August 2016 – Where to look for the planets

A few pointers:

  • All planets visible to the unaided eye look like stars. Planets visible to the unaided eye include Mercury, Venus, Earth (look down!), Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
  • In a telescope, Uranus and Neptune are visible as tiny discs. The dwarf planet Pluto remains looking like a star in even the largest amateur telescope.
  • Stars are shown to magnitude 5 on the charts unless otherwise noted. This is a compromise between what you would see from the light polluted skies of a city (where you will see significantly less stars) and dark country skies (where you will see significantly more stars).
  • Unless otherwise noted, the finder charts are provided for 15 August 2016 and are prepared for Canberra, Australian Capital Territory. The charts will be useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia.
  • Times are listed in Australian Eastern Standard Time and Australian Eastern Daylight Savings time when in force. As a guide, in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory in 2016, Daylight Savings Time ends on Sunday 3 April and begins on Sunday 2 October 2016.

12 August 2016 – Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn finder chart – Early evening sky

Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn finder chart. Prepared for 6:45 pm AEST on Friday 12 August 2016 for Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart created using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn finder chart. Prepared for 6:45 pm AEST on Friday 12 August 2016 for Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart created using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

28 August 2016 – Mercury, Venus and Jupiter finder chart – Evening twilight sky

Mercury, Venus and Jupiter finder chart. Venus and Jupiter will be only one Moon width apart. A clear Western horizon and binoculars may be required depending on your sky conditions to locate Mercury. Chart prepared for 6:30 pm AEST on Sunday 28 August 2016 for Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

Mercury, Venus and Jupiter finder chart. Venus and Jupiter will be only one Moon width apart. A clear Western horizon and binoculars may be required depending on your sky conditions to locate Mercury. Chart prepared for 6:30 pm AEST on Sunday 28 August 2016 for Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

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