Fri., Sept. 12 6:18 6:56
Sat., Sept. 13 6:19 6:55
Sun., Sept. 14 6:20 6:53
Mon., Sept. 15 6:21 6:51
Tues., Sept. 16 6:22 6:49
Wed., Sept. 17 6:23 6:48
Thurs., Sept. 18 6:24 6:46
Fri., Sept. 19 6:25 6:44
For a sign of autumn in the night sky look at next week’s full moon. Monday night’s harvest moon appears in the zodiacal constellation Pisces. The full moon is close to the astronomical equator. Just as the sun will cross the equator later this month on the first day of fall, so too the full moon appears close to the equator.
The full moon will be near the distant and difficult to spot planet Uranus. Uranus is in opposition this month and it too resides in Pisces. Experienced amateur astronomers can pick out the faint planet. A pair of binoculars are essential, along with a current star chart that identifies the planet.
With the arrival of the harvest moon, autumn is only seven days away.
The easiest planet to spot is Jupiter, high in the southern sky for most of the night. Jupiter is in the zodiacal constellation Sagittarius and outshines all the stars in the evening sky. The solar system’s largest planet, Jupiter rests above Sagittarius’s teapot, a small collection of stars at the heart of the constellation.
Only Venus is brighter. Venus resides in the western sky and sets a short time after sunset. The challenge in spotting Venus is having a clear view of the western sky. Venus will be easier to spot later in the month.
Venus, Mars and Mercury appear as a close triangle, best viewed on a perfect early evening in the west-southwestern sky.