August will arguably be one of the most spectacular months for sky watching
Monday 7th August – Partial Lunar Eclipse
We won’t see the full spectacle of a lunar eclipse on Merseyside, but we’ll see part of it.
A lunar eclipse happens when the Earth is directly between the sun and the full moon.
Providing weather conditions are good, keen sky-watchers will be able to see the partial eclipse between 7.30pm and 8pm.
NASA will broadcast a three-hour live stream of the event for those of us not lucky enough to see it first hand. The live stream will air between 6pm and 9pm. https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/
Monday 7th August – The Full Sturgeon Moon
According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the August full moon was nicknamed The Full Sturgeon Moon in America as it symbolised the perfect time of year to fish for sturgeons in the many lakes across the country.
Friday 11th August and Saturday 12th August – Perseids Meteor Shower
The Perseids Meteor Shower is one of the most famous meteor showers in the world and is known for producing a high amount of bright meteors. The meteor shower has actually been running for the past couple of weeks, however the best time to view the amazing display is on the night of August 11 and in the early hours of August 12.
The shower will feature up to 60 shooting stars every hour crossing the skies above Britain.
The best way to view the natural light show will be by heading to a dark location away from light pollution in the early hours of August 12.
Monday 21st August – The New Moon
The new moon will rise on August 21 – while the monthly cycle proves a particular great spectacle to see, it also leads to perfect conditions for sky watching. With no light from the moon, it will be the best time to spot the sights that are even further away, including galaxies and star clusters.
Monday 21st August – Partial Solar Eclipse
To have both a lunar eclipse and a solar eclipse in the same month is rare. While we won’t be able to see a full eclipse of either of the phenomena, we will be able to see part of it. At around 8pm on August 21, the moon will move between the sun and the earth. The best place to see this will be in North America, which will experience it’s first full solar eclipse for more than 50 years. Here in England we can only except to see a very small part of the eclipse, so it may go unnoticed altogether. From here, only around four per cent of the sun will be covered by the moon – but never fear, if you don’t want to miss out on the incredible event, NASA will be bringing it to world, live.
The broadcast will include images taken by 11 spacecraft, at least three NASA aircraft, more than 50 high-altitude balloons and the astronauts who are currently orbiting the Earth on the International Space Station. You can find out more about the lunar and solar eclipse on NASA’s website here.
Photo – A view of the ‘supermoon’ from August 10, 2014. Photo credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire