September Night Sky


September is a great month for planets with Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Uranus, and Neptune all visible at various times. Venus, visible in the evening sky for so long, is now lighting up the dawn sky. Because of this behavior, it was originally thought by the ancient Greeks that Venus was two separate planets. The Romans had two names for Venus depending on when it was visible: the morning arrival of Venus was called Lucifer (Light-Bringer), and the evening appearance was called Vesper. More information: Venus on Wikipedia

There are no meteor showers worth discussing this month. The New Moon falls close to a weekend, so Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night observing and astrophotography (assuming weather holds) promise to be great.

Check out Jeff’s Observing reports on the NOVAC website

NOVAC Observing Report Sep. 2023

Jupiter Eclipse Events on Friday and Saturday Nights
  Sep  3   4:07 AM       Io Eclipse Start         (S -28  J 154  62)
  Sep 10   6:01 AM       Io Eclipse Start         (S  -9  J 230  61)
  Sep 23  11:47 PM   Europa Eclipse Start         (S -48  J 107  32)

The Sun
  Sep 10  will rise at 6:45 AM, will set at 7:25 PM
The Moon
  Sep 14  New Moon
  Sep 22  First Quarter
  Sep 29  Full Moon

  Sep 19  Neptune is at opposition (Earth between Neptune and the Sun)
  Sep 22  Mercury is at greatest western elongation (Mercury about 17 degrees
            above the horizon at sunrise from Sep 21 to Sep 25)
  Sep 23  Autumnal equinox

The Planets
                       Sep 10               
              rises  transits      sets    
  Mercury   6:14 AM  12:32 PM   6:52 PM    
  Venus     4:07 AM  10:46 AM   5:24 PM    
  Mars      8:32 AM   2:25 PM   8:17 PM    
  Jupiter   9:49 PM   4:46 AM  11:38 AM    
  Saturn    6:48 PM  12:10 AM   5:36 AM    

            mag   diam  notes for Sep 10 
           ----  -----  ---------------- 
  Mercury   3.2   9.9"                   
  Venus    -4.5  43.0"                   
  Mars      1.7   3.7"  WSW, 10*         
  Jupiter  -2.7  45.2"                   
  Saturn    0.5  18.8"  ESE, 6*          
  (* degrees elevation at sunset taking into account atmospheric refraction)
  (mag = apparent magnitude, diam = apparent equatorial angular diameter)
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