This is the Griffith Observatory Sky Report for the week ending Wednesday, August 6, 2014. Here is what’s happening in the skies of southern California:
The waxing moon lights the evening sky this week. Moonset each night occurs more than half an hour later than the night before. As a result, the moon sets at 9:54 p.m. on July 30th and 1:49 a.m. on August 6th.
The moon will also pass by the bright objects arrayed across the sky from the southwest to the south. It appears to the right of Virgo the Maiden’s bright star Spica on Friday the 1st. On the next night, the crescent moon poses to the right of the orange planet Mars, also in Virgo . On Sunday, the moon, now at first quarter, is next to golden planet Saturn, in Libra the Scales. Finally, on Monday the 5th, the gibbous moon perches high above Antares, the fiery heart of Scorpius the Scorpion.
The brightest planet, Venus, rises in the dawn at 4:17 a.m., and appears above the east-northeast horizon as the sky brightens.
The International Space Station makes two passes visible from Los Angeles within a few hours of each other this week. The first, on the evening of Friday the 1st, happens between 9:20 and 9:23 p.m., during which the ISS will appear above the south-southwest horizon and travel to a point 46 degrees high in the south-southeast where it will quickly fade into earth’s shadow. The following morning, Saturday the 2nd, the ISS crosses the sky from the northwest to the southeast between 5:28 and 5:35 a.m. It will be at its highest at 5:32 a.m. when it is 64 degrees above the southwest horizon.
Free views of the sun during the day and of the moon, planets, and other celestial objects at night are available to the public in clear weather through Griffith Observatory’s telescopes from Tuesday through Sunday before 9:30 p.m. Check our website for our schedule. The next public star party on the grounds of Griffith Observatory, hosted by the Los Angeles Astronomical Society, the Sidewalk Astronomers, and the Planetary Society, will take place on Saturday, August 2.
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From Griffith Observatory, I’m Anthony Cook and I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.