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Wonders of the August Night Sky

5 Aug 2013, 12:33 UTC
Wonders of the August Night Sky
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The month that takes its name from the Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar provides us with a prime opportunity to locate a celestial king. This and the small but sure monthly progression back to astronomical twilight (total nocturnal darkness) as the year marches on guarantee that the different items in August’s cosmic performance need not go amiss.
So to commence August’s trip to the constellations if we face in the direction of north and lift our eyes to the highest point in the sky above our heads we can find a special star pattern currently at the zenith. Although visually it’s quite a simple pattern to pick out from the starfield, it’s not a bad one to memorise as it’s also one of the rarer constellations which can be seen all year round, never dropping below Earth’s celestial season-changing horizon. The name of this elite group of constellations with which it shares this status, are the circumpolar constellations. Found within a small concentric ring of patterns endlessly rotating around the pole star, Cepheus the king can be drawn dot-to-dot style with your finger in the heavens rather like an upside-down child’s schema of a house, minus the chimney. As such this ...

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