By Mario Carr
For centuries, the light of the Harvest Moon has allowed farmers to extend their working hours.
This year, the Harvest Moon will appear on the night of Sept 29. It is the first full moon closest to the first day of autumn, which begins on Sept. 22 at 10:49 a.m. during the autumnal equinox.
September is also one of the best times of the year to see the white band of the Milky Way stretching across the sky. It’s best viewed from a dark location on a moonless night away from city lights. The white band is the edge of our galaxy.
Our sun is one of countless stars making up the Milky Way. It’s possible that some of those stars may have planets like ours. Looking into its glow, I often wonder if there’s anyone looking back.
Here are September stargazing events. Most are listed in the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers calendar.
Venus and Jupiter are the brightest planets in the September sky. You can see Venus in the eastern sky at dawn. Jupiter rises in the northeast around 10 p.m. and can be seen all night.
Mars and Saturn can be seen low in the southwest at dusk, setting early in the evening. Uranus rises in the east shortly after sunset and is visible all night. Neptune is low in the southeast at sunset and sets in the southwest around 4 a.m.
Sept. 7 – Hamilton Amateur Astronomers meeting 7:30-9:30 p.m., Spectator building, 44 Frid St., Hamilton. Featured Speakers include Tim Philip and John Gauvreau, The sky this month. Free admission with door prizes. An optional food bank donation of non-perishable goods will be collected.
Sept. 7 – The quarter moon is at apogee or furthest from the Earth at 404,295 km..
Sept. 8 – The crescent moon is below Jupiter.
Sept. 12 – The crescent moon is below Venus in the eastern morning sky.
Sept. 13 – Venus is just below the Beehive Star Cluster in Cancer.
Sept. 14 – From a dark location away from city lights you can see the Zodiacal Light, which is the glow of the sun reflecting off dust particles in the solar system.
Sept. 19 – The crescent moon is close to Mars low in the evening sky.
Sept. 18 — The moon is at perigee or closet to the Earth at 385,748 km.
Sept. 22 – Quarter moon.
Sept. 29 – Uranus rises with the Harvest Moon, but you need a telescope to see it.
For more information, please see the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers web site at www.amateurastronomy.org or call (905) 627-4323.
- Summer is for stargazing (theskythismonth.wordpress.com)
- Crescent Moon and Venus rising (stuff.co.nz)
- Six memorable celestial events in one day (theskythismonth.wordpress.com)
- Spectacular Views: The Moon Occults Jupiter (universetoday.com)
- Young crescent moon, Spica, Mars and Saturn in August 20 sky (earthsky.org)
- Waxing crescent moon, Spica, Saturn and Mars in evening sky (earthsky.org)
- Crescent Moon Hides Venus in Monday Morning Sky (space.com)
- Maine Skies for September 2012 (bangordailynews.com)