#astronomy The Evening Sky in September – Astronotes
Welcome to September, Stargazers! To be sincere, August is a tough celestial act to comply with however the September evening sky permits to to focus in on occasions that may have in any other case been overshadowed if that they had occurred in one other month. September stargazing will get again to the fundamentals of
Welcome to September, Stargazers! To be sincere, August is a tough celestial act to comply with however the September evening sky permits to to focus in on occasions that may have in any other case been overshadowed if that they had occurred in one other month. September stargazing will get again to the fundamentals of stargazing, moon-watching and planet-peeping (few and much between). September is a return to grassroots stargazing, if you’ll. Because of this, September is a good month to get into stargazing; plus the nights are getting longer which means extra time to look at the wonders of our universe. So please learn forward at your leisure to search out out extra concerning the grassroots, regionally sourced, farm-to-table celestial patterns and objects to stare upon this September. (Prolonged metaphor anybody?)
Love is within the air? Extra like love is at nighttime vacuum of house! Astronomers use the time period “kissing” to confer with the looks that two planetary our bodies contact. They don’t after all; if planets touched it could be much less of a kiss and extra of a world-ending, high-speed collision. However from our vantage level on earth we are able to witness planets and moons showing so shut they contact, or “kiss”. There are a pair examples of this all through September, with most mendacity within the southern hemisphere. Nevertheless when you’ve got a telescope you’ll be able to see one from Eire:
Neptune Kisses Phi Aquarii
Tonight, Friday sixth September, you must face between south and southeast of the evening sky with a telescope and witness our furthest neighbour Neptune coming inside one arc-minute of the star Phi Aquarii. When you do have a telescope you also needs to see in case you can see Neptune’s giant moon Triton!
Neptune with Triton within the foreground. Picture Credit score: NASA
Coming into the autumn months there are some nice star patterns to look out for. The primary to notice is Pegasus! To search out Pegasus within the evening sky, face roughly south.
Tonight Pegasus might be immediately South-East from our place. Picture credit score: Stellarium
In keeping with fantasy and legend, Pegasus was the winged horse belonging to the demi-God Hercules. On a gory word; the parable goes that Pegasus and his brother Chrysaor had been born from the streaming blood round Medusa’s neck when Perseus beheaded her. Yikes. Fortunately, this isn’t what you’ll be able to see within the sky. Pegasus is a useful sample to get used to discovering because the central sq. area (aptly named, The Nice Sq.) helps you discover out simply how a lot gentle air pollution you’ve gotten by the variety of stars seen. When you can’t see any then your space suffers from fairly a bit of sunshine air pollution.
Picture of Bellerophon taming Pegasus. Credit score: Wikimedia Commons.
When you transfer alongside the again leg of Pegasus towards the East you’ll come to an attention-grabbing object that you just’ll have the ability to see in an space with little or no gentle air pollution. It could resemble a smudge within the sky, a bit of puff of cloud or as if Pegasus was vaping within the sky above your head. It’s really a galaxy known as Andromeda!
Andromeda Galaxy positioned 2.5 million gentle years away and might be seen with the bare eye. (Picture credit score: Wikimedia.org)
Andromeda is our neighbouring galaxy; it’s the closest main galaxy to us apart from the massive and small Magellanic clouds. It has twice the celebrities that our personal Milky Means galaxy has at about one trillion! Andromeda is gorgeous, wouldn’t you agree?
Nicely I’m glad you suppose so as a result of sometime will probably be lots nearer. Andromeda is presently hurtling in direction of us at a velocity of 68 miles per second. Actually, in about four.5 billion years Andromeda will collide with the Milky Option to type one bigger galaxy: Milkomeda! NASA have created a video of how this collision will look from an outdoor perspective:
No must be alarmed nevertheless: the celebrities in each galaxies are thus far aside that it’s inconceivable any will collide. That piece of knowledge underscores simply how empty house is. Nevertheless, this shouldn’t be a priority, it’s fairly some time away and it’s not very seemingly that people will nonetheless be on earth on the level. So, since nobody can see it for actual, right here’s an artist’s impression of what the 2 galaxies mixed could seem like.
Andromeda colliding with our personal galaxy. Credit score: WikiCommons
I might advise you to gaze skywards the evening of September eighth (this Sunday) to see two of the moon’s largest craters; Tycho and Copernicus. Not simply AOP perform room namesakes, these two craters are poised to be ogled at because the terminator is close by, offering them with excellent lighting. If the moon may take selfies, this is able to be the evening.
Tycho is a large four,800 metres deep, while Copernicus is three,800 metres deep.
Picture credit score: Ian Morrison.
So stargazers, that’s it for this month. These are just a few of the highlights however there are numerous constellations to look at this time of yr, and with the longer nights there couldn’t be a greater time to present star gazing a go. Fingers crossed for clear skies!