August 2014 is going to be a delightful month for sky gazers. There are some spectacular celestial events to witness. Here is a guide to the sky events occurring in the August sky.
Supermoon: According to Sea and Sky's Astronomy Calendar of Celestial Events for Calendar Year 2014, the full moon will occur on Aug. 10, 2014. The moon will be positioned directly opposite the earth at 18:09 UTC. The August full moon is reportedly "closest and largest" full moon of the entire year, which is why it is known as "supermoon." It will only be 221,765 miles away from earth. As for Native American tribes, they called this event Full Sturgeon because they believed that on this day sturgeon fish were easy to find and capture.
New Moon: Aug. 25 will see the new moon. The website notes that the phenomena will be at its peak at 14:13 UTC. In the absence of moonlight, sky watchers are advised to take the opportunity to view the celestial bodies that are not easily visible to the eye on other days.
Perseid Meteor Shower: Augusts' Perseid meteor shower occurs from Aug.12 to 13. It is one of the most spectacular celestial events of the month of August. The event occurs on the night of supermoon. Thus the brightness of the supermoon may become a hindrance for the sky watchers wanting to enjoy the meteor shower.
"Lunar glare wipes out the black-velvety backdrop required to see faint meteors, and sharply reduces counts," Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteroid Environment Office told the Red Orbit.
However, viewing Perseids before the occurrence of supermoon is considered a good idea.
Neptune Reaches Opposition: On August 29, Neptune comes closest to Earth. Sea Sky notes that even though it is the "best time" to gaze at Neptune, it will only be visible like a "tiny blue dot in the sky." It is stated that the sky watchers must use the "most powerful telescopes" to view the planet.
As for watching the brightest planets in the August sky, Space.com has provided a guide for it. The report notes that except mercury, sky gazers will get the opportunity to look at all the other "bright planets." For those wanting to view Mars can look for it in the west-southwest direction in the evenings, and to the left of Mars one can find Saturn. Astronomers can also find Venus and Jupiter shining in the mid-August sky, as per the report. The report notes that during the early morning hours these planets will be visible in east-northeast direction. On Aug 18, Venus-Jupiter conjunction can be witnessed.