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08/14/2020 – Ephemeris – Seeing the summer Milky Way

August 14, 2020

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Friday, August 14th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 4 minutes, setting at 8:49, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:45. The Moon, 3 days past last quarter, will rise at 2:39 tomorrow morning.

Now is the time the summer Milky Way is displayed to its fullest to the southern horizon. We have a week before the Moon begins to encroach on our dark skies after 10 pm. City folk come to our area and are sometimes fooled by the brightness and expanse of the Milky Way and think it’s a cloud. Yes those are clouds indeed, but they are star clouds. Binoculars will begin to show them to be millions of stars, each too faint to be seen individually to the eye, but whose combined glow give the impression of a luminous cloud. Binoculars are the ideal tool to explore the Milky Way. Objects still too fuzzy can be checked out with a telescope to reveal their true nature. The dark nights of August and September are my favorites.

The event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

August Milky Way sky dome

The summer Milky Way spans the sky dome at 11 pm tonight, August 14, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

 

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