Sky Map

Evening sky in August 2017

Looking directly overhead in the direction of Scorpius (Scorpion) and Sagittarius (Archer) we look towards the centre of the Milky Way Galaxy, our home galaxy. Strong evidence supports the existence of a supermassive black hole at the Galactic Centre. Our Solar System lies approximately two thirds of the way, about 25 000 to 28 000 light years, away from the centre. The closest star to the Solar System, Alpha Centauri, is "only" four light years away. It is one of the Pointers, two bright stars “pointing” to the constellation of Crux (Southern Cross) lower down.

Planet Saturn in Ophiuchus (Serpent Bearer) can be seen a few degrees to the north of Antares, the red supergiant star in Scorpius. Lower down towards the west in Virgo (Maiden), planet Jupiter serves as the Evening Star. Although planet Venus is in the daytime sky, it is bright enough to be seen with the naked eye using the Moon as marker. At noon on the 19th it is 3º above and slightly to the right of the Moon.

The Moon is in the evening sky until 10 August and again from 23 August. A partial  eclipse of the Moon is visible from Cape Town on the evening of 7 August with maximum at 20h20.



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