Podcaster: Rob Webb
Title: Observing With Webb in September 2019
Organization: Physics teacher at Pequea Valley High School
Description: September is very uneventful, with a week of a close encounter lineup of the Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn, and the rather uneventful Autumnal Equinox. However, the nights are getting longer and the days shorter and cooler.
Bio: Rob Webb is a physics, astronomy, and sustainability teacher at Pequea Valley High School in Pennsylvania. His passions include teaching, astronomy, astrophotography, planetariums, running, reading, and golf. A proud graduate of Dickinson College in 2005, he also obtained a Master’s Degree in Science Education from Penn State University after conducting research in regards to the current state of planetariums in Pennsylvania. Feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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September is very uneventful, with a week of a close encounter lineup of the Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn, and the rather uneventful Autumnal Equinox. However, the nights are getting longer and the days shorter and cooler.
First Quarter Moon – 5th (Visible until midnight)
Full Moon – 13th (Visible all night)
Last Quarter Moon – 21st (Visible from midnight into the morning)
New Moon – 28th (darkest skies)
3rd – 9th – Close Encounter – Moon, Jupiter, Saturn – Yet again a great lineup but this time for a full week, with Saturn and Jupiter starting each night in the South, almost 30˚ above the horizon and about 30˚ apart from each other. Beginning on the 3rd, the three will be evenly spaced, with the Moon being 30˚ to the right of Jupiter, which is 30˚ to the right of Saturn. The next night the Moon travels to 18˚ to the right of Jupiter, and on the 5th it closes the gap to just 4˚. Now the Moon spends two nights in between Jupiter and Saturn, closer to Jupiter on the 6th and closer to Saturn on the 7th. On the 8th, Saturn is just 5.5˚ up and to the right of the Moon. On the 9th, the Moon bids adieu to the gassy outer planets and finishes the encounter 18˚ down and to the left of Saturn, creating a great evening lineup of the Moon, Saturn, and Jupiter until Jupiter sets around 11pm.
23rd – Fall Equinox – When all locations on Earth experience a day of almost exactly 12 hours and a night of almost exactly 12 hours. It is the astronomical first day of fall, even though meteorologically it typically starts in the beginning of September.
Use a sky map from www.skymaps.com to help you out.
Sagittarius – Use binoculars (or even a telescope) and a star chart to scan through the southern constellation of Sagittarius. Currently the home constellation of Saturn. There are at least 7 easily visible clusters and nebulas up and to the right of the “teapot” of Sagittarius.
The Summer Triangle: Lyra, Cygnus, Aquila, Delphinus – Look straight up before 10pm and you’ll be able to see Lyra (the Harp), Cygnus (the Swan), Aquila (the Eagle), (and Delphinus the Dolphin.) These three constellations have the three brightest stars of the summer constellations (Vega, Deneb, Altair – respectively.) Those bright stars create the summer triangle. Off to the east of this is the small but beautiful constellation of Delphinus. If you’re under dark skies (away from city lights) you may just catch a glimpse of the Milky Way passing through Cygnus and Aquila. If you’re looking past 10pm, they’ll be moving toward the West and lower in the sky.
Cassiopeia – Just a few degrees below the zenith, in the North, is the Queen. Just look North and tilt your head almost all the way up, and you’ll see the 5 bright stars that form an M or upside down W in the sky, depending on what font you normally use. The angle on the left will be ALMOST a right angle, with the one on the right being obtuse.
End of podcast:
365 Days of Astronomy
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