Southern Colorado Skies / September 22-28, 2019

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 crescent Moon slides past M44 (the Beehive Cluster) about midweek.

 

M44, as may be seen through binoculars …

Monday (September 23)

The Autumnal Equinox occurs at 1:50 a.m. MDT. The Sun will be directly over Earth’s equator, and sunrise and sunset will be about 12 hours apart. Why not 12 hours exactly? Sunrise officially occurs when the upper edge of the Sun’s disk becomes visible above the horizon (rather than using the center of the Sun, as you might expect). Later, at sunset, the same reference point is used: sunset occurs when the Sun’s upper edge disappears below the horizon. Therefore, the time required for the sun to fully rise and set is added to the total daylight for the day, resulting in the day lasting several minutes longer than 12 hours.

DAYLIGHT

 

PLANETS

Mercury  and Venus (in Virgo), and Mars (in Leo/Virgo)

All three planets are obscured by the Sun’s glare this week.

Jupiter (in Ophiuchus)

Jupiter is obvious in the south-southwest just after dark. Look for a bright white “star.”

Saturn (in Sagittarius)

Saturn is low in the south just after dusk. Look for a  yellowish “star” to the left (east) of Jupiter.

Uranus (in Aries)

Uranus is high in the east between 10:00 and 11:00 p.m., and crosses the meridian in the south (as high in the sky as it gets) between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m.

Neptune (in Aquarius)

Neptune is already high in the southeast between 9:00 and 10:00 p.m., and crosses the meridian between 11:00 p.m. and midnight.

SCAS UPCOMING EVENTS

There will be no SCAS membership meeting as regularly scheduled for October 17th; instead, all SCAS members are encouraged to attend an event (bring your family!) at Centennial High School in Pueblo, where School District 60 is hosting the Mobile Earth Space Observatory (MESO) from 6:30 p.m. until 9:00 pm. There will be solar and star gazing, science exhibits and demonstrations, FREE PLANETARIUM SHOWS, and other science education-related activities.

FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION REGARDING SCAS ACTIVITIES, REFER TO THE SCAS FACEBOOK PAGE.

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Carpe noctem

Dave Furry

Pueblo West, Colorado

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