September Astronomy Highlights

September Astronomy Highlights

September 3, 2015| Categories: Observing, Planetarium News, Skywatch Almanac Astronomy, Space Science, StarGazing

A Total Lunar Eclipse of the Harvest Moon

Earlier evenings feature the Big Dipper sinking lower into the northwestern skies, while the broad, faint path of the Milky Way arches from northeast to southwest.  The Summer Triangle lingers above, while the eastern skies are relatively absent of bright stars.  Saturn remains as the lone evening planet, seen in the clutches of the Scorpion as they lower into the southwest.  Venus leads the other planets into the morning twilight.  But the highlight will be a Total Lunar Eclipse of the Harvest Moon in the night of the 27th and 28th.

5 – Saturn remains just out of the clutches of the Scorpion, settling in the southwest after twilight.

10 – Early risers enjoy a fine view of a slender Crescent Moon to the left of the brilliant Venus, the pair due east at 5:30 AM EDT.

23 – The Autumnal Equinox, the beginning of Fall, occurs early this morning at 4:21 AM EDT.

25 – Venus, Mars, and Jupiter are lined up in the dawn’s twilight, looking east near 5:45 AM.  Venus is brightest and highest, with Jupiter much lower and a bit left, and Mars, still faint, in the middle.

27 and 28- Total lunar eclipse of the Harvest Moon

Why is the Lunar Eclipse red?

When the Moon moves into the Earth’s shadow, sunlight is still passing through our atmosphere, just like at sunset or sunrise.  Those colors reflect off the surface of the Moon


The September Sun and Moon

Last Quarter Moon on the 5th

New Moon on the 13th

First Quarter Moon on the 21st

Full “Harvest” Moon on the 27th


Sunrise September 1       6:11 AM EDT  

Sunset  September 1        7:24 PM EDT

Length of Day    13h 13m


Sunrise September 30    6:45 AM EDT

Sunset  September 30    6:30  PM EDT

Length of Day   12h 45m