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Today’s Almanac – August 22, 2013

National Park News

The Skies

Sun and Moon Data

To find sun and moon rising and setting times for your park or office, go to the U.S. Naval Observatory’s Complete Sun and Moon Data for One Day webpage.

Night Skies

An update on the moon, planets and night skies for the month of August:

  • Venus – The planet shines brilliantly (- 3.9 magnitude) in the evening sky at twilight.
  • Jupiter – The planet is bright in the morning sky in the constellation Gemini.
  • Mars – Mars appears only a few degrees from Jupiter in the pre-dawn sky in early August.
  • Mercury – The planet will be about ten degrees above the horizon in the east-northeast at the beginning of the month and will be at its brightest (- 1.0 magnitude).
  • Saturn – The planet is in the constellation Virgo in the evening sky.
  • Meteors – The Perseid meteor shower, which runs from July 17th to August 24th, will be at its peak (about 100 meteors per hour) on August 12th. The moon won’t be in the sky, so viewing should be good.

Calendar of celestial events for the rest of August and early September:
  • Wednesday, 8/28 – Last quarter moon.
  • Thursday, 9/5 – New moon.
  • Sunday, 9/8 – The moon passes less than a degree from Spica and less than a half degree from Venus just after sunset, with Saturn a little to the left and above the moon.
  • Thursday, 9/12 – First quarter moon.

For more information on stars, planets and other night sky phenomena, go to “The Sky This Week” page at the U.S. Naval Observatory page at

The Weather

Watches and Warnings

The principal watches and warnings posted as of early this morning were as follows. Note that these change over the course of a day and that this listing represents only initial daily forecasts. Click on this link for a full-sized map showing these hazards:
  • Red flag warnings – Northern California, most of Oregon and Idaho, and parts of Montana and Washington.

For additional information on severe weather, go to the NOAA Storm Prediction Center at .

Tropical Cyclones

The National Hurricane Center is not tracking any tropical systems at present.

For additional information on tropical cyclones, go to the National Hurricane Center web page at

In Memoriam

On August 22, 1951, Grier Chatfield, 75, a powerhouse operator at Old Faithful in Yellowstone, died of a heart attack at work.

On August 22, 1972, John Childers, 59, a seasonal maintenance employee at Great Smoky Mountains, drowned when the wake from a passing boat caused his barge to capsize on Fontana Lake while transporting a backhoe to Hazel Creek to start sewer repair work.

Click here for a full listing.

From The Morning Report Archives

Today’s incident from the Morning Report archives:

Jefferson National Expansion Memorial – The tenth annual Veiled Prophet Fair, billed at the time as the nation’s largest Fourth of July celebration, was held on park grounds from June 30 to July 4, 1990. One North Atlantic Region and three Midwest Region special events teams assisted the park staff in providing security and assistance to the nearly three million visitors who attended the four-day festival. Special use permits were issued to seven organizations for First Amendment demonstration or petition gatherings; ten other groups or individuals were removed tom park grounds for undertaking similar activities without permits. Twelve arrests were made and over 50 citations issued, but no major incidents were reported. The temperature on the Fourth of July reached 102 degrees, a new all-time high for the date, and the humidity was high; heat-related illnesses were therefore extensive.


Ruby on RailsRuby: 1.8.7, Rails: 1.1.6