Evening planets – August 8

Watch the western sky right after it gets to dark to watch the heavens in motion. For the entire month, the planets of Venus, Mars, Saturn (and if you can see close enough to the horizon, Mercury) will slowly move among the background stars of Leo and Virgo.

The northern hemisphere view for tonight is shown below. In addition to the 4 bright planets, binocular and telescope observers can hunt for the 8th magnitude asteroid Vesta.

Northern hemisphere view of the evening conjunction for the night of August 8. Created with Stellarium.


Astrophotographers such as Fred Quintao of Belo Horizonte, Brazil have been following the action nightly. The photo below shows all 4 planets just above the brilliant skyline of Belo Horizonte on the evening of August 6. If you’d like to share your photos with the readers of the Transient Sky, send them to our new email address (transientsky1@yahoo.com).

Venus, Mars, Saturn and Mercury setting over the skyline of Belo Horizonte, Brazil on August 6. Images credit: Fred Quintao.