August 2018 – Where to look for the planets

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Use the finder charts on this page to guide you to where to look for the planets in August 2018.

A few pointers:

  • All planets visible to the unaided eye look like stars. Planets visible to the unaided eye include Mercury, Venus, Earth (look down!), Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
  • In a telescope, Uranus and Neptune are visible as tiny discs. The dwarf planet Pluto remains looking like a star in even the largest amateur telescope.
  • Stars are shown to magnitude 5 on the charts unless otherwise noted. This is a compromise between what you would see from the light polluted skies of a city (where you will see significantly less stars) and dark country skies (where you will see significantly more stars).
  • Unless otherwise noted, the finder charts are prepared for the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. The charts will be useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia (including Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane).

15 August 2018 – Moon and Venus at the end of evening twilight

Moon and Venus finder chart. Look above the Western horizon. Chart prepared for 6.45 pm AEST on Wednesday 15 August 2018 for the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

17 August 2018 – Moon, Venus, Jupiter and Spica at the end of evening twilight

Moon, Venus, Jupiter and Spica (the brightest star in the ancient Greek constellation Virgo The Virgin) finder chart. Look above the Western horizon. Chart prepared for 6.45 pm AEST on Friday 17 August 2018 for the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

21 August 2018 – Moon, Mars and Saturn at the end of evening twilight

Moon, Mars and Saturn finder chart. Look above the Eastern horizon. Note that Pluto and Neptune are shown as being visible on the chart. Pluto is very faint and requires a large amateur telescope to locate. Neptune is usually visible in a small telescope. However, its low altitude means that it will not be visible. Chart prepared for 6.45 pm AEST on Tuesday 21 August 2018 for the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

23 August 2018 – Moon, Mars and Saturn at the end of evening twilight

Moon, Mars and Saturn finder chart. Look above the Eastern horizon. Note that Pluto and Neptune are shown as being visible on the chart. Pluto is very faint and requires a large amateur telescope to locate. Neptune is usually visible in a small telescope. However, its low altitude means that it will not be visible. Chart prepared for 6.45 pm AEST on Thursday 23 August 2018 for the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

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