Don’t get us wrong, we love summertime but we often find we’re busier doing things other than astronomy in the evenings. So as the nights start to draw in and things are cooling down, we find we have more time to get the flasks filled up and out in the dark sky watching again.
Last month we managed a shot or two of the Supermoon (as shown below) but not a lot else, something we are very much hoping to rectify in September. But we all need something to look at so with that in mind below we’ve listed a little something for everyone to see, in our monthly astronomy guide for September.
Keep watching the skies!
Tuesday 2nd September – This morning the Moon can be seen at First Quarter phase
Monday 8th September – The Moon is at Perigee today at a distance of 358,385 km (222,690 miles), the closest point of its orbit to the Earth
Tuesday 9th September – The September Full Moon seen tonight is also sometimes known as the Harvest Moon, Barley Moon or Singing Moon
Tuesday 16th September – This afternoon our Moon will be seen at Last Quarter phase
To help identify the constellations you can see throughout the month, below we’ve provided guide images for both southern and northern skies in September (shown as seen at 00:00 UTC (01:00 BST) on 16th September)
Saturday 20th September – Today the Moon is at Apogee at a distance of 405,845 km (252,180 miles) the furthest point out in its orbit around the Earth this month
And if you’re an early riser the Moon pays a close visit to Jupiter to the east before dawn, shown above at 04:00 UTC / 05:00 BST
Sunday 21st September – Today Mercury is at Greatest Eastern Elongation, and it is also Autumnal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere
Wednesday 24th September – The New Moon rises with (and sets just after) the Sun today, so now is a good time to observe deep sky objects when the skies are unaffected by moonlight
Friday 26th September – The waxing crescent Moon is visited closely by Mercury this evening, as seen in our guide image above (shown at 17:30 UTC / 18:30 BST). If conditions are right and you have a very flat western horizon you may get to see them together
Saturday 27th September – Red planet Mars visits red star Antares this evening, its name meaning “Rival of Mars”. Look low to the south west after sunset, and you’ll also catch Saturn in Libra, and the thin crescent Moon (shown above at 18:30 UTC / 19:30 BST)
As usual, if you take any photos throughout September you’d like to show us, please tweet them to us using the link below! We’d love to see your efforts and we’ll re-tweet them to your fellow sky-watchers!
Planets visible this month:
Remember, it can take your eyes up to 20 minutes to become properly dark adapted, and anything up to an hour for a telescope to reach ambient temperature outside (to ensure the best image), so give yourself plenty of time to get set up!
To make it easier to find this list of astronomical happenings you can also locate it in the “Monthly Guide” section in the menu bar to the right. Handy! 🙂
Guide images created with Stellarium