Aussies – Here’s Your August Guide To The Skies

From meteor showers to the five bright planets, there’s plenty to see this month.

Five Bright Planets

During the entire month, all five bright planets will be visible in the night sky. Make sure you take the chance to see these, as you won’t have another opportunity until 2018.

Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter are currently stretched in a line that starts low in the east to high in the north.

The line formed by the planets closely follows the path of the sun across the sky.

Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter

Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter [Image: Museum Victoria]

You’ll have to get up early to see the planets at their brightest – the best time to see the rare celestial show is an hour before dawn.

Keep a special eye out for Mars as it won’t look this large or bright for another two years. Learn more about the Red Planet here.

Perseid Meteor Shower

For those in northern Australia, the Perseid meteor shower will be at its peak in mid-August. Unfortunately, for those any further south than Brisbane and Alice Springs, the meteors will be below the horizon – but we’ll be bringing you the best pictures and videos from the shower.

For best viewing, start looking a couple of hours before dawn. Try to find an unobstructed place that’s far away from the city lights.

Using telescopes or binoculars isn’t recommended, as your field of view is restricted so you might miss a lot!

Star Gazing

Sagittarius and Scorpio in the night sky

Sagittarius and Scorpio in the night sky [Image: Scitech]

As for the stars, parts of Sagittarius stand out well no matter where in Australia you are. The spout of the “teapot” points towards the centre of the galaxy.

The Southern Cross is a good constellation to watch throughout the entire year because it never disappears below the horizon and can always be seen circling the South Celestial Pole.

Constellations guide from south-east Australia

Constellations guide from south-east Australia [Image: Museum Victoria]

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