by Zach Singer
From the author: With the aim of making this column useful to everyone, beginner and experienced observer alike, we’ll be looking at fewer targets beyond the solar system, but spending more time describing each one—just like we did last month. We’ll continue the separate “Getting Your Bearings” section (see the pdf version of the DAS Newsletter) whenever space permits, so beginners can find that month’s stars and constellations without slowing us down here. I hope that regardless of your level, you’ll give each target due consideration—the experienced observer may rediscover forgotten objects, while the beginners can get a feel for what’s out there—the “range of possibility”— even if they can’t yet get there on their own.
Compared to June and July, when Venus and Jupiter put on a show, August promises to be relatively laid-back for planets… The two just mentioned are deep in solar glare, and will reemerge as morning objects this fall. Saturn, though, can be found right where we left it last month—almost exactly, in fact, since its slowing retrograde motion kept it from shifting very far. Our distance from Saturn has been increasing since opposition a few months ago, but the planet ...