While the Moon approaches Full, though rather low in the southeast, look to the zenith – the top of the sky – where a bright star shines with a steely-blue light. Vega ranks as the 4th brightest star in the heavens, twice as massive as our Sun, emitting 37 times more light, while converting hydrogen to helium ten times faster than the Sun.
Saturn emerges just above our second Full Moon this month, the Full “Corn” Moon. Just a few days ago, Saturn reached “opposition”, a position directly opposite the Sun. Full Moon’s represent the same positioning, opposite the Sun in our skies. It also places them due south at local midnight, or 1:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time.
Jupiter now rises less than 3 hours after sunset, a gain of about 2 hours from the beginning of August. It climbs above the east-northeast horizon close to 10 o’clock, and reaches about one quarter of the way up by midnight, at which point it appears due east. It rises one half-hour early each week through the fall.