Southern Colorado Skies / September 2-8, 2018

Consider a planetarium program to help you plan your observations. There are many commercial products available; an excellent program (STELLARIUM) is available free at http://www.stellarium.org/.

THIS WEEK

Before dawn Mercury will be low on the horizon, keeping much fainter Regulus company – binoculars or a small telescope will help you see Regulus, but watch out for the rising Sun! Later this week, look for Look for the crescent Moon above Mercury as shown below.

DAYLIGHT


PLANETS

Mercury (in Leo)

Look for elusive Mercury in the east before sunrise (see above discussion and graphic).

Venus (in Virgo)

Look for Venus low in the west-southwest shortly after sunset, but look soon – Venus is dropping a bit lower every day.

Mars (in Capricornus)

The bright red planet is getting dimmer, but on the other hand it now rises higher in the southeast earlier in the evening; Mars is in its best viewing position in the south about 11 p.m. The dust storm is reportedly thinning and some dark surface markings may be visible. Grab a look while you can!

Jupiter (in Libra)

Jupiter appears in the southwest during twilight, to the upper left (east) of Venus. The best views are soon after dark, but the disk has shrunk in size dramatically since earlier this year.

Saturn (in Sagittarius)

Look for Saturn just above ‘spout’ of the Sagittarius ‘teapot.’ The ringed planet will rise before dusk, and its rings are still tilted near their maximum angle.

Uranus (in Aries/Pisces)

Look in the east between 11 p.m. and midnight.

Neptune (in Aquarius)

Look in the southeast between 11 p.m. and midnight.

BRIGHT IRIDIUM FLARES

The following data are based on my location in Pueblo West, Colorado. If you live well outside this area, you should consider checking this information for your location in order to be assured of accurate times, elevations, etc. If you’re unfamiliar with Iridium flares, check out my short article at: http://scaspueblo.com/blog/2017/02/25/iridium-flares/.

Tuesday (September 4) 8:22:01 p.m. / Magnitude -1.9 / ESE / Elevation 60 degrees

 

INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION (ISS) and TIANGONG2 (CHINESE SPACE STATION)

These are too numerous to list here! If you’re seriously interested, load the ISS DETECTOR or HEAVENS-ABOVE app on your smart phone or tablet.

Carpe noctem

Dave Furry
Pueblo West, Colorado

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