THE summer is the best season of the year for observing and studying the heavens. It is warm and the open air invites us all. It is especially favorable for the use of a telescope, for the “ seeing” is much superior at this time. An instrument is worth one twice its size used in the winter season. For these reasons we give below some notes with the hope that they will guide those interested in the study of the heavens. The Asteroids. During the month of August Ceres, Juno, Pallas and Vesta may all be seen. As will be seen from the ephemeris given below Ceres passes just to the north of .Eta Geminorum (R. A. 6 hr., 9 min.; Dec. north 22 degrees and 32 min.), about midnight on the 4th. It will lie about half a degree to the north of this star at this time. About noon of the 9th it will be directly north of Mu Geminorum— about half a degree above it. The R. A. of this star is 6 hr. 17 min. and its Dec. is N. 22 degrees and 33 min. Pallas is in the constellation Eridanus and toward the dose of the month passes near the star 30 in this constellation. Juno although of nearly the eleventh magnitude should be ,seen in a fair sized telescope on the 20th when it is about a half degree above Zeta Virginis. The R. A. of this star ,is 13 hr. 30 min., and its Dec. is south, 8 min. Vesta is constantly growing brighter during August and at its beginning is near Delta Geminorum, and for a .short time traces very closely the path of Neptune for the early spring. We give below the ephemeris for these asteroids: ceres. Mag. Date. Right Ascension. Declination. 8.71 Aug. 4 6 hr. 8.3 min. N. 23 deg. 3 min. Aug. 12 6 22.0 23 14 Aug. 20 6 35.4 23 21 8.53 Aug. 28 6 48.5 23 26 PALLAS. 8.74 Aug. 4 3 hr. 25.9 min. S. 2 deg. 28 min. Aug. 12 3 35.8 3 40 Aug. 20 3 45.0 5 5 8.39 Aug. 28 3 53.5 6 44 JUNO. 10.74 Aug. 4 13 hr. 14.2 min. .N. 0 deg. 59 min. Aug. 12 13 21.6 0 10 Aug. 20 13 29.5 S. 0 41 10.94 Aug. 28 13 37.8 1 33 VESTA. 8.65 Aug. 4 7 hr. 17.5 min. N. 21 deg. 50 min. Aug. 12 7 32.2 21 30 Aug. 20 7 46.6 21 6 8.53 Aug. 28 8 0.8 20 39 Occultation of Stars by the Moon. In our article of April 1st attention was called to the pleasing experience of watching a star suddenly dart behind the moon during an occultation. Below is given the Washington Mean Time of Immersion and Emersion of three stars which may be watched during August. Time of Time of Date. Star' s Name. Immersion. Emersion. Mag. Hr. Min. Ilr. Min. August 5th .... . 10 G. Sagittarii 10 17P.M. 11 2 P. M. 5.7 Anrnst 9th...... 35 Capricorni 8 21 P.M. 9 28 P.M. 6.0 August 10th, .... 37 Capricorni 2 3 A.M. 3 18A. M. 5.7 Planetary Details to be Observed. On August 28th the moon passes very close to Jupiter. Mercury is at its greatest elongation east of the Sun on the morning of the 13th and should be watched for about this time of the month, in the evening sky. It represents a crescent of about the same as the quarter moon at this time. Venus is at its greatest brilliancy on the 10th and is at this time half way been a quarter-moon crescent and a new-moon crescent.
This article was originally published with the title "Astronomical Notes for Amateurs for August" in Scientific American 105, 6, 122 (August 1911)