Visiting PMO in August (2019)
Sunsets at PMO rapidly become earlier in August – from about 8:30 p.m. at the outset to about 7:45 p.m. at the end. This means you won’t have to wait as long to see the Milky Way and some great “deep sky” objects, but do plan on arriving at or shortly after sunset if you want to observe the planets Jupiter (now moving over into the southwestern sky) and Saturn. Neptune will be visible later, after dark, between about 11 p.m. and the end of most tours (around midnight). The annual Perseid Meteor shower peaks on the night of Monday-Tuesday August 12-13, and unfortunately there will be a lot of moonlight interference this year. PMO is not open for tours on weeknights, but you can still use the campground if desired.
Aug 2-3 – Very thin crescent moon sets by end of twilight; and doesn’t interfere with viewing.
Aug 9-10 – Bright gibbous moon sets late and interferes with viewing most other objects. But could still be good for viewing some lunar features.
Aug 16-17 – Moon is just past full, still very bright, and rises before end of twilight. Avoid this weekend if possible.
Aug 23-24 – Moon is now just past last quarter and doesn’t rise until after midnight, so if you aren’t planning to stay that late, viewing of “deep sky” objects should be excellent.
Aug. 30-31 – Back to a new moon weekend! Excellent viewing of “deep sky” objects, weather permitting.