News on what is visable in this months sky as posted by Adrian Zielonka's in his monthly sky notes.
Thank you Adrian and thank you CADAS.
Here is the astronomy news for September.
Sky 2019 - September
All times in notes
are set for
- - - - - - -
First Quarter –
Full Moon – 14th
Last Quarter –
New Moon – 28th
During September Neptune is in a retrograde motion and travels from
left to right against the background of the stars. The star its near
is Phi Aquarii (4.2 mag) in Aquarius. At the beginning of the month
Neptune its less than third of a degree to the left and by the 30th
it will be a third of a degree to the right of Phi Aquarii. From the
14th – 16th it will be at its closest to Phi
The Alpha Aurigids meteor shower reaches its peak in the early hours
before dawn on the 1st.
As the sky darkens on the 1st a thin crescent Moon will
appear low in the west. At 8:30pm the Moon will be 7 degrees above
the horizon and at 259 degrees azimuth. The star Porrima (2.7 mag) in
Virgo is just 2½ degrees to the lower right of the Moon.
Mars is at superior conjunction (with the Sun) on the 2nd.
On the 2nd at 8:30pm the crescent Moon is 7 degrees above
Spica (1st mag) and 7 degrees below left of Zeta Virginis (3.3 mag)
which are both in the constellation of Virgo.
At 9:15pm on the 3rd the star Zubenelgenubi (2.7 mag) in
Libra is just 3½ degrees to the lower left of the crescent Moon.
Comet C/2018 R3 Lemmon is just half a degree from Regulus in Leo on
the 3rd. Its distance from Earth is 2.808 Astronomical
Units (AU). Its last observed magnitude was 14 on July 22nd.
(for further information please see the “Comet” section in the
Mercury is at superior conjunction on the 4th.
Comet C/2018 W2 Africano is at perihelion on the 5th. On
this day it will be half a degree from the star Tau Persei (3.9 mag)
in Perseus. Its distance from Earth is 0.854 Astromical Units
(AU).Its last observed magnitude was 11 on Aug 19th. (for further
information please see the “Comet” section in the website above)
On the 5th at 10:15pm Jupiter is 6 degrees left of the
Moon, low in the south west.
At 9:30pm on the 6th Jupiter is 7 degrees to the lower
right of the Moon. The star Xi Ophiuchi (4.3 mag) in Ophiuchus is 1½
degrees to the right of the Moon.
On the 7th at 11:30pm the Moon is in the south west with
Saturn 8 degrees above left of it. The star Omicron Sagittarii (3.7
mag) is 1¼ degrees upper left of Saturn.
An occultation of Saturn by the Moon occurs on the 8th. It
will be visible from most of Australia and the equatorial islands to
At 9:30pm on the 8th in the south, Saturn is 3½ degrees
to the right of the Moon. The star Pi Sagittarii (2.8 mag) is 2.5
degrees above right of the Moon.
An occultation of Pluto by the Moon occurs on the 9th. It
will be visible from the northern half of South America.
On the 10th* there is a planned launch from Tanegashima
Space Center, Japan. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
H-IIB rocket with the H-II Transfer Vehicle-8 (HTV8) cargo ship will
deliver supplies to the International Space Station (ISS).
Neptune is at opposition on the 10th. For those who have
high magnification telescopes, this month is best time to view
On the 11th at 10:00pm the star Delta Capricorni (2.8 mag)
is just 1½ degrees above the Moon.
At 10:00pm on the 13th Neptune is 4¼ degrees directly
above the Moon. Neptune is also very close and to the left of the
star Phi Aquarii (4.2 mag) in Aquarius. The star Psi Aquarii (4.4
mag) is 1¼ degrees upper right of the Moon with a fainter star
On the 14th at midnight the star Iota Ceti (3.5mag) in
Cetus is 4½ degrees to the lower left of the Moon.
At midnight on the 16th the star Nu Piscium (4.4 mag) in
Pisces is 1½ degrees above left of the Moon.
On the night of 17th at 1:00am Uranus is 5 degrees above
At 11:00pm on the 19th the star Lambda Tauri (3.4 mag) is
3½ degrees below right of the Moon.
On the 20th at 11:00pm the star Aldebaran (1st mag) in
Taurus is 4¼ degrees to the right of the Moon low in the ENE.
At midnight on the 21st the star Zeta Tauri (2.9 mag) is
2½ degrees above right of the Moon.
On the 24th at 5:30am the stars Castor and Pollux point
the way to the crescent Moon in the eastern sky.
There is a planned launch aboard a Soyuz spacecraft on the 25th*
to the International Space Station (ISS). Its crew are: NASA
astronaut Jessica Meir, Roscomos cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka
and United Arab Emirates Hazza Ali Al Mansouri who will stay
on the ISS till Spring 2020. (See “ISS News” below for further
At 5:30am on the 26th in the east, the crescent Moon is 3¾
degrees above left of the star Regulus with the star Eta Leonis
(3.4mag) in Leo 2 degrees to the left of the Moon.
Comet C/2018 N2 Asassn travels from the constellations Aries to
Triangulum this month. Its at perihelion in November. On the 27th
when in Triangulum its 2.309AU from the Earth. Its last observed
magnitude was 12.5 on Aug 19th. (for further information please see
the “Comet” section in the website above)
On the 29th at 7:30pm a very thin crescent Moon may be
seen low in the west at 262 azimuth and just 1 degree above the
On the 30th at 6:30am Mars will be low in the east at 89
degrees azimuth and just 1½ degrees above the horizon.
At 7:30pm on the 30th a thin crescent Moon will be due WSW
and 4½ degrees above the horizon.
* = Dates and times
are subject to change.
Meir (b1977) is a
Swedish-American astronaut and an Assistant Professor of Anesthesia
at Havard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. She
has studied the diving physiology and behavior of emperor penguins in
Antarctica, and the physiology of bar-headed geese, which are able to
migrate over the Himalayas. In June 2013 she was named an astronaut
candidate by NASA.
was a member (Flight Engineer)
of the International Space Station (ISS) expedition 25/26, that was
launched on the 7th
October 2010. He returned to space on the 19th
March 2016, as part of the Expedition 47/48 crew. In his first
mission to space, he, with fellow astronauts performed three EVA's
outside the ISS. This will be his third visit to the ISS.
Abdan Khalfan Al Mansouri (b1987)
has a Bachelor's Degree in Aviation Science and Military Aviation
from the Khalifa bin Zayed Air College. He has 14 years of military
aviation experience, and has completed training programmes both
inside and outside the country. In 2016, Al Mansouri qualified to be
the first Emirati astronaut in space.
On the 16th August NASA announced that they've narrowed
down the potential landing sites on the asteroid 101955 Bennu to four
locations. The site selection comes after a careful survey of Bennu's
jumbled surface. At approximately 0.3 mile (0.5km) in diameter, tiny
Bennu presents a unique challenge for an asteroid to approach. Each
site has its pros and cons:
is located the farthest north, in a small crater that's encompassed
by a larger, 140 metre wide crater. The sampling area shows the
lowest albedo and surface temperature of the four sites, suggesting
the presence of dark, fine-grain material suitable for collection.
is located near the asteroid's equatorial region. The site is in a
small, 8 metre crater that's surrounded by boulders, but the crater
floor itself is clear of large rocks. The site also shows a strong
spectral signature that indicates the presence of hydrated material.
is also located in Bennu's equatorial region, inside a crater that
spans 20 metres. The surrounding area displays diverse rock types, so
the site itself may also be diverse. Of the four sites, Osprey shows
the strongest signs of carbon-rich material.
is the farthest south of all four sites, and is located inside a 63
metre wide crater. There are hydrated minerals at the site, so it may
have pristine,water-rich material.
team will announce the two final sites – a primary and a backup –
in December. The Osiris-REX spacecraft will touchdown at one of these
sites next year and collect a sample.
is the third mission in NASA's New Frontiers program, after New
Horizons and Juno. The next New Frontiers mission is the Dragonfly
mission to Saturn's moon Titan, expected to launch in 2026.
In 1966, Fred Wallace Haise jr was one of 19 new astronauts selected
for NASA Astronaut Group 5. He had already been working with NASA for
several years as a civilian research pilot. He was the first
astronaut among his class to be assigned to a mission, serving as
backup Lunar Module Pilot for both Apollo 8 and Apollo 11. He was
selected to become the sixth human to walk on the Moon during the
Apollo 13 mission, behind Jim Lovell who was to be fifth. Alan
Shepard and Edgar Mitchell eventually became the fifth and sixth
during the Apollo 14 mission.
was originally chosen to command the second Space Shuttle mission,
which would have delivered a booster module that would have boosted
the Skylab space station to a higher orbit, preserving it for future
use. However, delays in the shuttle program development as well as an
unexpected increase in Skylab's orbital decay led to the mission
being abandoned. Skylab was destroyed upon entering the Earth's
atmosphere in July 1979, while the Space Shuttle did not launch until
April 1981. (I actually saw the break up of Skylab on that evening
from my parents home in High Wycombe).