Between Tuesday 25 and Sunday 30, the sky will give astronomy lovers fascinating shows. Although Jupiter and Saturn will once again be the main protagonists in the sky, they won’t be the only ones to shine in the sky. Uranus and Mars will also appear and can be seen with the naked eye, without using professional equipment.
In addition, the Moon will join the show, which could culminate with the passage of asteroid 2011 ES4. Next, we leave you the list of astronomical phenomena that you cannot miss:
Tuesday, August 25: the Moon will enter the Crescent phase. For time calculation, timeanddate.com website can help.
“It is the perfect moment to be able to explore the terminator zone with a telescope, that is, the dividing line between the illuminated and the non-illuminated part of the Moon. We will be able to appreciate in detail the craters, shadows and reliefs of the lunar surface. It will be coming out around noon and it will hide around midnight ”, sky lovers explained.
In addition, according to NASA, that same night, in the lower left part of the satellite, we can see the supergiant star Antares, that is nearing the end of its life.
Friday, August 28: if you have not yet been able to see Jupiter and Saturn lighting up the darkness of the sky, it is the perfect time to do so. And it is that both giants will be in conjunction with the Moon.
“Between Friday night and Saturday morning, the bright planet Jupiter will appear near the waxing crescent moon, with dimmer light Saturn nearby,” NASA reported.
To contemplate them, we must direct our gaze towards the constellation of Sagittarius. The Moon will be 1º 24 ′ south of Jupiter, and 2º 12 ′ south of Saturn. They can be seen for most of the night, to the southeast.
They are visible to the naked eye, but if you want to see the details in each one, we recommend at least one telescope.
Remember that if you’re not sure you’re finding them in the sky, you can always try mobile apps like SkySafari, for Android, or SkyView, for IOS.
Some lucky ones might also see asteroid 20 Massalia in opposition. A celestial body is said to be in opposition when the Earth is located right between the Sun and the specific object. Massalia will pass 1,583 AU from our planet, and although the alignment will be difficult to observe due to the intensity of the moonlight, it is not impossible to appreciate it. You can always check the current location here.
End of August: Finally, NASA urged astronomy lovers to be vigilant in the last days of August. Although the exact date is not known, it is estimated that between the end of the month and the beginning of September, the asteroid 2011 ES4 will pass very close to Earth.
“Sometime in late August or early September 2020 (September 1, 16:12 UTC, with 8 days and 8 minutes of uncertainty or imprecision), the Near-Earth Object 2011 ES4, between 22 and 49 meters wide, it passes between 0.2 and 41.2 lunar distances (nominally 0.3) from our planet travelling at 8.16 kilometers per second ”, reported by NASA.
The celestial body, which is part of the Apollo group, will pass at a distance of 71,800 kilometers from the Earth – the Moon is about 384,400 kilometers away. The speed will be 29,000 km per hour. Despite its proximity to our sphere, it does not pose a threat.