Late August Sky, 2023 With Saturn and A Full Blue Supermoon

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A view towards the SSE at astronomical twilight (8:15 PM EDT), Sunday, August 27. Image via: Stellarium.

A view towards the SSE at astronomical twilight (8:15 PM EDT), Sunday, August 27. The waxing gibbous moon is low above the southern horizon and Saturn is rising further to the east. The ecliptic is presented in this view to illustrate where the plane of the solar system is. Note that all solar system objects in this view (the moon and Saturn) are on or near this plane. The constellations of the zodiac are those 12 constellations that lie along this plane. In this view, they would be Aquarius at the eastern edge in this view, followed by Capricorn, Sagittarius, and Scorpio at the western edge.

Saturn and its rings as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope on September 12, 2021. Image via ESA/ NASA/ Amy Simon (NASA-GSFC)/ Michael H. Wong (UC Berkeley)/ Alyssa Pagan (STScI)/ Hubblesite.

Saturn is at opposition today and tomorrow (August 27) and thus, will be at its closest point to earth and the brightest.

With the Autumnal Equinox only 3 weeks away on Saturday, September 23, the southern constellations of summer are still well-placed near the meridian.

On August 30, we will be witness to a “Blue Moon”, the last of 4 for 2023 and a Supermoon to boot! The next full blue supermoon won’t occur until August 2032, 9 years from now!  

A quick, interactive web-based version of Stellarium is available here Tonight's Sky. When you launch the application, it defaults to north-facing and your location (on mobile and desktop).

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