September 2006

Autmnal Equinox

The Autumn Season starts on September 22nd when the Autumnal Equinox occurs.

Lunar Events

The New Moon for this month occurs on September 22nd which makes the weekend of September 23rd-24th as the best weekend for deep sky viewing. On September 23rd there is a Solar Eclipse which starts at the Eastern tip of Brazil, goes across the Southern Atlantic and South of the South tip of Africa.

This Quicktime movie shows the shadow of the moon as is moves accross the surface of the Earth during the September 22nd Solar Eclipse. This movie shows the Earth as view from the moon and will shows the areas on the Earth where the Eclipse can be seen from.

The Full Moon for September occurs on the 7th. The Full Moon this month is called the "Corn Moon" since the "Harvest Moon" will occur in October. The Full Moon of September is also known as the "Fruit" or "Barley Moon." During the Full Moon on September 7th there will be a Lunar Eclipse which will be visible East Africa, South Asia, Australia and the Indian Ocean.

To the Left, The Quicktime movie shows the view of the Earth from the Moon during the September 7th Lunar Eclipse. The areas of the Earth viewable in the movie should be able to see all or part of the lunar eclipse.

Below, The Quicktime movie shows the view of the Moon from the Earth during the September 7th Lunar Eclipse from Manilla, Phillipines. Note the position of Uranus in the view which was at Opposition on September 5th. It makes sense that the planet Uranus is grouped together because Full Moons and Lunar Eclipses occur when the Moon is at Opposition.

Mercury

Mercury starts this month out in the constellation Leo (The Lion) and moves into the constellation Virgo (The Maiden) on September 8th. Mercury will not be visible for observation until around September 14th when it reappears from the Sun’s glare at sunset in the evening hours.

September 14, 2006 Mercury/Mars

On September 14th and 15th, at sunset, Mercury will be in close conjunction with Mars being within 1° of Mars and about 11° behind the Sun (setting about 44 minutes behind the Sun).

On September 27th, Mercury will be in close conjunction with the star Spica coming within 1°10′.

As the month progresses, Mercury will move further away from the Sun, becoming easier to view, until October 16th when Mercury will reach its Greatest Eastern Elongation.

Venus

Venus is located in the constellation Leo (The Lion) at the beginning of the month, and then moves into the constellation Virgo (The Maiden) on September 24th. Venus is visible as the Morning Star all month.

September 6, 2006 Venus/RegulusOn September 6th, at sunrise, Venus rises within 1° of the star Regulus. Shown here with the position of Saturn.

As the month progresses, Venus’s orbit will take it closer to the Sun’s glare, but should still be visible at sunrise by the end of the month.

Mars

Mars is located in the constellation Virgo (The Maiden) all month and is observable in the evening hours right after sunset. At the beginning of the month Mars is about 16° behind the Sun and sets about an hour after the Sun, by the end of the month however, Mars will start to be come difficult to observe, being only about 6° from the Sun, and setting around 20 minutes after the Sun.

Septembet 15, 2006 Mars/Mercury

Mercury will overtake Mars in the evening sky around September 15th, at Sunset.

Jupiter

Jupiter is observable in the evening to late evening hours all month. Jupiter can be found in the constellation Libra (The Balance) until December 2006.

On September 10th, Jupiter will come within about 0°30′ of the star Zubenelgenubi, the brightest star in the constellation Libra (The Balance). September 10, 2006 Jupiter/Zubenelgenubi

Saturn

Saturn is located in the constellation Leo (The Lion) until the year 2009. Saturn is visible during the morning hours of September; at the beginning of the month Saturn rises around 5:00 am and by the end of the month, Saturn rises around 3:30 am.

September 15 Saturn/Venus At sunrise, September 15th, 2006, The planets Saturn and Venus are found in the constellation Leo (The Lion).

Uranus

Uranus will be at Opposition on September 5th. This will be the best chance to view Uranus all year and will be available of viewing all night. Uranus is in the constellation Aquarius (The Water Bearer) until the year 2009.

September 5, 2006 Uranus Opposition and Neptune

On September 5th, 2006, Uranus will be in its best position for viewing as it reaches Opposition. Note the position of the Moon; in two more days (September 7th) the Moon will be at Opposition (Full) and there will be a lunar eclipse. See animations at top of page.

Neptune

Neptune can be located in the constellation Capricornus (The Sea Goat) until the year 2010. Neptune is visible for most of the night this month setting just a couple of hours before sunrise.

Pluto

Pluto is found in the constellation Serpens Cauda (The Snake’s Tail) until September 24th, 2006, when it crosses into the constellation Ophiuchus (The Serpent Bearer).

This Quicktime movie displays the positions of Pluto as it moves through the months of August and September. Each step in the movie is a sidereal day.

Pluto moves in retrograde motion (from left-to-right) until September 6th, 2006, when it returns to normal motion (right-to-left).

On September 24th, 2006 Pluto moves into the constellation Ophiuchus (the yellow border near the bottom of the frame).

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