For live links, click to: riverhouses.org/2019-august-sky
On the first Saturday of every month we post educational skywatching notes for the homeschool month ahead. Here’s the monthly northern hemisphere night-sky review for August 2019 from the Hubble Space Telescope’s website — the first star mentioned is Vega, our homeschool Great Star this month, which we’ll be writing more about next week:
And here’s another August night-sky review, courtesy of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. It particularly features the annual Perseid meteor shower that will peak on the 12 and 13th of this month in association with a nearly full moon, alas, that will wash out many of the fainter flashes:
For serious homeschool skywatchers, the weekly updates from Sky & Telescope magazine provide a wealth of additional detail. Here’s the latest one:
Overall, the best stargazing nights in August will be toward the beginning and end of the month: the moon will be full (and the dimmer stars less visible) on the 15th. As always, you can look up the moon’s phases in your River Houses almanac (riverhouses.org/books) and also at the excellent timeanddate.com website.
August is the last month of Hercules Term, the fourth of the four terms that make up the River Houses year. Our new school year will begin on the first of September. Download a print your own copies of our River Houses homeschool calendars (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us.
What celestial observations will you and your students be making in your homeschool this month? 😊
❡ Watchers of the skies: Teaching your students to recognize the constellations is one of the simplest and most enduring gifts you can give them. The planisphere on the front of your River Houses star atlas (riverhouses.org/books) will let you dial up the northern hemisphere sky for any night of the year, and the descriptions and maps of each constellation will point out the highlights. Find a dark-sky spot near you this month and spend some quality homeschool time beneath the starry vault. 🔭
❡ Star bright: This is one of our regular Homeschool Astronomy posts. Add your name to our River Houses mailing list (riverhouses.org/newsletter) and get great homeschool teaching ideas delivered right to your mailbox every week. 😊