Sep 7th: Observing With Webb in September 2019

By on September 7, 2019 in

Podcaster: Rob Webb

Title: Observing With Webb in September 2019

Organization: Physics teacher at Pequea Valley High School

Link: ; ;
follow me : @MrWebbPV

To listen to this email as a podcast, go to my Podbean page. To see a video of this information, go to my YouTube Channel

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

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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.

Naked-eye PLANETS

  • Around Sunset – Jupiter (S), Saturn (S)
  • Throughout the night – Jupiter (SàSW), Saturn (SàSW)
  • Morning – None


  • Not really visible.


  • Not really visible.


  • Not really visible.


  • Already high in the sky as dusk turns to night off in the South and will probably be the first point of light you can see. It will set in the SW by 11:30pm at the beginning of the month. Throughout the month it’ll set earlier, by 10pm at the end.


  • Yet again, Saturn will trail behind Jupiter in the sky by about 30˚. It starts off in the SSE about 20˚ above the horizon, and second in brightness to Jupiter. Throughout each night it’ll move toward the South, then set in the SW by 2am at the beginning of the month. Throughout the month it’ll set earlier, by 11:30pm at the end.


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 to help you out.

After Dinner:

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.

Before Work:

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
The 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast is produced by Planetary Science Institute. Audio post-production by Richard Drumm. Bandwidth donated by and wizzard media. You may reproduce and distribute this audio for non-commercial purposes. Please consider supporting the podcast with a few dollars (or Euros!). Visit us on the web at or email us at This year we will celebrates the Year of Everyday Astronomers as we embrace Amateur Astronomer contributions and the importance of citizen science. Join us and share your story. Until tomorrow! Goodbye!

About Rob Webb

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