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Last Week's Stargazing Tips

August 23: Mars and Antares

Mars passes its legendary “rival” the next few evenings — the star Antares, at the heart of Scorpius. The two are in the southwestern quadrant of the sky, with the planet Saturn looking down on them. The name “Antares” means “rival of Mars.”

August 22: Sun and Regulus

If we could see the stars behind the Sun now, we would notice that it is almost touching Regulus, the heart of the lion. The Sun crossed into Leo almost two weeks ago, and it won’t exit the constellation until next month.

August 21: Other Suns

Chara is one of the brightest stars Canes Venatici, the hunting dogs. It’s in the west-northwest at nightfall, between the bright star Arcturus and the Big Dipper. Chara is almost exactly the same mass as the Sun, and a bit bigger and brighter.

August 20: Evening Lights

Plenty of bright stars decorate the sky on warm summer evenings. Among others, yellow-orange Arcturus is in the west, red-orange Antares is low in the southwest, and bright white Vega stands high overhead.

August 19: Water Carriers

A couple of implements for holding water bracket the midnight sky at this time of year. The teapot of Sagittarius is low in the south, with the Big Dipper about the same height in the north-northwest.

August 18: Great Square

The Great Square of Pegasus rises in the east not long after sunset, promising the return of some of autumn’s best-known constellations. The square’s corners are marked by the bright stars Alpheratz, Scheat, Markab, and Algenib.

August 17: Full Moon

The Moon will be full at 4:27 a.m. CDT tomorrow as it lines up opposite the Sun in Earth’s sky. The full Moon of August is known as the Grain Moon or Green Corn Moon.