the United States and Canada. The time is somewhere between 3:50 and 4:40 p.m. EDT. Check the web at www. lunar occultations. com for exact timing in your area. If the sky is clear, we can see them both.
Still in the early morning, look up and to the right of Venus to see Saturn, dull yellow. Just to Saturns right is reddish Aldebaran, the eye of the bull. The waning crescent moon occults Saturn on Aug. 16 for observers near the equator in Africa.
We have two occultations, or planetary eclipses, from Aug. 13-16. Be aware of your reactions during this time. With the July group of occultations (4) between July 16-19, I found myself very detached from my regular life and obligations. Saturn definitely released its hold on me that week.
In the evening, red Mars is still bright in the west, but is fading every day due to the rapidly increasing distance between Mars and Earth. It still lies to the left of Antares, the reddish star in Scorpio, but as Mars moves on, the distance between them increases. Weve had Mars there for months, brightening throughout its retrograde period, and powerfully connecting with Earth. Now, after its reconnection with Earth, Mars is carrying its renewed message around the solar systemand through our lives. How do we apply our energy?
Mars now sinks low in the west earlier and earlier, and August will be its last good month of evening viewing.
If youre up before dawn on August 12, 13, or 17, check for meteor showers.
Notice that the full moons of August and September are smaller than usual. This is because they are at apogee, furthest from the Sun.