Star calendar for September 2016

Star calendar 1–30 September 2016

1 Sep      The equation of time is zero.

6 Sep      The moon is at apogee, 63.51 Earth-radii (405,000 kilometers) away.

8 Sep      Low in the southwest at sunset, Saturn is 2 finger-widths below the moon. Arcturus lies 3 finger-widths to Saturn’s lower left. Mars is 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower left.

9 Sep      Tonight the first-quarter moon is 4 finger-widths to the upper left of Mars.

10 Sep     The moon is above the dome of Sagittarius this evening.

12 Sep     Tonight the bright star 2½ fist-widths above the moon is Altair. Mercury is at inferior conjunction, passing between the sun and earth.

16 Sep     Low in the south at midnight, Fomalhaut is 3 fist-widths to the full moon’s lower right.

18 Sep     The moon is at perigee, 56.74 Earth-radii (362,000 kilometers) away. Venus passes within 1 finger-width of Spica this evening. Venus sets little more than 1 hour after the sun, so look low in the west as the sky darkens.

20 Sep     The moon rises late this evening, 3 hours after sunset, followed shortly by Aldebaran.

21 Sep     Aldebaran is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s left or upper left high in the south before dawn. The Pleiades Cluster is 1 fist-width to the moon’s upper right. Orion is far to the lower left. Follow the three stars that make up Orion’s belt 2 fist-widths to the lower left to Sirius, the Dog Star.

22 Sep     Betelgeuse is 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s lower left. The sun crosses the celestial equator from north to south at 1421 UT, marking the autumnal equinox, the first day of fall in the Northern Hemisphere.

23 Sep     This morning, the last-quarter moon is surrounded by several fist magnitude stars: Aldebaran, 2 fist-widths to the upper right, Betelgeuse, 1 fist-width to the lower right, and Procyon, 2½ fist-widths to the lower left. Pollux is 2½ fist-widths to the left, and Capella is 3 fist-widths to the upper left.

25 Sep     The moon lies between Procyon, 1 fist-width to the lower right, and Pollux, the same distance to the upper left. The Big Dipper, Ursa Major, stands on its handle far to the left.

27 Sep     Regulus is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left this morning.

28 Sep     Low in the east this morning, Regulus is 3 finger-widths above the moon, and Mercury is less than 1 fist-width to the lower left. Since Mercury is at its greatest western elongation, 17.9 degrees, this is your best opportunity to see it.

29 Sep     Using binoculars, look low in the east as the sky begins to lighten. Mercury is 1 finger-width above the thin crescent moon.

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