Society News and Night Sky Notes – August 1999

A Total Solar Eclipse, showing the Corona (date and location of eclipse unknown)

Society News Headlines

  • August 2nd – Alpha Capricornids meteor shower Max.
  • August 3rd – Comet Arend at perihelion, (1.917AU).
  • August 4th – Jupiter 4° North of Moon.
  • August 5th – Saturn 3° North of Moon.
  • August 5th – Mercury stationary.
  • August 6th – Aldebaran 0.8° South of Moon.
  • August 6th – Delta & Iota Aquarids meteor shower maximum.
  • August 6th – Public Open Night at LAS Pex Hill Observatory.
  • August 7th – Uranus at opposition and at its best.
  • August 8th – RAS National Astronomy Meeting on Channel Islands.
  • August 8th – BAA Total Eclipse Meeting, at Truro School, Cornwall. (ends August 14th).
  • August 10th – Mercury 1.2° South of Moon.
  • August 10th – Venus 8° South of Regulus.
  • August 11th – Total Solar Eclipse, seen from S.W. England, Europe.
  • August 11th – 92% Partial Solar Eclipse from Liverpool. Mid Eclipse at 11h:16m:53s.
  • August 13th – Perseids meteor shower maximum, Excellent prospects.
  • August 14th – 2nd International Workshop on Cometary Astronomy, Cambridge, England. (ends Aug 16th).
  • August 14th – Mercury at Greatest elongation from Sun, 19°.
  • August 17th – Comet C/1999 H3 (Linear) at perihelion (3.502AU).
  • August 18th – Mars 7° South of Moon.
  • August 20th – Venus at Inferior conjunction.
  • August 21st – Pluto stationary.
  • August 24th – Neptune 0.7° South of Moon.
  • August 25th – Comet Giclas at Perihelion. (1.846AU).
  • August 25th – Jupiter is stationary.
  • August 25th – Uranus 0.6° South of Moon.
  • August 26th – Mercury 10° North of Moon.
  • August 30th – Saturn stationary.
  • August 31st – Jupiter is 4° North of Moon.


Will it be cloudy to-night?, ask the The U.K. Goverment Met Office Weather service. To make your own star chart fo your location at any time, Click Here.

The Sun and Moon

All times are in BRITISH SUMMER TIME (BST). Times For Observer in Liverpool, Merseyside, England, U.K.
Latitude 53 degs 24 mins North.
Longitude +3.0 degs West.

            4th          9th         14th       19th       24th        29th         
SUNRISE    05:32        05:41       05:49      05:58      06:07       06:16         
SUNSET     21:03        20:53       20:43      20:32      20:21       20:09
on 26th
at 00h:49m
on 4th
at 18h:28m
on 11th
at 12h:10m
on 19th
at 01h:48m


August 1999 Eclipse



On the 9th Mercury starts is second morning apparition of 1999, this table shows its positions throughout the apparition.

Morning apparition of Mercury during August 1999

Morning apparition of Mercury during August 1999


Venus quickly rises above the Eastern horizon in the pre-dawn sky by the end of the month having passes its inferior conjunction on the 20th. It will soon become very prominent as it passes through Leo, gaining brightness as the phase changes from crescent towards full phase.


Mars sinks into the evening twilight setting at around 22h:00m at the end of the Month.On the 18th Mars 6° South of the Moon. On the 8th binoculars and telescopes will show that Mars has a temporary companion as the starAlpha Librae lies close by.

MARSWATCH – latest observations of the red planet.


  • 16 Psyche at Mag 9.4 can be found within the stars of Aquarius & Capricornus during August.

For More information on Asteroids Click Here.


Jupiter can be found in the South West by midnight. Its apparent diameter increases from 41 ” to 46″ as the month progresses.

Launched in October 1989, the Galileo Jupiter Probe entered orbit around the great planet on December 7th 1995. The Project Galileo Homepage will give you up-to-date information and the very latest images returned.


Saturn remains purely a morning object with the crescent Moon lying close by on the 5th.


Uranus reaches opposition on the 7th and is therefore at its best for picking up with binoculars or low power telescope. Neptune is also well placed. Don’t expect to see a disk though as Uranus appears only 4 ” across and Neptune a paltry 2″ across. Compare these sizes with Jupiter and you will see the difficulty in observing these two planets.

Uranus Positions for the 1st August:

                          R.A.                   DEC                    TRANSIT TIME           MAG
                      21h:11m:04s           -16°:59':19"                   01h:46m             5.7

Neptune Positions for the 1st August: 

                          R.A.                   DEC                    TRANSIT TIME           MAG
                      20h:20m:10s           -19°:15':17"                   00h:52m             7.9


Pluto can be found on the border of Ophiuchus , above and to the right of the mag 2.6 star Zeta Ophiuchi. The best time to look for the planet is around New Moon. The dates below will be a guide for planning observations.

Positions for August are when pluto's elongation angle is greater than 90°.
    DATE                      R.A.                   DEC                   TRANSIT TIME
    Aug 9th                16h:28m:45s            -10°:07':00"                 20h:32m
    Aug 19th               16h:28m:35s            -10°:11':18"                 19h:53m


  • 2nd August Alpha Capricornids 8 per hour Unfavourable. 19 day old Moon.
  • 6th August Iota Aquarids 8 per hour Fairly Favourable. 23 day old Moon.
  • 7th August Delta Aquarids 10 per hour Fairly Favourable. 24 day old Moon.
  • 12/13th August Perseids 75 per hour Very Favourable. 1 day old Moon.favourable.
  • 28th August Alpha Aurigids 10 per hour Unfavourable. 16 day old Moon.


  • Comet Arend at Perihelion on August 3rd. (1.917AU)
  • Comet C/1999 H3 (Linear) at Perihelion on August 17th. (3.502AU)
  • Comet Giclas at Perihelion on August 25th. (1.846AU)

Plus these pages will give daily and weekly reports of this and other Comets progress.


  • August 27th at 00h:32m Reappearance of Psi Aquarii Mag 4.5