SEPTEMBER NEWSLETTER 2017 © “Just Gotta Love Astronomy”©
YOU’RE GUIDE FOR ‘KEEPING YOUR EYES ON THE NIGHT SKIES during September 2017”
MERCURY- Is in the eastern morning sky will be at its greatest elongation (18°) west of the Sun on the 12th. This is a rather poor apparition with the planet barely above the horizon at the time of civil dawn. On the 17th, Mercury and Mars will be just 4 archminutes apart although the low altitude and bright twilight sky will make any observation of the pair extremely difficult. Two day later on the 19th, the 28day-old slender crescent Moon joins the planetary pair, again a challenging conjunction to view.
VENUS- Moves from Cancer into Leo in the first week of September, in the eastern morning dawn. For the trivia aficionados out there the brightest of planets will be 0.1°from the 4th magnitude orange giant star Delta Cancri (Asellus Australis) on the 3rd. Delta itself is unremarkable but it does have the distinction of having the longest of all known star names, Arkushangarushashutu, meaning the south east star in the crab from the ancient Babylonian. Delta is a very handy marker for locating M44 (the Beehive Cluster) and X Cancri, one of the reddest stars in the sky (a semi-regular variable ranging from 5.6to 7.3 magnitude) both in the same binocular field as Delta. On the 18th, the slender crescent of the 27-day old waning crescent Moon will be just 2.5° from the planet. The Alpha star in Leo, 1st magnitude Regulus, will be just over 0.5° from Venus on the 20th. On the 18th there will be a daytime occultation of Venus by the Moon, at this time the Moon is a little over two days from New and just 28°from the Sun.
Warning!! Observing objects near the Sun is extremely dangerous and should not be attempted unless the observer is fully experienced and aware of the dangers. Instant blindness can result through carelessness and lack of understanding.
As a minimum safety precaution the Sun must be blocked from the observer by a building or similar structure.
From Sydney Venus will disappear behind the 27-day old waning crescent Moon around 10:49am (AEST) and seemingly reappear in a clear blue sky at 12:17pm (AEST) as it clears the unseen dark limb. At ingress the Suns “s altitude will be 51° with and azimuth of 25°, The Moon and Venus will be at an altitude of 42° and an azimuth of 346°. A pair of binoculars will be essential to detect the occulting pair from the bright sky. September 18th (07:41am WST) Venus Lunar Occultation- Mag -3.9.
MARS- reappears midmonth in the morning eastern dawn after a lengthy sojourn behind the Sun. Mercury and the Moon both have close encounters with the Red Planet as outlined in the Mercury paragraph, although difficult to observe. Venus, on its way back toward the Sun, ends up less than 4° from Mars at months end and even closer in October for an outstanding conjunction.
JUPITER- opens the month close to the 1st magnitude star Spica (Alpha Virginis) in the early western evening sky. From the 5th to 16th the planet and star will be 3° apart, a little closer than at the beginning of the year. On the 22nd, Jupiter will be near the slender crescent of the 2-dayold waxing Moon. By months end, the gas giant is only visible low to the horizon prior to the end of astronomical dusk as it moves toward the Sun and conjunction next month.
SATURN – is in Ophiuchus, appears high in the north-western evening sky at the end of astronomical twilight. On the 14th, Saturn is at its eastern quadrature where the Sun-Earth-Saturn angle is 90°. It is during quadrature that we see the maximum shadow of the planet cast onto the back of the rings, which helps give the planet a real 3-D look through a telescope. On the 27th the near First Quarter Moon will be in the ringed planets vicinity.
URANUS- comes to opposition next month, rising in the mid evening eastern sky in Pisces near the border with Aries.
NEPTUNE – is at opposition on the 5th and is visible in the eastern sky after the end of astronomical twilight in Aquarius. Even at opposition, this distant outer world only appears as a bright as 100mm and moderate to high magnification with easily resolve the Solar Systems most distant planet into a small bluish disc.
PLUTO- appears stationary on the 28th as it ends five months of retrograde motion. The icy dwarf is visible in the evening sky, crossing the meridian (is due north) around 7.30pm, setting 2.30am midmonth.
¶ C/2015 ER61 (PANSTARRS) - is in Taurus throughout September, rising by late evening by month’s end. During the month, the comet should be around 12th magnitude.
¶ C/2015 V2 – (Johnson) – is predicted to fade from 9th to 10th magnitude this month. Setting around 1 am, it is well placed to observe in the early evening. In mid-September the comet moves from Lupus into Norma.
¶ 71P/ CLARK- spends the first week of September in Corona Australis before moving into Sagittarius where it resides for the remainder of the month. Setting a few hours before dawn, the comet is expected to fade from 10th to 11th magnitude by months end.
¶ 96P/ Machholz1 - Up until the last week of the month the comet will be circumpolar for much of Australia. It is visible after the end of evening twilight and towards the end of September for only a brief period before dawn. The month opens with Machholz in Cirinus, moving Centaurus after the first week. It should brighten to 12th magnitude by months end.
NB If you see bright fireball in our night skies please go to the website below and report what you have seen. http://www.fireballsinthesky.com.au/ Meteorites are the oldest rocks in existence: the only surviving physical record of the formation and evolution of the solar system. They sample hundreds of different heavenly bodies. Potentially, meteorites offer a direct route to understanding our origins. But to decode that record we need to know where they come from. The Desert Fireball Network (or DFN for short) is designed to provide that data. Meteorites generate a fireball as they come through the atmosphere – you may even have seen one of these yourself. The DFN is a network of digital cameras in the outback desert of Australia which capture photographs of the night sky. By making networked observations of the fireball we can triangulate its trajectory, track the rock forward to where it lands, and back, to where it came from in the solar system.
SEPTEMBER’S MOON... J
3rd (1pm WST)
Minimum Libration (4.2°), dark SW limb.
6th (1pm WST)
Occultation of Neptune by the Moon visible from Antarctica and SE South America, South Georgia.
6th (3pm WST
10th ( 4pm WST)
Maximum Libration (7.2°), Bright NW limb. The Libration favours Crater Xenophanes. Also a better view of Crater Pythagoras is on offer.
12th (9pm WST)
Occultation of Aldebaran by the Moon, visible from Hawaii and Azores.
13th (2pm WST)
14th (midnight previous day WST)
Moon at perigee (closest to Earth at 369,860km).
17th (1am WST)
Minimum Libration (3.7°), dark NE limb.
18th (9am WST)
Occultation of Venus by the Moon visible from SE Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
18th (1pm WST)
Occultation of Regulus by the Moon visible from NE Africa, Middle East, SE Asia and N Australia (daytime event).
19th (4am WST)
Occultation of Mars by the Moon visible from NE Micronesia, Hawaii, Galapagos Is and NW South America.
19th (7am WST)
Occultation of Mercury by the Moon , visible from Easternmost Asia, Micronesia and N Polynesia
20th (2pm WST
23rd (2pm previous day WST)
Maximum Libration (7.7°), bright SE limb. Southern highland craters Neumayer (78km), Helmoholtz (99km), Lyot (145km) and Pontecoulant (94km) are favoured.
27th (3pm WST)
Moon at Apogee (furthest from Earth at 404,348km).
28th (11am WST )
30th (7am WST)
Minimum Libration (4.5°) Dark SW Limb.
OUR STAR SOL - SUN IN SEPTEMBER 2017(Perth WST)
WARNING: do not look at the sun through binoculars or a telescope without a special lens or you could incinerate your eyes! NB: We would like to say ‘thank you’ to Quasar publishing for all the information we have gathered from – Your Guide to the Night Sky–ASTRONOMY 2017 AUSTRALIA. Quasar Publishing
¶ Daytime Solar Viewing
Learn more about our Sun – Sol …
These next School holidays why not do something different..
Tuesday and Friday and Saturday Mornings 9am – 10am.
¶ $10 Adult
¶ $8 Senior
¶ $5 Children ( 10ys – 16yrs)
¶ $27 Family (2 Adults + 2 Children 10-16yrs) this includes presentation and viewing through telescope at our Sun Sol and Entry to Cartref Park Country Gardens.
Barbecue Facilities and refreshments are avail on request - Why not bring a picnic … and rest and relax
Group Bookings available 10 or more people
(NB: this is not suitable for small children under 10yrs)
NB: do not look at the sun through binoculars or a telescope without a special lens or you could incinerate your eyes!
Astronomy Groups in WA
¶ ACLG - Cosmic Landscape Photography Group of WA
ACLG- Astro photographic & Astronomy
Night sky photography in the past was very difficult and out of reach for most people. Now with the new digital compact and SLR cameras this has enabled photographers to take beautiful landscape photos under the Moon or starlit sky. Our group specialises in this type of photography………….take a photo of a cityscape during the day then one at night - the difference is amazing. We have a wide range of members from absolute beginners to professionals. So whatever your skill level if you would like to photograph or take time lapse video of the night sky, this maybe just your scene. This group is free to join and can be done by sending an email to: email@example.com . We meet in Bassendean once a month 7.30pm – 9.30pm. Please go to our Facebook site for further queries.
AGWA meetings are held once a month on a Wednesday night, we are in the same hall as the Cosmic Landscape group (ACLG). For more info go to their Facebook site or E: Keith Williams firstname.lastname@example.org . Don't forget members can join the Facebook site to keep up with all the latest astronomical news and chat. W: https://www.facebook.com/groups/124589480922323/
For further information see the website http://aswa.info or contact ASWA by Email at email@example.com.
¶ STARGAZERS CLUB WA - Why not learn more about our night skies and join The Stargazers Club. W: http://www.stargazersclubwa.com.au/
¶ The “Space Place” & (Travelling Telescopes)©
(Formerly Gingin Observatory) now in Julimar in Toodyay WA 6567.
Look at our website www.thespaceplace.com.au for “what to do” around and nearby to where we are situated and of course, Why not follow us on Face-book /Twitter/Linked In/Google +
For all bookings and all enquiries: E: firstname.lastname@example.org or P: +61 8 95742295
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