What to see in the sky in August: Year's best meteor shower to Sturgeon Moon

A meteor during the Perseid meteor shower seen over Happisburgh lighthouse, Norfolk.

A meteor during the Perseid meteor shower seen over Happisburgh lighthouse, Norfolk, taken in August 2021. - Credit: PA Wire

The night sky will be filled with things to see in August, from meteor showers to the summer's last full moon.

Make sure to keep your eyes to the skies over the next month for the following: 

The moon

Phases for August are as follows:

  • New moon - July 28
  • First quarter - August 5
  • Sturgeon Moon - August 12
    • Also known as the 'green corn moon', 'red moon', and 'grain moon', this full moon is linked with the end of the summer and the start of the harvest. It is named after the fish readily caught during this part of the summer.
  • Last quarter - August 19
  • New moon - August 27
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The Buck Moon in July 2022 - Credit: Neil James

The stars and planets

At the start of the month there will be a conjunction between Mars and Uranus.

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The early hours of August 1 will see the planets in a close approach. You will need equipment to spot this.

A comet has been passing close to early and will be at its brightest on August 4.

PANSTARRS is now moving away from earth but will be visible in the Scorpius constellation.

The conjunction between the moon and Saturn on August 11 can be seen without equipment, but may be less visible due to the brightness of the full moon.

By the middle of the month, Saturn will be at opposition with the sun and will be brightly illuminated.

On August 15 there will be a conjunction between the moon and Jupiter. They will be 1.5 degrees apart and can be seen without equipment.

There will be a conjunction between the moon and Mars on August 19.

Visible this month on August 22 will be Asteroid 4 Vesta in opposition.

It will be brightly lit and visible with a pair of binoculars.

Other things to look out for...

Star trails and a lone shooting star from the Perseids meteor shower. It is one of the brightest and

The Perseids meteor shower in August 2021

Perseid meteor shower

Active between July 17 and August 24, this shower will peak on August 12 and 13.

This shower is associated with the 109P/Swift-Tuttle comet.

There will be up to 100 meteors per hour which are characterised by fast meteors with trains.

International Space Station

The ISS will be visible from August 1 to August 6.

It will appear between 10pm and 1am for up to seven minutes moving from the west to the southeast.