DUE TO THE IMPACT OF CURRENT EVENTS, SOUTHERN CROSS ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY IS CANCELLING ALL PUBLIC OUTREACH ACTIVITIES UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. NORMAL OPERATIONS WILL RETURN AS SOON AS IT IS DEEMED SAFE TO DO SO. THANK YOU FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING AND COOPERATION.

 

Stargazer

SCAS  SEPTEMBER 2020 - Compiled by Barb Yager

Lunar Timetable

 
Full Moon Image
Full Moon September 2nd @ 1:22 am
Last Quarter Moon Image
Last Quarter Moon September 10th @ 5:26 am
New Moon Image
New Moon September 17th  @ 7:00 am
First Quarter Moon Image
First Quarter Moon September 23rd @ 9:55 pm
 

 

METEOR SHOWERS THIS MONTH

NO MAJOR METEOR SHOWERS THIS MONTH


Here are some tips on how to maximize your time looking for meteors and fireballs during December:

  • Get out of the city to a place where city and artificial lights do not impede your viewing
  • If you are out viewing the shower during its peak, you will not need any special equipment. You should be able to see the shower with your naked eyes.
  • Carry a blanket or a comfortable chair with you - viewing meteors, just like any other kind of stargazing is a waiting game, and you need to be comfortable. Plus, you may not want to leave until you can't see the majestic celestial fireworks anymore.

 

BRIGHT COMETS THIS MONTH

Comet 88P/ Howell

 

Comet 88P/ Howell is expected to reach peak brightness around the 15 September, 2020 at magnitude 8. The comet will then reach perihelion on 15 September, 2020.

                   

 

Clear Sky Clock

 


Evening

 

Planets

Mars rises mid evening; Saturn & bright Jupiter in the south; Neptune rises by nightfall;
Uranus rises late evening; Mercury near WSW horizon by 18th.  
 
 
02- Mid-evening the bright Full Moon floats 4 degrees below Neptune. Fomalhaut twinkles near the SE horizon in Aquarius. 
05- Moon and Mars meet 0.03 degree apart by 11 p.m.
06- By Midnight the Moon drifts 3 degrees below blue-green Uranus.  
11- Neptune becomes opposite the Sun (180 degrees) at 4 p.m. Neptune is the farthest gas planet in our solar system. Discovered in 1846 by German astronomer Johann Galle, Neptune currently has 14 named satellite moons.  Neptune rises in the ESE at sunset and will cross the sky all night.
18- Aim binoculars to Mercury appearing briefly on the WSW horizon at dusk. Mercury forms a triangle with Spica (left) and a 1-day crescent Moon (right). 
21- By nightfall a crescent Moon leads huge Scorpius along the SW horizon. The Moon lies 1 degree from Beta Scorpii in the Scorpion's head. Mercury and Spica are 1 degree apart on the WSW horizon.
23- FIRST QUARTER MOON occurs at 9:55 p.m.
24- The crescent Moon floats near the handle of the tilted Sagittarian Teapot `pouring' onto the tail of the Scorpion in the south. 
25-Tonight the Moon passes 2 degrees from Saturn. 
29- Late evening the Moon lies 4 degrees below Neptune.
 
 
 

 

 

Constellations

Early in the month Spica in Virgo follows the setting Sun low in  the WSW.Bright Arcturus (red giant) sparkles in the west. The Big Dipper swings low in NW. Libra shimmers in the WSW. Scorpius crawls along the SW horizon. The Sagittarian Teapot (center of our Milky Way Galaxy) lies in the south. The southern sky is filled with a myriad of deep sky objects visible in binoculars and telescopes. Capricornus, Sea Goat, rambles across the SSE followed by Aquarius. Westbound Hercules leads bright Vega and the vast Summer Triangle across the Zenith. Altair in Aquila, Eagle is the southern point star and Deneb the northern point star of the Triangle. Cygnus, Swan soars within the Triangle. The Royal Family ascends in the NE: King Cepheus, Queen Cassiopeia, daughter Andromeda and Perseus. The Great Square of Pegasus rises in the east. Cetus, Whale swims along the SE horizon.


SOURCES:
NASA News
Astronomy/Sky & Telescope magazines
EarthSky News
Space.com
Spaceweather.com
Abrams Planetarium, MSU


Morning

 

Planets

Brilliant Venus rises 3 a.m.; Uranus, Neptune, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter arch across the south.

 

02- The FULL CORN MOON occurs 1:22 a.m. and lies 4 degrees below Neptune. Summer solstice occurs on Mars which reduces the polar caps on the Martian surface. 
04- Venus glows below the Gemini Twins: Castor & Pollux about 7 degrees above the Beehive cluster. 
06- The Moon remains 0.03 degrees from Mars at 1 a.m.
07- In the predawn hour the Moon floats 3 degrees lower left from Uranus.
09- At dawn the Moon drifts 5 degrees above Aldebaran in the Hyades cluster--the face of Taurus, Bull.
10- LAST QUARTER MOON occurs 5:26 a.m. Venus lies 3 degrees above the Beehive cluster in Cancer,
the Crab. Orion, Hunter climbs higher in the east, followed by Procyon, Orion's Little Dog. Brilliant blue Sirius sparkles in Orion's Big Dog in the SE. 
13- Before dawn, Venus lies 2 degrees below the Beehive cluster. Leo, Lion glares over the E. horizon. 
14- At dawn a celestial Trio forms in the east. Venus and the Beehive cluster are 2 degrees apart. The waning Moon rises 4 degrees below Venus. 
15- The old Moon leads the Lion above the eastern horizon. 
17- NEW MOON occurs at 7 a.m. 
22- AUTUMNAL EQUINOX occurs 9:31 a.m. when the southbound Sun crosses the Equator. Day and night are about equal for a week. The Sun rises due east and sets due west. Drivers must be cautious on the east-west roads during those hours. 
30- An hour before dawn, brilliant Venus leads Leo, Lion above the eastern horizon. 
 
Constellations
 
Aries, Ram chases Pegasus (Winged Horse) westward. Cygnus, Swan becomes the Northern Cross on the NW horizon. The Royal Family pivots toward the NW. Overhead the Seven Sisters (Pleiades cluster) lead Taurus, Bull to the Zenith. Capella guides Auriga the Charioteer higher in the NE. Orion, Hunter, strides toward the south, followed by Procyon, Orion's Little Dog and brilliant blue Sirius in Orion's Big Dog in SE..  The Gemini Twins climb higher in NE. Leo, Lion peers over the eastern horizon. The bowl of the Big Dipper appears in NE.