Active Skies In August

There are going to be a number of reasons to tilt your head back this August and for more than just a cold one. The skies are going to be pretty active this month starting with a partial lunar eclipse. It’s only a partial eclipse and nothing to be too excited about but if you want to see it look for it on the night of the 7th.


A fair bit more interesting will be the Perseid Meteor Shower which you will best be able to see on the 11th to the 13th though the moon might get in the way of viewing it a bit. The show peaks on the 12th so that morning and night will be the best times to see it. The Perseids is one of the more popular meteor showers as it is one of the most active.


But by far the most exciting event of the month is one that you won’t find during the night. It’s the Solar Eclipse that will be a total eclipse throughout parts of North America, though for this area you’ll have to drive south a few hours to catch the total eclipse.


You can check out the path of the eclipse on this map;



Now if you are planning on watching or viewing the eclipse at all, keep in mind that the sun is never something you should look directly at and there are some safety measures you should keep in mind.


Nasa has these recommendations;


  • Always supervise children using solar filters.
  • Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright sun. After looking at the sun, turn away and remove your filter — do not remove it while looking at the sun.
  • Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device.
  • Similarly, do not look at the sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewer — the concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eye(s), causing serious injury.
  • Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device. Note that solar filters must be attached to the front of any telescope, binoculars, camera lens, or other optics.
  • If you are within the path of totality, remove your solar filter only when the moon completely covers the sun’s bright face and it suddenly gets quite dark. Experience totality, then, as soon as the bright sun begins to reappear, replace your solar viewer to look at the remaining partial phases.
  • Outside the path of totality, you must always use a safe solar filter to view the sun directly.



If you want to know anything more about the eclipse you can follow along with a bunch of science or viewing stations on the main NASA eclipse site here.


Image from Luc Viatour

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