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Home / Science / When autumn arrives, we can still enjoy fantastic views of five planets

When autumn arrives, we can still enjoy fantastic views of five planets



Four planets are still visible at dusk until Venus departs in early October. Venus is very low in the west-southwest, with Jupiter in the southwest and Mars in the south-southeast, brilliantly protruding. When the earth retreats from Mars, the red planet slips to the third spot in brightness after Venus and Jupiter. Saturn ranked sixth in the south, somewhat weaker than the stars Arcturus in the west and Vega north from above

Other bright stars: Spica is 1.3 degrees right on Venus on the 1st of September and decreases mid-month in a bright dusk to the lower right side of Venus. Use binoculars to see Spica for a while. Antares is below a line between Jupiter and Saturn. Altair and Deneb complete the summer triangle with Vega

Follow the moon from a very thin crescent in the west on September 1

0 to the full, low southeast, on September 24. Watch the moon that passes four planets and two stars of the first magnitude, 11.-20.

If you have access to a telescope, set it up and share views of these flagship planets! To get the best results, start your observations no later than half an hour after sunset to catch Venus deep in the West-Southwest before sinking even further, and close with Mars climbing south-southeast. Watch the planets in order from west to east, giving you time to enjoy close-ups of each:

1. See Venus as a crescent moon, which is 40 percent full on September 1, and down to 17 percent on September 30. Venus peaks in the late month, and the crescent moon becomes more and more impressive: on September 1st, the disk is 30 arc seconds over 1/120 degrees, big enough for a 32-power telescope to make it look as tall as the one Moon to the naked eye – and grows in apparent size by more than 50 percent to the end of the month, while the Venus reduces their distance from the earth by more than a third. To reduce the glare of the planet against a dark sky, look in daylight or very soon after sunset, and even ordinary binoculars with 7 or 8 focal points will reveal the crescent moon!

. 2 Only 23 to 14 degrees up to the left of Venus find Jupiter . A telescope can show up to four of its bright moons discovered by Galileo.

. 3 Next, 45 to 41 degrees up to the left of Jupiter, find Saturn . A telescope shows its rings, now tilted by almost 27 degrees, into our view – the best view of the year and the best by 2032 – and Saturn's largest satellites, Titan, nine times farther out in a 16-day orbit as the outer rings the same level.

. 4 Finally, find 27 to 33 degrees down to the left or left of Saturn, Mars. After dark, the binoculars display an attractive, compact, 2 x 1 degree, dragon-shaped four-star star, the "Territory of Dogs" west of Mars, in the same field. Through a telescope, the red planet may still show a tiny remnant of the Southern Pole Cap of frozen carbon dioxide, which has shrunk severely in its late spring, and dark surface features, such as Syrtis Major, provided that Stormspells do not obscure our view. Visit the additional page of the Celestial Calendar at abramsplanetarium.org/msta to read the Chinese legend about the territory of dogs and to learn details about observing Mars nearby, explanations of the graphs of planet ascension / set times, the evening and dawn charts, January's total lunar eclipse and more.

Autumn begins on Saturday, September 22 at 18:54, as the sun passes directly over the Earth's equator. On Monday, September 24, the full harvest moon will be at 4:35 south of the true East at 6:52 pm within fifteen minutes of sunset. The moon will rise at dusk for the next two nights in Palm Springs at 19:24. September 25 and 19:57 On September 26, the moon will rise to the northeast on September 29 at 23:53, and two nights later, on October 1, the moon will begin at 11:35 [19659002] The best data for the evening viewing of the Milky Way at the end of dusk, with little or no moonlight, is until September 11 and from September 28 to October 10. 11. From a dark place follow the Milky Way band from the "Cloud of Steam" (Star Cloud of the Great Sagittarius) just above the teapot spout, through the Cygnus Star Cloud along the neck of the Swan in the Summer Triangle and beyond. The Cygnus Star Cloud, part of our own spiral arm, is viewed through binoculars and can be easily resolved into stars.

September at dawn: At the beginning of the month the bright Mercury in the east is still visible to the east-northeast, getting deeper every morning as it approaches the other side of the sun while weak Regulus, Heart of Leo, rising daily higher, due to the earth's revolution around the sun. Mercury and Regulus appear closest to each other on September 6 at a distance of 1.2 degrees. Binoculars will be useful if they see the couple in the same field deep in the dusk for a few mornings around that date. The old crescent moon will appear on Sept. 8 at Regulus.

Stars: Starting with the brightest star, Sirius in the southeast, clockwise around the "winter hexagon" around until Procyon Pollux Castor Capella Aldebaran Rigel and back to Sirius. (If you count the twin stars Pollux and Castor as a cornerstone of the polygon, then it's a hexagon with Betelgeuse inside.) Regulus in Leo chases the hexagon across the sky. The only other bright star at dawn, in the northwest, is Deneb, the last star of the summer triangle that disappears

Follow the waning moon in the morning sky from September 1 to 8. Watch it jump over the Hyades cluster and Aldebaran from September 2 to 6, and 10 degrees south (bottom right) from Pollux on September 6 and 1.4 degrees north (top left) from Regulus on September 8 happens. Bright Mercury is 4.5 degrees below the Moon-Regulus pair this morning. The moon begins on September 24 with another passage through the morning sky, with the not quite full moon lying south of the west. On the morning of September 30, the Gibbs Moon, which is 70 percent smaller, is 3 degrees east of Aldebaran. Binoculars easily show the bright star in the same field, and some stars of the Hyades cluster a little farther from the moon.

The Astronomical Society of the Desert website at www.astrorx.org contains a listing of our evening Star Parties in two locations. Sawmill Trailhead (SMT), our high-altitude site (4,000 feet), will host celebrity parties from Saturday, September 8 and October 6 at dusk. The monthly celebrity parties will continue on Saturday, October 13, in our more accessible site, the Visitor Center of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, located on Highway 74, within 4 miles south of Highway 111 in Palm Desert [19659002AbramsPlanetariumpublishesamonthly Sky Calendar with an evening sky map subscriptions are $ 12 a year for three printed issues, which are sent quarterly. The current set includes the 50th anniversary issue for October 2018. Subscribe or see an example of the issue at www.abramsplanetarium.org/skycalendar.

Robert C. Victor was an astronomer at the Abrams Planetarium at Michigan State University. Now retired, he enjoys providing celestial observation opportunities to different groups in the Coachella Valley. Robert D. Miller completed his work in planetarium science and later astronomy and computer science at Michigan State University and continues to work in research and public relations in astronomy. Dr. Jeffrey L. Hunt, a retired planetarium director now living in the Chicago area, has made the rising / setting sky charts below; He has taught astronomy and celestial observation for all ages. He studied astronomy at Abrams Planetarium at Michigan State University. Jeff writes an astronomy blog on Jeffreylhunt.wordpress.com and can be followed on Twitter @jeff_hunt.

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