The Sky this Week, Aug. 30 – Sep. 5

“The Sky This Week” appears every Tuesday. It is written by Ian Clarke, Director of the Hatter Planetarium at Gettysburg College.  The planetarium offers regular educational presentations about the stars and the skies; there’s something for early elementary through adults. Field trip requests are welcome. NOTE: field trip request form for Fall 2022 is now live, and the schedule of free public shows has been posted.

As I noted last week, the moon was new on the 27th. That means it is now emerging as a waxing crescent into the evening sky after sunset, growing a little bigger and farther away from the sunset each night. Check out the illustration. The moon will reach first quarter on September 3.

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Look east this week after it is thoroughly to dark to see Jupiter and Saturn. Jupiter is about as bright right now as it can get. Each planet’s brightness in our sky varies with the changing positions of the earth, that planet, and the sun. Also in the east, you’ll see the constellation Pegasus, famous in mythology as a winged horse. The most noticeable part of this constellation is highlighted in the accompanying illustration. Not surprisingly, it is called the Great Square of Pegasus.

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Ian Clarke is the director of the Hatter Planetarium at Gettysburg College. In addition he has taught introductory astronomy labs and first-year writing there for over 30 years (not necessarily all at the same time). He was educated at Biglerville High School, the University of Virginia, and the University of Iowa. He lives in Gettysburg.

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