Southern Colorado Skies / September 9-15, 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

The Moon makes a grand tour past Jupiter and Saturn an hour or so after sunset later this week and early next week.

Sunday (9/9)

New Moon at 12:01 p.m. MDT.

Friday (9/14)

Look for Jupiter to the lower right (west) of the Moon tonight (see above graphic). Extend a line from the Moon through Jupiter and it will lead you to Venus, closer to the horizon.

Saturday (9/15)

The Moon will glide over Antares, the bright red star in the constellation Scorpius. The Moon will be about halfway between Jupiter and Saturn. (See above graphic.)

DAYLIGHT


PLANETS

Mercury (in Leo)

Mercury will be hard to find in the glare of the sunrise.

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 is still brighter than Sirius. Mars is in its best viewing position in the south for the first couple hours after dark. The dust storm is reportedly thinning even more, 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 summer and Jupiter gets lower in the sky every week.

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 during the late evening.

Neptune (in Aquarius)

Look in the southeast during the late evening.

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 11) 7:48:52 p.m. / Magnitude -1.7 / SE / Elevation 62 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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