Poor Will's Almanack: August 7 - 13, 2018

Aug 7, 2018

When Deep Summer’s wildflowers start to pale, then blackberries redden and turn sweet and black, perfect for cobblers and jam. And then, fittingly enough, the Black-Eyed Susan Moon, reaching perigee (its position closest to Earth) on August 10, becomes the Blackberry Jam Moon the very next day.

That Blackberry Jam Moon, like all new Moons, gives little light, and its faint crescent will have set before the major planets, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars, follow the sunset, and it will offer no light to interfere with the visibility of the Perseid meteors, up to sixty in an hour, August 11 through 13 in the east a little  after midnight.

As you wait for shooting stars, find Perseus well up in the east, leading the first stars of Orion out of the earth. The Perseid meteors will eminate from that corner of the sky, and shoot out to find Pegasus above you.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the second week of Late Summer. In the meantime, plan your nighttime vigil: Go outside after dark, look for Venus in the west, and Jupiter, and Saturn and Mars along the southern horizon.

By the time Venus and Jupiter have set, then begin watching for the Perseid Meteors. And if you stay up all night, you might see Saturn and Mars disappear and then watch the new Blackberry Jam Moon rising before the Sun.