The sky’s two brightest planets, Venus and Jupiter, put on a spectacular show in mid-August. Rarely do these luminaries come as close to each other in a nearly dark sky, which makes this predawn conjunction the month’s top celestial event. As a bonus, the pair lies next to the wonderful Beehive star cluster (M44).
The evening stage features a nice show starring two lesser lights. Mars passes Saturn in late August, an occasion that provides a striking color contrast in addition to the normally stunning views of the ringed planet through a telescope. The overnight hours belong to the distant ice giants, Uranus and Neptune. The latter planet reaches opposition and peak visibility this month, but both are easy to find through binoculars.
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