SKYWATCH: ROSETTA REACHES ITS COMET, SUPERMOON NOT SO SUPER, AND MORE

LATEST NEWS

NASA Gears Up for Mars 2020 Rover
The seven scientific instruments to be built for NASA’s Mars 2020 rover will pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet.

Question Reopened: How do Galaxies Grow?
Evidence from observations sheds doubt on cosmic cannibalism as a source for galaxy growth, suggesting that instead galaxies grow by pulling in gas from the intergalactic medium.

Culprit for Enigmatic Supernova?
Astronomers have detected a star in pre-explosion images of the peculiar supernova 2012Z. The detection is the first discovery of a potential progenitor for the oddball class of stellar explosions called Type Iax.

Rosetta Catches Its Comet
It’s been a decade-long voyage for the European Space Agency’s comet-chaser, Rosetta, but on August 6th the spacecraft caught up with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (C-G) at last.

OBSERVING HIGHLIGHTS

Perseids vs. Moonlight: Which Will Prevail?
This month’s usually dependable Perseid meteor shower competes with a nearly full Moon. If you can find a dark viewing location, you might see a bright meteor every few minutes when the shower peaks on the night of August 12–13.

Tour August’s Sky: Sagittarius and Scorpius
Late summer offers the Teapot of Sagittarius and the nearby arc of the Scorpion’s Tail in the evening, the Perseid meteor shower, and a spectacular pairing of Venus and Jupiter before dawn.

How to See Cygnus’s Other Veil Nebula
You’ll be entering uncharted territory when you seek out this little known ‘Shadow of the Veil’ in Cygnus this summer.

The Not Very Supermoon
The media are abuzz over this summer’s trio of “supermoons.” The second of them, coming up on August 10th, will be the largest and brightest full moon of the year. Consequently, some have dubbed it a “super-duper moon.”

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, Aug. 8 – 16
Already you may see an occasional Perseid meteor if you keep an eye on the night sky. The shower’s peak night is predicted for next Tuesday (August 12–13), but moonlight will compromise the view all week.

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