Night Sky Gaze
Jupiter

Night Sky Sights in Early September: Fall Stargazing

Thanks to the clear air and unique sights in the sky, Fall is one of our favorite seasons for stargazing. For telescope enthusiasts who love to see the celestial bodies above, this is a wonderful season to see rare and unique sights above.

Here are some of the most breathtaking night sky sights coming in early September.

Early September Sights

Jupiter

Last night, Jupiter’s Great Red Spot was visible just before eleven. However, even if you missed that, you can catch another great Jupiter sight tomorrow night, on Wednesday, September 4th. From around 9:20 to around 11:30 in the evening, four round shadows will be visible across the surface of Jupiter.

These are the four shadows cast by Jupiter’s Galilean moons, including Io. The Great Red Spot should also be viewable during this period. Viewers in the Americas with a telescope should be able to spy this in the skies.

Quarter Moon

On September 5th, the first quarter moon of the season will be visible low in the sky. The moon will appear to be half-lit to viewers on Earth, and the low-angle light over the lunar surface will lead to some dramatic views of lunar terrain. Even with the naked eye, you can see the gorgeous valleys and shadows on the lunar surface from noon to midnight in the Americas. In the sights of telescope, this terrain is even more striking.

Near Saturn Lunar Sighting

The next notable sight in the skies above in September will be visible on the 8th, in the evening. Low in the southern sky, the moon in a waxing gibbous state will be visible close to Saturn. The moon will be about a palm to the right, or six degrees celestial west, of Saturn this evening.

Throughout the night on the 8th and the morning of the 9th, the moon should be visible traveling closely with Saturn. Throughout the evening, the moon’s orbit will bring it “above” Saturn and further out. Saturn should be visible with binoculars, though preferred viewing would be with a telescope. As always, the gorgeous lunar surface will be visible with the naked eye.

Cameron Norris