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THIS MONTH’S SKY - September 2012

This Month’s Sky

September 2012


      September's Evening Planets -- There's not too much of interest in the evening sky this month. Saturn, Mars and the star Spica form a grouping low in the west early in the month. Saturn and Spica are lost by midmonth, while Mars's quick movement to the east keeps it in view for a while longer.

     September's Evening Stars -- The Summer Triangle dominates the stellar sky. From a dark-sky location track the Milky Way from Cygnus the Swan through Aquila the Eagle on to Sagittarius the Archer. Look for the autumn constellations Pegasus, Andromeda and Perseus.

     September's Morning Planets -- As the month begins Jupiter rises about midnight. Look for it close to the Moon on Sept 8. By the end of the month Jupiter will rise at 10 PM, and will continue to appear earlier in the upcoming months. On the other hand, brilliant Venus rises earlier, from 3 AM on the first of the month, but falls back towards the Sun and by the end of September sets at 4 AM. Late in the month Venus enters the constellation Leo.

     September's Morning Stars -- Orion is now well up by 2 AM. Surrounding him are Taurus the Bull (above and right), Auriga the Charioteer (above),Gemini the Twins (above and left), Canis Major the Large Dog (below left) and Canis Minor the Small Dog (left).

September's "Skylights":
September 8
: Jupiter is 1.5 degrees above right of the Moon. Last Quarter Moon at 9:15 AM EDT.
September 12: Venus is 4.7 degrees east of the Moon.
September 15: New Moon at 10:11 PM EDT.
September 17: Spica is 4.4 degrees north of the Moon. Saturn is 5.0 degrees north of the Moon.
September 19: Mars is 1.2 degrees upper right of the Moon.
September 22: Autumnal Equinox at 10:49 AM EDT. First Quarter Moon at 3:41 PM EDT.
September 29: Uranus is at opposition, closest to the Earth and up all night. Full Moon at 11:19 PM EDT.