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August Sky: See Five Planets and Meteor Showers

Aug 02, 2016 07:40 AM EDT
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Skywatchers and stargazers will be busy this month since five planets along with some dwarf planets will be visible in the sky as well as several overlapping meteor showers.
(Photo : David McNew/Getty Images)

 NASA recommends summertime stargazing because mesmerizing celestial bodies can be seen from the sky this August.

The month of August is filled with celestial extravaganzas starting with overlapping meteor showers, the Delta Aquarid and the Perseid. But aside from that, five planets will also be visible from Earth namely Mars, Venus, Mercury, Saturn and Jupiter.

This month's summertime sky watching offers a lot to show for both astronomers and the public. The five-planet line-up can be seen as soon as the Sun sets starting Aug. 4. On Aug. 11, the three planets Jupiter, Mercury and Venus will be seen in a group while on the other side of the sky, Saturn, Mars and the moon will also be visible.

But if that's not enough, there are more planets, dwarf planets and asteroids that can be seen in the sky this month. "Uranus, Neptune and dwarf planet Ceres are visible before dawn in the southern sky," Jane Houston Jones, from NASA's jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a video released by the agency.  "Asteroid Pallas is visible in the Southern sky at the same time," Jones added.  Pluto and the rest of the dwarf planets can be viewed using telescopes.

While NASA elaborated the days to spot the planets, meteor experts said that the Perseid meteor shower is best viewed from Aug. 9 to Aug. 15, according to Telegraph. This year, spectators are expecting to see more of the Perseid annual meteor shower since the outburst is reportedly bigger this year and may potentially create about 200 meteors per hour.

According to NASA the clear summer weather will enable sky watchers to see the meteor shower and the planets easily with warm nights and clear skies, a haven for stargazers. For meteor shower stargazing, NASA recommends the use of binoculars. For a closer look, a telescope is necessary.


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