Night of stars, full moon, Perseids: what can we observe in the sky in August 2022?

Night of stars, full moon, Perseids: what can we observe in the sky in August 2022?

Shower of shooting stars, full Moon, planets… Raise your head in August 2022 to observe the most beautiful astronomical events visible from Earth. And for good reason, the summer season is particularly conducive to observing the sky. Initiated as well as novices, it is therefore the ideal time to take a little height to enjoy the celestial spectacle and to discover more about our Galaxy. To do so, events are organized all over France, starting with the traditional Star Nights which take place from August 5 to 7, 2022. Ready to dive into the celestial vault? Let’s go !

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Where can you observe the Night of the Stars near you?

As every year since 1991, the “Nights of the Stars” are organized in many regions of the country by the French Association of Astronomy. From August 5 to 7, the association invites all astronomy enthusiasts or simply curious people to explore the sky to better understand how our Galaxy works. On the program: learn to identify and find the stars that shine, observe Jupiter through the eyepiece of a telescope to see its satellites, admire the rings of the beautiful Saturn or even the lunar seas and craters!

To take part in the many evenings and events taking place near you this summer, all you have to do is go to the AFA website, enter your information, and the search engine will show you all the events taking place. in your region ! In Paris, if the light pollution is not ideal for stargazing, a “marathon” of 20 free observation evenings open to all is still organized in the capital, from July 8 to September 3. .

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Which planets will be observable with the naked eye?

During the month of August 2022, some planets in our solar system will be visible without a telescope or instrument, starting with Saturn. The giant planet that moves into opposition in the constellation of Capricorn on August 14, 2022, will align with the Sun and Earth. At its maximum brilliance, it will be in perfect observation conditions, and will then be visible all night long. Other planets will also be visible throughout August. But it will sometimes be necessary to be reckless to see them because it requires staying up late at night, or waking up very early in the morning, before sunrise. To avoid the risk of waiting for nothing, it is better to check beforehand on a reference astronomical site, the exact time at which their visibility will be optimal and the weather of the day. Anyway, the month of August will offer at different times, the opportunity to observe the following planets with the naked eye:

When will the next Full Moon be?

The eighth full moon of the year will occur on Friday, August 12, 2022 at 3:36 a.m. sharp. It’s the last “supermoon” of the year. Popularized by astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979, the expression supermoon does not have a scientific purpose. It is commonly used to designate a Full Moon, which is located at its perigee, that is to say on the point of its orbit closest to the Earth. It then appears brighter and larger by 14% according to NASA, although the phenomenon is not always perceptible to the naked eye.

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Perseids, a shower of shooting stars to see in August

Do you like to contemplate shooting stars? So you should mark in your diary the date of the famous Perseids, the highlight of which is scheduled for the night of August 12 to 13, 2022, around three in the morning. The meteor shower should offer between 70 to 110 shooting stars per hour for our greatest pleasure. Where do they come from? This is bright debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle, which crossed Earth’s path from July 17 to August 24. Penetrating into the Earth’s atmosphere, this comet dust sparkles with a thousand lights. However, this year, the spectacle could be partly spoiled by the full Moon which will take place on the evening of August 12. But there are no secrets when it comes to observation, the best advice is to arm yourself with patience!

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