Dates and times shown are NZST (UT + 12 hours). Rise and Set times are for Wellington. They will vary by a few minutes elsewhere in NZ. Data is adapted from that shown by GUIDE 9.


THE SUN and PLANETS in AUGUST 2019, Rise & Set,  Mag. & Cons.
            August 1     NZST            August 31     NZST  
      Mag  Cons    Rise    Set     Mag  Cons    Rise    Set
SUN  -26.7  Cnc   7.27am  5.27pm  -26.7  Leo   6.46am  5.57pm
Merc   1.9  Gem   6.21am  4.19pm   -1.8  Leo   6.46am  5.33pm
Venus -3.9  Cnc   7.21am  5.05pm   -3.9  Leo   7.05am  6.17pm
Mars   1.8  Leo   8.04am  6.17pm   .1.7  Leo   6.55am  5.57pm
Jup   -2.4  Oph   1.07pm  4.16am   -2.2  Oph  11.10am  2.08am
Sat    0.3  Sgr   3.20pm  6.18am    0.3  Sgr   1.15pm  4.15am
Uran   5.8  Ari  12.41am 11.15am    5.7  Ari  10.42pm  9.17am
Nep    7.8  Aqr   8.35pm  9.23am    7.8  Aqr   6.34pm  7.24am
Pluto 14.4  Sgr   3.46pm  6.43am   14.4  Sgr   1.45pm  4.43am

               August 1  NZST               August 31  NZST
Twilights    morning     evening        morning     evening
Civil:    start 7.00am, end  5.55pm   start 6.21am, end 6.23pm
Nautical: start 6.27am, end  6.28pm   start 5.49am, end 6.55pm
Astro:    start 5.54am, end  7.01pm   start 5.17am, end 7.27pm

  New moon:      Aug..1 at  3.12pm (03:12 UT)
  First quarter: Aug  8 at  5.31am (Aug  7, 17:31 UT).
  Full Moon:     Aug 16 at 12.29am (Aug 15, 12:29 UT)
  Last quarter   Aug 24 at  2.56am (Aug 23, 14:56 UT)
  New Moon:      Aug 30 at 10:37pm (10:37 UT)


PLANETS in August 2019

MERCURY, VENUS and MARS: during the last 8 days of August the three terrestrial planets are all in Leo - with the Sun (see table above). Not surprisingly, the three planets are unobservable during August. On the 30th they are joined by the New Moon with all three planets at conjunction with our satellite during the 24 hours. Again, an unobservable event.

Remembering that this is as viewed from the Earth, it means that there is effectively a line up of all 4 inner planets and Sun.

JUPITER and SATURN meanwhile are visible much of the night rising well before the time of Sunset and setting after midnight. Jupiter is stationary of the 11th when it will be just under 7° from Antares.

This month's lunar occultation of Saturn is on the 12th. It is visible from most of the North Island but is a miss from the South Island. The southern limit grazing occultation of Saturn occurs along a west to east band which includes Carteron and Masterton. The extreme outer edge is at Greytown where Saturn only just touches the moon. Further north increasing amounts of Saturn are hidden until the latitude of Otaki from where Saturn is, briefly, fully obscured The duration of the occultation increases the further north one goes, more than an hour at North Cape.

Predictions of the times of the occultation for a number of places in the North Island and Eastern Australia are available on the Occultation Section web site .

PLUTO is close behind Saturn, rising and setting half an hour later.

URANUS remains a morning object in Aries.

NEPTUNE, is in Aquarius. By the end of August it is in the sky most of the night.


BRIGHTEST ASTEROIDS in AUGUST, mag. const. time of transit

               AUGUST 1     NZDT      AUGUST 31    NZST  
               Mag  Cons  transit    Mag  Cons  transit
(1)  Ceres     8.4   Lib   7.38am    8.9   Sco   5.59pm
(4)  Vesta     8.1   Ari   6.54am    7.7   Tau   5.24am
(15) Eunomia   8.5   Aqr   1.12am    8.5   Aqr..10.45pm


CERES moves into Scorpius on the 1st. It passes between the second magnitude stars delta and beta Sco midmonth and ends August just over 5° from Antares and 9° from Jupiter.

VESTA is in the morning sky, rising at 1.30 am on the 1st and at midnight on the 31st. It moves into Taurus on the 11th.

EUNOMIA is at opposition on August 12 with a magnitude 8.2. It will then be in the sky most of the night.


Brian Loader



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