August 2009 Constellations

Want to see where your star is in the night sky?

Stars are located within constellations, which are just areas of the night sky.  Scorpius, Aries and Taurus are examples of constellations.  Your Name A Star Live Star Certificate displays the name of your constellation.

You can use the World Constellation Map below to determine if you can see your constellation during the evening hours (between sunset and midnight) in August. Of course, you’ll need a telescope to see your star.  (That’s why we include the SLOOH online telescope experience in our Deluxe, Framed and Ultimate Gift Sets!)  But you can see your constellation without the use of a telescope.

World Constellation Map
World Constellation Map

DIRECTIONS: Find your approximate location in one of the horizontal bars on the map, and then note the corresponding red number (1-7).  Then find your number in the list below to identify what Name A Star Live constellations you can see this month from your corner of the world.

  1. Sorry, no constellations visible this month: Too much daylight!  But check back in September when some of our constellations will be visible.
  2. Ursa Minor’s visible, especially toward the end of August.  Capricorn and Sagittarius are visible as well, although they are low on the horizon.
  3. This is a great month to see Sagittarius — Scorpius too!  Ursa Minor and Capricorn are visible as well.
  4. Capricorn, Sagittarius, Scorpius and Ursa Minor are visible (although Ursa Minor’s very low on the northern horizon!).
  5. Capricorn, Libra, Sagittarius and Scorpius are visible.
  6. Capricorn, Libra, Sagittarius and Scorpius are visible.
  7. Capricorn, Libra, Sagittarius and Scorpius are visible.

You can also find your constellation by using our Virtual Planetarium™ astronomy software.  A planisphere is another useful device.

Hey, here’s a cool image from the constellation Sagittarius:

The Trifid Nebula in the constellation Sagittarius (Credit: NASA)

Nebulae are clouds of dust and gas.  Many nebulae — like the Trifid Nebula — serve as stellar nurseries, where stars are born.

Be Sure to See Jupiter This Month

This August is a prime time to see the massive planet Jupiter.  It’s at “opposition” in mid-August, meaning the Earth is between the sun and Jupiter, and Jupiter is at its brightest.  Jupiter’s easy to find with the naked eye:

  • If you’re in the northern hemisphere of Earth, Jupiter is the very bright object that you’ll see toward the southeast during the evening hours (between sunset and midnight).
  • If you live in the southern hemisphere of Earth, Jupiter will appear in the northeast during the evening hours.

If you have a telescope, the best time to see Jupiter is in the late evening hours, close to midnight.  At that point Jupiter is high in the sky, above the thicker layers of the atmosphere found near the horizon: You’ll get a much crisper view of Jupiter if you observe it when it’s high in the sky.  You might see as many as four large moons orbiting the planet.

BTW, if your star is in the constellation Capricorn then you’re in luck: Jupiter is also in Capricorn right now.  So just find Jupiter and you’re looking at your constellation.

Jupiter and one of its moons.  Three Earth's could fit inside the Great Red Spot, pictured here.  (Credit: NASA)
Jupiter and Io, one of the giant planet's four largest moons. Jupiter is so big that three Earth's could easily fit inside the Great Red Spot, which is pictured here. (Credit: NASA)

For you early birds, the planets Mars and Venus are visible  this month in the east before sunrise.