Star Calendar – September, 2015

Star Calendar

September 2015

Star Calendar Planets:

Moon will be waning as September opens and the ecliptic especially steep to the horizon in the morning. This circumstance will show especially thin and horizontal crescents on the 11/12th. New Moon begins the Hebrew new year (Rosh Hashanah) 5776 Anno Mundi. Moon’s ascending node currently lies where the Sun stands on the 24th, making this month an eclipse season. On the 13th the New Moon will be at an extreme apogee and its shadow will not reach the earth; a partial solar eclipse (for those near South Africa and the proximate part of Antarctica). However the Full and most perigee Moon of the 27–28th may well yield an especially dark lunar eclipse. A dark Moon is hard to see and is much more creepy than a red/yellow one; it looks like a giant stone hanging in the sky.

Mercury makes a large angle from the evening Sun on the 4th — but suffers from a shallow ecliptic. One may catch a peek around then, low in the west at 8PM. Mercury begins retrograde motion on the 17 and crosses the nearside of the Sun on the 30th.

Venus brightens to a maximum magnitude (for the year) of -4.8 on the 20th. She is receding from us and waxing in phase but is brightest while still crescent. The angular area Venus occupies in the sky diminishes as she recedes, that area being maximal on the 21st — when the waxing phase briefly overtakes the diminishing of receding distance.

Sun crosses the celestial equator on the 23rd, its center crossing at 4:21AM. The day of equinox is still 3 minutes longer than night though, a 12-hour-night waits for the 25/26th. Success in balancing eggs on their ends at equinox only indicates a greater patience and diligence in the attempt. There is no special gravity or balance-energy that day. Sorry.

Mars defers to Venus these mornings and passes (slightly dimmer than and) close to Regulus on the 25th, while bracketed by Venus above, Jupiter below.

Jupiter will be noticed emerging from his sunbath some fine morning this month, appearing below and much brighter than Regulus in the east. Weather and horizon permitting, look for it while scouting for old crescent Moons in the east at 6AM on the 11/12th.

Saturn is in the lower SW in the evening, and is the brightest celestial object in the vicinity. The Moon will be nearby on the 18th. Continue reading

Star Calendar — September 2007

Star Calendar

September 2007

Star Calendar Planets:

Mercury will make a poor appearance in the western evening sky in mid-September. It will dash to the eastern morning sky by late October.

Venus will quickly rise into the eastern pre-dawn sky in September and will shine beside Regulus and Saturn by early October. On October 7th the waning Moon will join them.

Mars rises in the middle of the night in the horns of Taurus as September opens. It rises earlier in the evening and brightens as the weeks pass. Mars makes its highest and longest path across our sky on October 1st when it is of Betelgeuse of Orion – best seen in the south at about 6:00 AM.

Jupiter lingers in Ophiucus above Antares and is in the south at sunset as September begins. It slowly accelerates its direct motion and fades eastward toward the setting Sun.

Saturn appears close to Regulus in the eastern morning sky in mid-September. It may be visible under the waning Moon on September 9th and will have a sojourn with Venus a month later.

As seen from the Apollo 15 landing site; central Earth-side of the Moon and about 25° north of the Moon’s equator: Continue reading