Starwatch for August 2021
Written by Karl Hricko on August 16, 2021
Hello! I’m Karl Hricko of the United Astronomy Clubs of NJ and the National Space Society, bringing you the August Starwatch for WNTI-The Sound of Centenary
It was on the “Starry Night” that Venus is seen surrounded by a myriad of scintillating bright stars, while the Moon is in crescent phase. This is a scene depicted on a canvas painted by Vincent Van Gogh. His painting is called “The Starry Night”. Although his painting does not depict the actual sky and landscape, it is a product of both his imagination and what he saw. It is a combination of the real and the surreal.
To encompass the full appreciation of astronomy, it is helpful to consider not only the science of the celestial objects, but also the beauty they display – the objective and the subjective. We can look at Venus and the Moon in a scientific fashion, and also view them as images of Beauty. So “The Starry Night” provokes us to be more aware of what we see, and how we see it.
This month, as we look to see the five visible planets, we can see all of them after sunset. Looking west, Venus is in Virgo, Mars and Mercury are in Leo. All three are lined up in that order from upper left to lower right. To the southeast, Saturn is in Capricornus, and sits to the upper right of Jupiter in Aquarius, which is lower to the horizon. Don’t forget the Perseid meteor showers at mid-month. So as we cast our eyes up to the starry night, let us enjoy its beauty as well as the science that explains how it works.
Until our next Starwatch – Don’t forget to check out … What’s up in the night sky!