Here’s your weekly astronomical outlook

Weather
Planetary show

Highlights

  • The innermost planets are visible this week, something many viewers probably have never seen before.
    • Mercury reaches its greatest western elongation on Aug 26. The 18?? separation from the Sun makes it visible in the predawn sky. Look low on the eastern horizon.
    • Venus dominates the sky after sunset, look low on the western horizon.
  • Sun Sep 02 22:37:23: last quarter moon

 

Near Earth Objects (NEO)

lunar distance (LD) is the mean distance to the moon ~239k miles. Anything within 1 LD is newsworthy. For more information see NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies

This week

object

close approach date

uncertainty

LD

million
miles

2018 QH1

2018-08-27 20:36Z

< 1 sec

13.2

3+

2018 LQ2

2018-08-27 21:35Z

< 1 sec

9.4

2+

2016 GK135

2018-08-28 16:31Z

1+ hour

16.7

~4

2016 NF23

2018-08-29 03:38Z

< 1 sec

13.1

3+

1998 SD9

2018-08-29 07:27Z

< 1 sec

4.2

~1

2018 DE1

2018-08-30 15:30Z

~2 hours

15.2

~4

2001 RQ17

2018-09-02 12:05Z

~1 hour

19.3

~5

2015 FP118

2018-09-03 10:09Z

< 1 sec

12.2

~3

2018 QA

2018-09-03 16:51Z

~2 hours

17.4

4+

Closest

within

object

close approach date

uncertainty

lunar distances

million
miles

~14 days

1998 SD9

2018-08-29 07:27Z

< 1 sec

4.2

~1

~1 year

2015 EG

2019-03-04 20:52Z

1+ hour

1.2

~0.55

~100 years

2010 RF12

2095-09-06 00:03Z

<2 hours

0.1

~15,290.55 miles

Planet visibility

body (phase)

rise

transit (alt)

set

constellation

Mercury (47%)

05:04:55

12:04:03 (65??)

19:03:04

Cancer

Venus (43%)

10:31:42

15:59:12 (39??)

21:28:24

Virgo

Moon (99%)

20:48:15

01:51:17 (39??)

07:30:19

Aquarius

Mars

18:33:12

23:00:45 (23??)

03:24:10

Capricornus

Saturn

16:21:08

21:04:11 (27??)

01:43:15

Sagittarius

Jupiter

12:41:07

17:47:02 (34??)

22:56:28

Libra

Sample rise/set times for 08/27/18

Satellite Passes

International Space Station (ISS)

ISS (ZARYA) is orbiting at 406 mi (252 km)

  • poor pass begins Wed 2018-08-29 05:23:56 EDT from the S (185°) reaches 21°, lasts 5 minutes
  • exceptional pass begins Thu 2018-08-30 06:07:31 EDT from the WSW (237°) reaches 76°, lasts 6 minutes
  • fair pass exits Earth’s shadow 10° above the horizon Sat 2018-09-01 06:00:24 EDT from the W (264°) reaches 34°, lasts 6 minutes
  • poor pass begins Mon 2018-09-03 05:53:32 EDT from the WNW (288°) reaches 20°, lasts 5 minutes

Hubble Space Telescope (HST)

HST is orbiting at 539 mi (335 km)

  • pass begins Sun 2018-09-02 06:15:54 EDT from the SW (219°) reaches 15°, lasts 4 minutes
  • pass begins Mon 2018-09-03 06:05:28 EDT from the SW (220°) reaches 15°, lasts 4 minutes
  • pass begins Tue 2018-09-04 05:55:07 EDT from the SW (220°) reaches 14°, lasts 4 minutes

See Heavens Above for the latest pass predictions. Satellite pass gradings are based on altitude reached and duration of pass. Higher altitude passes are closer to the observer and generally brighter as a result. Satellites other than ISS are much more difficult to spot.

Moon Phases

date

phase

Sun 2018-09-02 22:37:23

last quarter

Sun 2018-09-09 14:01:27

new

Sun 2018-09-16 19:14:57

first quarter

Mon 2018-09-24 22:52:24

full

Sun

Sunrise/set

Date

Rise

Solar noon (alt)

Set

sunlight

Mon 2018-08-27

06:36

13:15 (59.42??)

19:53

13 hrs 17 min

Tue 2018-08-28

06:37

13:15 (59.07??)

19:52

13 hrs 14 min

Wed 2018-08-29

06:38

13:15 (58.71??)

19:50

13 hrs 12 min

Thu 2018-08-30

06:39

13:14 (58.36??)

19:49

13 hrs 9 min

Fri 2018-08-31

06:40

13:14 (58.00??)

19:47

13 hrs 7 min

Sat 2018-09-01

06:41

13:14 (57.63??)

19:46

13 hrs 4 min

Sun 2018-09-02

06:42

13:13 (57.27??)

19:44

13 hrs 2 min

Mon 2018-09-03

06:43

13:13 (56.90??)

19:42

12 hrs 59 min

Tue 2018-09-04

06:44

13:13 (56.53??)

19:41

12 hrs 56 min

Wed 2018-09-05

06:45

13:12 (56.16??)

19:39

12 hrs 54 min

  • lost 0:23:01 (hh:mm:ss) of daylight over this period
  • daylight (HH:MM): 13:05
  • mean: sunrise 06:41 sunset 19:47
  • max: sun angle 59.42??

Twilight

date

rise

set

Mon 2018-08-27

04:56

21:34

Tue 2018-08-28

04:57

21:32

Wed 2018-08-29

04:59

21:30

Thu 2018-08-30

05:00

21:28

Fri 2018-08-31

05:01

21:26

Sat 2018-09-01

05:03

21:25

Sun 2018-09-02

05:04

21:23

Mon 2018-09-03

05:05

21:21

Tue 2018-09-04

05:06

21:19

Wed 2018-09-05

05:08

21:17

Astronomical Seasons

  • autumnal equinox: Sat 2018-09-22 21:54
  • winter solstice: Fri 2018-12-21 17:22

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