This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, August 28th, and Thursday, August 29th, written by Louis Suarato.
The 3% illuminated, waning crescent Moon sets at 6:56 p.m. Wednesday. Wednesday morning, the thin crescent Moon and Beehive Cluster (M44) will be separated by less than 1 degree. The Moon will reappear 2% illuminated at 4:59 Thursday morning. The solar system’s two largest planets, Jupiter and Saturn, flank the Milky Way until they set at midnight and 2:02 a.m., respectively. Use binoculars or a small telescope to see globular cluster NGC 6235 less than a degree from Jupiter. This densely packed 7th magnitude star cluster contains thousands of stars.. NGC 6235 is located 3,800 light-years away from our solar system. Look to the left of Jupiter for this fuzzy deep sky object.. Depending on the timing of your observation, you may see the globular cluster in the midst of some of Jupiter’s Galilean moons.
Bright stars illuminate the pre-dawn sky with the return of the constellations Orion and Canis Major. Orion “the hunter” is back in the morning sky, pointing his bow high to the south. Orion is the home to the fifth and eighth brightest stars, Rigel and Betelgeuse. Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, is also back, rising in Canis Major following Orion. Sirius, Betelgeuse, and Rigel, along with Aldebaran, Procyon and Capella, provide a preview of the asterism known as the Winter Hexagon. Awake early Thursday to see an extremely bright International Space Station pass through the Winter Hexagon. The ISS will appear 25 degrees above the south-southwestern horizon at 5 a.m. before heading northeastward. The ISS will enter the Winter Hexagon at 5:03 a.m. when it sails close to Aldebaran in Taurus. The ISS will exit the Winter Hexagon as it flies by Pollux in Gemini.