National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Astronomical Information | 2016 | August

The sky of Tokyo

The sky of Tokyo (9:00 p.m. Mid-August)
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Calendar (August)

3New Moon
9Traditional tanabata (traditional star festival)
11First Quarter Moon/ Mountain Day [Yama-no-hi](national holiday)
12The Perseid Meteor Shower peaks around 22:00 (The best time for viewing is before dawn on the 13th. On the order of 45 meteors per hour are expected. Conditions are good after the Moon sets around Midnight.)
14Saturn at stationary point
17Greatest Eastern Elongation of Mercury
18Full Moon
25Last Quarter Moon
30Mercury at stationary point

The days for the peak activities of the meteor showers are based on the predictions of IMO (International Meteor Organization).


Mercury reaches its greatest eastern elongation on the 17th, but as seen from Tokyo its elevation is not even 10 degrees at 30 minutes after sunset, making observation difficult.
Venus appears close to the Sun and is not suited for observations.
Mars moves away from the constellation Libra, approaching the constellation Scorpio. It can be seen in the southern to southwestern evening sky. Its brightness is -0.8 magnitude to -0.3 magnitude.
Jupiter moves from the constellation Leo to the constellation Virgo. It can be seen low in the western sky. Its brightness is -1.7 magnitude.
Located in the constellation Ophiuchus, Saturn can be seen in the southern to southwestern evening sky. Its brightness is 0.3 magnitude to 0.5 magnitude.

Source: Ephemeris Computation Office, NAOJ

With the “Sky Viewer” you can easily explore the appearance of a typical urban night sky (planets and constellations are visible).The Celestial Phenomena section of the glossary explains the planetary phenomena terms: greatest elongation, opposition, conjunction, stationary, etc.


Planetary Phenomena