Wednesday, September 7, 2011

September Skies

Hey Space Placers!

Autumn begins on September 23rd at 5:05 a.m. EDT and brings with it longer nights. As the temperatures begin to become cooler – hopefully – this is a good time of year to get out and enjoy the night sky.

Skywatching Highlights

Mercury will be low in the east before sunrise during the first 10 days of the month. If you have a clear and unobstructed horizon you should be able to see golden-yellow Mercury. On the 8th and 9th Mercury will be visible about a half-hour before sunrise and very close to the star Regulus. Binoculars will help your viewing.

Venus is not readily visible this month.

Mars is visible in the east-northeast after rising around 2 a.m. (daylight savings time (DST)). The thin crescent Moon will be just below and to the right of Mars on the 23rd.

Jupiter dominates the eastern sky rising around 10 p.m. DST. Iti is very bright and will continue to brighten over the next 2 months

Saturn is getting very low in the west as the sky gets dark and will no longer be visible around the middle of the month.

This month’s Full Moon occurs on the 12th and is called the “Full Harvest Moon” in recognition of the harvesting season. Last Quarter Moon is on the 20th and New Moon is on the 27th.

Here are our down to Earth events for this month.

Open House at the Department of Astronomy at the University of Maryland, College Park Campus Observatory, will be at 8 p.m. on the 5th and the 20th.
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The National Capital Astronomers (NCA) has their monthly meeting on the 10th at 7:30 p.m. at the University of Maryland, College Park Campus Observatory. Speaker Dr. Julie McEnery, GSFC, will present “Results from the Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope”. Read More About It:

NCA will hold an Exploring the Sky program at Rock Creek Park on the 24th starting at 8:00p.m.
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The Northern Virginia Astronomy Club (NOVAC) will meet at 7 p.m. at George Mason University (GMU) on the 11th. The speaker is Dr. Pamela Gay and her topic is “Modern Solar System Exploration by You -- (No Telescope Required)”. Read More About It:

The United States Naval Observatory (USNO) has Monday night tours but space is limited.
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The National Air and Space Museum (NASM) has several space related activities this month.
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On the 24th join star party host Sean O’Brien of the Museum’s Albert Einstein Planetarium and amateur astronomers for telescopic observing under dark, star-filled skies, away from city lights. Read More About It:

The TriState Astronomers will have a meeting on the 21st at the Brish Planetarium. Read More About It:

The Astronomical Society of Greenbelt (formerly the Greenbelt Astronomy Club). ASG will hold a star party on the 17th starting at 8 p.m. at the Northway Field and Observatory. ASG will meet on the 22nd at 7:30 at the Owens Science Center and the speaker is Patty Seaton, Topic: New Horizons Planetarium Show.
Read More About It:

Sky Guy in VA

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