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Posted: August 11, 2022

Our Sturgeon Moon and the Perseids

Notable night sights whenever the clouds part!

By Dan Hicks

Our forecasted cloudy weather is discouraging for our prospects of viewing tonight’s Sturgeon Moon (August 11) and tomorrow’s Perseid Meteor Shower peak (August 12).

The first upcoming August 2022 date favouring stargazing is the 19th (Friday) when moonrise occurs after midnight (20th – 00:14 MDT, 36% illumination), astronomical twilight begins at 22:10 MDT, and the commencement of night itself has advanced to 22:59 MDT.

Cranbrook times in Mountain Daylight Time (MDT) (source – unless otherwise noted).

The Sturgeon Moon – our August 11th full moon

11  19:36  moon 100% illuminated (source – RASC Observer’s Handbook 2022).

11  22:09  moon ascends to 40 above our astronomical southeast horizon.

12  02:08  moon crosses our meridian (due south) at a low altitude of 210.

12  06:14  moon descends to 40 above our astronomical west-southwest horizon.

Perseid Meteor Shower

The Perseid Meteors, our annual celestial summer visitors – residual sandgrain-sized comet dust particles left the wake of Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle, will be diminished by an almost full moon.

12  19:00  Perseid shower peak (source – RASC Observer’s Handbook 2022).

12  22:00  Perseid Meteor Shower radiant 300 above north-northwest horizon –in the constellation Perseus which ascends to near the zenith by dawn (source Interactive Sky Chart).

12  22:26  astronomical twilight begins.

12  22:32  moon ascends to 40 above our astronomical east-southeast horizon – 98% illuminated.

12  23:19  night begins.

13  03:04  moon crosses our meridian (due south) at a higher altitude of 270.

13  04:16  astronomical twilight begins.

13  05:10  nautical twilight begins.

13  07:44  moon descends to 40 above our astronomical west-southwest horizon.

Sky & Telescope editor Bob King has a more optimistic perspective on our 2022 Perseids and provides some worthwhile information such as Perseid fireball dominance and what defines a “fireball,” along with some great Perseid images and parental comet sun-orbiting graphics.

2022-08-05   Bob King   Perseids are Coming, Full Moon or Not

2022-08-06  NPR (National Public Radio)   Ailsa Chang

What a decade of the Curiosity rover has taught us about life on Mars. Once habitably Earthlike for eons, its smaller size ultimately rendered the Red Planet uninhabitable. (4 minute audio).

Lead image: An early predawn Perseid passes the star Mirfak in the constellation Perseus on July 30.  Magnitude 1.8 in our sky, Mirfak is a yellow white supergiant, 510 light-years away.  Bob King image/Photo submitted

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