Space – Ingenuity still scouting on Mars; Jupiter and Saturn up morning, night
Mars Ingenuity helicopter is still flying. On Aug. 16, NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter made it’s 12th flight over the Martian terrain. This looped flight covered over 1,400 feet, lasted for 169 seconds, and was over an area called South Séítah. NASA hopes this area will be more fruitful in finding rocks for the Perseverance rover.
Ingenuity’s flight will help with planning the route for the rover. Ingenuity has been so successful that NASA has extended its mission.
See a video of the flight at the following link: space.com/mars.
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Morning sky: While Jupiter and Saturn have entered the evening sky, they are still visible in the west in the early morning hours. There are no visible planets in the east before sunrise.
Evening sky: Jupiter and Saturn reached opposition last month meaning they will rise in the east as the Sun sets in the west making them visible all night and all morning long. This will be a great time to view these gas giants. Brilliant Venus dominates the western sky though it will remain low above the horizon. Mercury and Mars are too close to the Sun to be visible.
Due to the coronavirus, there will be limited public viewings scheduled this month. If things change, we will post it on TAS’s events calendar.
3rd: Crescent Moon forms line with the bright stars Castor and Pollux in Gemini the Twins before sunrise in the east.
4th: Thin crescent Moon near Beehive star cluster in Cancer the Crab before sunrise. Venus above bright star Spica in Virgo the Virgin in the west after sunset.
5th: Venus above bright star Spica in Virgo the Virgin in the west after sunset.
7th: New Moon.
9th: Moon, Venus, and Spica form triangle in the west after sunset.
12th: Moon above bright star Antares (“Rival of Mars”) in Scorpio the Scorpion in the evening sky.
13th: First quarter Moon.
15th: Jupiter, Saturn, and Moon (left to right) form line in evening sky.
16th: Moon lower right of Saturn.
17th: Moon lower right of Jupiter.
20th: Full Moon.
26th: Moon between bright star Aldebaran in Taurus the Bull and the Pleiades star cluster in early morning sky.
29th: Last quarter Moon.
30th: Crescent Moon below bright star Pollux in Gemini the Twins before sunrise in the east.
Check out TAS’s events calendar at stargazers.org.
Ken Kopczynski is president of the Tallahassee Astronomical Society, a local group of amateur astronomers.
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