BACKYARD STARGAZER: What you can see in the starry skies of September 2020

By Francis Parnell

Normally the full Moon of September is the Harvest Moon. But this year the full Moon of October is on the 1st and therefore closer to the Equinox, and according to Sky & Telescope magazine, will hold the title of the Harvest Moon of 2020.
The exact full Moon phase of September occurs at 1:22 a.m. on the morning of the 2nd.
On the 5th, the waning gibbous Moon and bright red Mars have a very close conjunction, only one-half degree apart at midnight. A telescope at low power, or binoculars, will give a great view of this event.
Looking east at dawn on the 14th, about 5 degrees separate the waning crescent Moon and dazzling Venus.
At 9:31 a.m. on the 22nd, the Sun is at the Equinox and Autumn officially begins in the Northern Hemisphere.
At dusk on the 24th, the trio of the waxing gibbous Moon, Jupiter about 4 degrees upper left, and Saturn to their left, are arranged in an arc that spans 11 degrees above the southern horizon.
On the 25th at dusk, the Moon has moved along its orbit and is positioned 3 degrees lower left of Saturn. The Moon, Saturn and Jupiter form a nice triangle.
Enjoy the fall weather, and “Keep looking up!”

Author: Rachel Howell

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