Sky at a Glance 2022 August 27 – September 3

Photo showing the Summer Triangle of bright stars Deneb, Vega and Altair in the night sky.

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, 2022 August 27 – September 3 ~by Curt Nason

The Summer Triangle is at its highest in early evening. Vega pokes through the twilight overhead, followed by Altair to the south and Deneb to the east. All three are the brightest stars of their respective constellations of Lyra, Aquila and Cygnus. Although it is the dimmest of the trio, Deneb is actually much brighter but it is about 60 times more distant. If it were as close as the other two it would be more than ten times brighter than Venus.

The brighter stars appear near the end of civil twilight, when the Sun reaches six degrees below the horizon. Nautical twilight ends when it is 12 degrees below, at which time mariners have difficulty discerning the distant coastline from water. When the Sun is 18 degrees below the horizon astronomical twilight ends, and in areas with no light pollution or moonlight the only light is from stars, planets, and Airglow.

This Week in the Solar System

Saturday’s sunrise in Moncton is at 6:33 am and sunset will occur at 8:06 pm, giving 13 hours, 33 minutes of daylight (6:39 am and 8:10 pm in Saint John). Next Saturday the Sun will rise at 6:42 am and set at 7:53 pm, giving 13 hours, 11 minutes of daylight (6:48 am and 7:57 pm in Saint John).

The Moon is new on Saturday and at first quarter next Saturday. Mercury reaches its greatest elongation from the Sun low in the western sky this weekend; and on Monday it will be a binocular width below the slim crescent Moon, setting 43 minutes after sunset. Saturn is at its highest and best for observing around midnight this week. Telescope users might see Jupiter’s Red Spot around 11 pm Sunday and 10 pm Friday. Mars is seen best this week in the southeast at the start of morning nautical twilight, passing scenically between the Pleiades and Hyades star clusters. Venus is rising in the east-northeast at that time.

The RASC NB Fundy Park Stargaze takes place on Friday and Saturday, September 2 – 3. For information on activities, admission and location see their website.

Questions? Contact Curt Nason.

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