Astronomical Events for August and September 2000
1 Lammas (“loaf-mass”), also called the Festival of St. Peter’s Chains or of the Maccabees; Gaelic holiday Lugnasad.
2 President Warren G. Harding dies in office and is succeeded by Vice President Calvin Coolidge, 1923.
3 Hurricane Celia strikes Corpus Christi, Texas, killing 11 people and causing $454 million in damage, 1970.
5 Saturn south of the Pleiades star cluster (they rise not long before the brighter Jupiter in hour after midnight).
6 FIRST QUARTER MOON,. 9:02 P.M. EDT; Venus near star Regulus (binoculars needed), very low in west at dusk today and tomorrow; atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, 1945.
7 Halfway point of summer.
8 Jesse Owens wins his fourth gold medal at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.
9 Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, 1945; Richard Nixon resigns the presidency, 1974.
10 Mercury and Mars close together at dawn, but very low in a bright sky (need binoculars); Sun enters constellation Leo; Congress establishes the Smithsonian Institute, 1846.
11 First peak of Perseid meteors from northeast late this evening; second peak will be in the hour between moonset and start of morning twilight (3:30 to 4:30 A.M. of August 12).
12 Asteroid Juno at opposition, closest and visible all night long (optical aid and a finder chart are always needed to locate Juno).
14 Victory Day in Rhode Island; temperature hit 113 degrees Fahrenheit in Kansas City, 1936.
15 FULL MOON (Green Corn or Grain Moon), 1:13 A.M. EDT.
16 Elvis Presley dies, 1977.
17 Hurricane Camille hits Mississippi coast with sustained winds of 200 mph and storm surges as high as 24 feet, 1969.
18 Woodstock music festival ends after three days, 1969.
19 Augustus Caesar died at age 76, A.D. 14
20 Viking 1 spacecraft, bound for Mars, launched, 1975; Voyager 2 spacecraft, bound for Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and
Neptune, launched 1977.
21 Jupiter-Saturn-Moon line rises a while before midnight.
22 LAST QUARTER MOON, 2:51 P.M. EDT; sun enters astrological sign Virgo.
23 Mt. Vesuvius erupts, A.D. 79.
24 Voyager 2 spacecraft flies past Neptune, 1989.
25 Voyager 2 spacecraft flies past Saturn, 1981.
26 Women’s Equality Day.
27 In 1964, Hurricane Cleo hit Miami and southern Florida with gusts up to 135 mph; eruption of Krakatoa, 1883.
28 Galileo spacecraft bound for Jupiter flies past and photographs asteroid Ida and discovers its little moon, Dactyl, 1993.
29 NEW MOON, 6:19 A.M. EDT.
30 Look for Venus not far to lower left of a slender crescent moon, low in the west at dusk.
31 Hurricane Carol hit eastern New England, killing 60, flooding Providence and causing $450 million in damage this day in 1954; Charleston, South Carolina, earthquake kills 100 people, 1886.
1 Titanic discovered 13,000 feet below the North Atlantic, 1985.
2 The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 hit Florida Keys with lowest barometric pressure ever in U.S. (26.35 inches), killing 408.
3 Viking 2 Lander set down on Mars, 1976.
4 Labor Day.
5 FIRST QUARTER MOON, 12:27 P.M. EDT.
6 President William McKinley shot by Leon Czolgosz, 1901 (dies eight days later).
7 Jupiter due north of bright star Aldebaran (they rise, close together in late evening).
8 One hundred years ago today, 6,000 people killed by a surprise hurricane tide in Galveston, Texas.
9 In 1921, 38.2 inches of rain fell in 24 hours at Thrall, Texas.
10 Forty years ago today, Hurricane Donna strikes the Florida Keys, with barometer as low as 27.46 inches and gusts up to 180 mph.
11 Diocletian New Year (year 1717); Hurricane Carla hits central Texas coast with 17.5 inches of rain and 45 deaths, 1961.
12 Saturn stationary among background stars and closest to bright star Aldebaran for this year (about one fist-width at arm’s length from the star, about twice as far as Jupiter now is from Aldebaran); Saturn, Aldebaran and Jupiter all rise together in late evening.
13 FULL MOON (Harvest Moon – full moon closest to au tumn equinox), 3:37 P.M. EDT.
14 Byzantine New Year (year 7509); Francis Scott Key writes “The Star-Spangled Banner,” 1814, during War of 1812.
16 At dawn, Mars just north of brighter star, Regulus (look low in east); Sun enters con stellation Virgo; Mayflower leaves Plymouth, England, for America with 102 pilgrims, 1620.
19 At dawn, a pretty triangle of moon, Jupiter and Saturn; Venus nearest the bright star Spica, very low in west at dusk (binoculars may be needed to spot Spica).
20 LAST QUARTER MOON, 9:28 P.M. EDT.
21 J.R.R. Tolkien publishes The Hobbit, 1937.
22 AUTUMN EQUINOX (start of autumn), 1:27 P.M. EDT; sun enters astrological sign Libra.
24 Temperature hits -9 degrees Fahrenheit at Yellowstone National Park, 1926
25 At dawn, compact triangle of moon-Mars-Regulus will fit in field of view of many binoculars; Yosemite National Park established, 1890.
26 In 1950, pall from Canadian forest fires causes blue sun and moon in northeast U.S. (including Pennsylvania and New Jersey) and at night a purple total eclipse of the moon.
27 NEW MOON, 3:53 P.M. EDT; the Warren Commission Report on JFK’s assassination released, 1964.
29 Rosh Hashanah, first day of the Jewish New Year 5761, begins at sunset; Michaelmas; Venus appears lower left of moon, low in west-southwest at dusk.
30 Premiere of Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute in Vienna, 1791