August provides great views of Scorpius and Saturn in the south — and the impressive Perseid meteor shower.
As the twilight darkens, look above the southern horizon for Saturn. It's dimmer and more subtle than brilliant Venus or Jupiter, which ruled the west after sunset earlier this year. To the lower-left of Saturn is the star Antares. It is the reddish heart of Scorpius, whose head is marked by a vertical arc of three medium-bright stars halfway between Antares and Saturn.
Meanwhile, around mid-month you’ll see many more “shooting stars” than usual, thanks to the Perseid meteor shower. This year the Perseids peak about 4 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on August 13th. And it’s new Moon, too, so moonlight won’t spoil the view.
There's lots more to see by eye in the August evening sky. To get a personally guided tour, download our 6½-minute-long stargazing podcast below.
There's no better guide to what's going on in nighttime sky than the August issue of Sky & Telescope magazine.