September 2022

Mercury leaves the evening sky, goes through inferior conjunction, and enters the morning sky this month. It’ll be better in the morning sky for northern hemisphere sky watchers this month than it was in the evening for them last month. It’ll take until the last few days of the month to show up though.

Venus goes through superior conjunction next month. But it’s already hard to see in the morning sky. You will likely need binoculars to pull it out of the morning light in the east. The planet will be at perihelion on the 4th.

Mars passes close to Ain in the Hyades early in the month and continues moving eastward. It rises late evening and is easy to find the rest of the night.

The best planet to view this month is Jupiter. It will be at opposition on the 26th. And it will be the closest to Earth that it’s been since 1963. If you can look at the planet in a telescope, you will get the best views of its famous red spot, some of its moons’ shadows on its disk, and the cloud bands. Jupiter is rising in early evening when September starts. It rises earlier each evening until it’s up all night around opposition. Then, it won’t be as close to us again until 2129.

Saturn was at opposition last month. It’s up most of the night, already a little above the horizon in the east at sunset.

The moon is at first quarter on the 3rd, it’s full on the 10th, it’s at last quarter on the 17th, and it’s new on the 25th.

Southern lunistice occurs on the 5th at 27.2 degrees from the equator. It crosses the equator on the 11th and reaches northern lunistice on the 18th at 27.3 degrees. The moon goes south of the equator again on the 26th.

Lunar perigee is on the 7th at 364,600 kilometers. Apogee is on the 19th at 404,500 kilometers.

The equinox is on the 23rd at 01:04 Universal Time. Mercury is at inferior conjunction the same day. Jupiter’s opposition is on the 26th at 3.953 astronomical units or 591.4 million kilometers from us.

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