Unlike 2019, this year one of the most popular events photographically speaking, the Perseids are booming. During the peak date of this meteor shower There will be some moonlight, but the sky remains dark, ideal for those who want to photograph this astronomical event.
At the end of August, the zodiacal light is visible again. In the northern hemisphere, it is visible to the east, before the morning astronomical twilight begins, in the direction of sunrise. On the other hand, in the southern hemisphere it is visible to the west, at the end of the astronomical twilight in the afternoon, in the direction of the sunset.
Complete calendar of astronomical events for August 2020
August 1: Conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter.
Jupiter passes about 1.3 degrees north of the Moon at 23:32 UTC. The Moon has a magnitude of -12.6 and Jupiter a magnitude of -2.7. At this time the moon phase is 96.9%.
August 2nd: Conjunction of the Moon and Saturn.
Saturn passes about 2.2º north of the Moon at 13:10 UTC. The moon has a magnitude of -12.6 and Saturn a magnitude of 0.1. At this time the moon phase is 98.6%.
August 3rd: Full moon.
The moon is on the opposite side of the Earth so the sun completely illuminates it. The full moon is at 16:00 UTC.
August 9: Conjunction of the moon and Mars (also concealment).
Mars passes about 0.5º north of the moon at 08:00 UTC. The moon has a magnitude of -12.1 and Mars a magnitude of -1.3. At this time the moon phase is 71.8%.
In addition, Mars passes behind the moon producing an occultation.
August 12-13: Starfall of the Perseids.
The meteor shower takes place from July 17 to August 24. But the best night to photograph it is between August 12 and 13. The peak is August 12 at 1:13 PM UTC with 110 meteors per hour. At this time the moon phase is 41.9%, so the conditions to enjoy it are very good (there is no moon).
This star shower is visible from both hemispheres. Although it is best seen in the northern hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere it has a lower intensity. As every year, you do not need telescopes or binoculars, the Perseids are visible to the naked eye, you just have to get away from places with too much artificial light to see the stars fall.
August 13: Venus at maximum west elongation.
When Venus reaches its maximum elongation at 13:02 UTC it is 45.8º west of the Sun and shines at a magnitude of -4.4. This is the best time to see Venus as it stands out so much that it becomes the third brightest object in the sky after the sun and moon.
Generally, it is known as the morning star or the sunset star. When it is west of the sun, it rises and sets shortly before the sun. The best time to photograph it is shortly before sunrise.
What astronomical events does the rest of 2020 hold for us? Eclipses of sun and moon, showers of stars, supermoons, don't miss a thing!
August 15th: Conjunction of the moon and Venus.
Venus passes about 3.6 degrees south of the moon at 13:01 UTC. The moon has a magnitude of -10.6 and Venus a magnitude of -4.3. At this time the moon phase is 15.3%.
August 19: New Moon.
The moon is between Earth and the sun, so the bright side of the moon is facing away from Earth. The phase of the moon is 0% at 02:43 UTC.
Days around a new moon are ideal for photographing the night sky, including the galactic center of the Milky Way.
August 21: The moon in Perigee (closest point to Earth) at 10:58 UTC. Distance of 363,513 kilometers; angular size of 32.9 ’.
August 25th: Conjunction of the moon and the star Antares at dusk in a southwesterly direction. Maximum approach at 08:00 UTC. Antares magnitude of +1.1.
August 29: Conjunction of the moon and Jupiter.
Conjunction of the moon and Jupiter beginning at dusk in a southerly direction. Maximum approach at 02:00 UTC (day 29). Jupiter magnitude of -2.6.
August 29: Conjunction of the moon and Saturn.
Saturn passes about 2.1º north of the moon at 16:32 UTC. The moon has a magnitude of -12.5 and Saturn a magnitude of 0.1. At this time the moon phase is 87.7%.
* All hours are in UTC (Coordinated Universal Time).