What’s Up in the September Sky

Sky Safari star map annotated with Annotable by Peter Tagatac.

September’s Evening Planets

Bright Venus will shine at its brightest during the last week of September. It will be up for about 1 hour after sunset close to the horizon, moving from Virgo the Maiden to Libra the Scales next month. Mars will be up all night. You can find it in Sagittarius the Archer at the beginning of the month and in Capricornus the Sea-goat by the end of the month.

Jupiter will be in Libra the Scales until 11 PM and setting earlier every night until 9 PM by the end of September. Saturn will be in Sagittarius the Archer until 2 AM and setting earlier every night until midnight by the end of the month. Neptune is in Aquarius the Water bearer and Uranus will be in Aries the Ram all night. Dwarf Planet Pluto is in Sagittarius the Archer all night.

September’s Evening Stars

Spot the Summer Triangle of Vega in Lyra the Harp, Deneb in Cygnus the Swan, and Altair in Aquila the Eagle all night, every night. Antares in Scorpio the Scorpion will be up until 10 PM. Spot Arcturus in Boötes the Herdsman and the stars of constellations Andromeda, Perseus, Hercules,  Pegasus, Draco, Cepheus, Cassiopeia,  Sagittarius, Aquarius, Capricornus, and Ursa Major and Ursa Minor (the Big and Little Dippers).

September’s Morning Planets

Bright Mars will be up until 4 AM and setting earlier every night until 2 AM by the end of September. Mercury will be up after 6 AM in Leo the Lion in the first week of September. Neptune is in Aquarius the Water bearer and Uranus will be in Aries the Ram until the morning.

September’s Morning Stars

Sirius, the brightest star viewed from Earth, will be up around 5:00 am every morning, and earlier every day rising at 3:00 AM by the end of September.

Spot Vega in Lyra the Harp, Capella in Auriga the charioteer, and the stars of Aquarius, Cetus, Taurus, Gemini, Orion, Pegasus, Andromeda, Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Draco, Perseus, and Ursa Major and Ursa Minor (the Big and Little Dippers).

September Skylights

Sep   2   Last Quarter Moon at 10:35 PM
Sep   7   Moon at perigee (224,500 miles away)
Sep   9   New Moon at  2 PM
Sep 16   Mars is at its closest to the Sun (128 Million miles)
Sep 16   First Quarter Moon at 7:15 PM
Sep 19   Moon at apogee (251,600 miles away)
Sep 20  Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars lines up around 8 PM
Sep 21  Bright Venus lines up with Jupiter, Spica, and Antares, after sunset
Sep 22  Autumnal equinox at 9:55 PM
Sep 24  Full Moon at 10:52 PM

Times given in EDT.

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