Sky news for September 2017

What’s worth looking at in the sky this month? Brought to you by Pocket Universe.

The solar system as it was on 5th September

Planets

Venus is an morning star, rising before the Sun. As the day gets ready to begin, it’ll be joined by Mars and Mercury both hanging out in the morning sky. September 18 will see the Moon join them too, making for a great reason to get up early and look East.

Lots to see on the morning of September 18!

Jupiter sets early in the evening, but there’s still time to catch it in the West. Get that telescope out!

Saturn is in the South / West too, as evening falls. You should be able to spot the larger moons if your sky is clear of polution and telescope larger than a toy.

Uranus and Neptune are faint morning objects, requiring a telescope and patience to find.

Meteor showers

There is only minor meteor activity this month; the Aurigid’s peak around the end of the month. Look East/North on clear nights.

Sky Watching in September

The constellation Lyra is high overhead towards the South, containing the prominent bright star Vega. Lyra also contains M57, the Ring Nebula. This is a Magnitude 9 Planetary Nebula.

Close to Lyra is the constellation of Cygnus the Swan, and right at the head of the swan is Albireo, a beautiful double star.

Almost half-way between Albireo and the Ring Nebula is M56, a globular star cluster, and on the other side of Albireo lies M27, the Dumbbell Nebula, another Planetary Nebula.

Look down a little, and you’ll reach Hercules, which contains M13 — The Great Cluster. As the name suggests, this is a very bright cluster of stars — perhaps the best for observers in the Northern Hemisphere. Compare this cluster to M92, which is also in Hercules — M92 is a little fainter, but just as impressive, containing thousands of stars.

Moon phases

The Moon is Full on September 6th.
The Moon is at Last Quarter on September 13th.
The Moon is New on September 20th.
The Moon is at First Quarter on September 27th.

This sky report brought to you by Pocket Universe, the astronomy application for the iPhone and iPad. Hold it up to the sky, and learn what you are looking at!