What To Look For In The Night Sky - September 2022
September is a quiet month, no meteor shower peaks, super moons or planetary alignments. There are however a few things to watch for as warm summer nights give way to cooler evening.
The moon will be full on September 10th and it takes on the name Harvest Moon because it rises about the same time, around sunset, several days in a row. This gives farmers a few extra hours of light to get their crops in. Find a field of white pumpkins and watch them seem to glow under the light of a Harvest Moon, it is a truly unique experience.
Moon and Planet Conjunctions
On September 10th Saturn will be in conjunction with the full moon, the next night it will be Jupiter's turn to be close. These are unique because when these bright planets are beside the full moon you can really see exactly HOW bright they are. Full moons overpower all star light around it so if you see a bright point of light close to the moon. it's a planet. September 17th Mars will be close but the moon will be down to around 50%
With the approach of the Autumn Equinox on September 22nd zodiacal light is now visible in the pre-dawn hours in the Northern hemisphere. Zodiacal light is sunlight reflected off of dust in the planetary ellipse and appears as a spike or pyramid of light. It is also referred to as "false dawn" and is visible in the same direction as the rising sun before astro-twilight.
The Milky Way
Milky Way season is coming to a close. The Galactic core is almost completely vertical now and visible for only a few hours after sunset. It is slowly sinking below the horizon and by the end of next month will be gone until late January of 2023. There are still plenty of opportunities to see and photograph it but time is running short.
Get Out Under The Stars
The nights are getting longer and a bit cooler which means you can spend more time in the dark and the skies will be slightly clearer. Make sure you take advantage of the last few days of summer and spend some time out under the stars. Please check out some of my great new night sky images in my Shop.
Zodiacal Light Fading to Dawn - Ocracoke Island, NC - November 2021