September 2018

Sky Report - September 2018

By Dr. Bob Doyle, Emeritus Faculty
Dr. Doyle taught and was Planetarium Director at Frostburg State University for over 40 years

Early September (Sep 1-7)

Local sunrises are about 6:45 p.m. with sunsets about 7:45 p.m. Daily sunlight is about 13 hours. Each day, the sunrises are a minute later while the sunsets come about a minute or two earlier. In the western dusk, the brilliant planet Venus appears underneath the bright star Spica of Virgo. In the morning sky on September 3rd, the moon appears near the bright star Aldebaran of Taurus. Also on September 3, the moon appear half full (like a reversed ‘D’) in the southern dawn. The planet Neptune is closest to the Earth on September 7, about 2700 million miles from the Earth, visible through binoculars in the star group Aquarius. Light from Neptune’s clouds takes over 4 hours to reach Earth. The brilliant planet Venus is now setting in the West 90 minutes after sunset. The bright planet Jupiter now sets in the West about 10:30 p.m. The planet Saturn peaks in the South as it gets dark. The bright orange planet Mars peaks in the South around 10:30 p.m.

Second Quarter of September (Sep 8-15)

Local sunrises are about 6:55 a.m. with sunsets about 7:30 p.m. Daily sunlight is about 12.6 hours. Each day, sunrises are about a minute or later while the sunsets come about a minute or two earlier. The brilliant planet Venus is setting in the West a little more than an hour after sunset. The bright planet Jupiter is setting in the West about 9:45 p.m. Saturn is in the South as it gets dark. The bright orange planet Mars is due South about 9:45 p.m. The moon’s motion carries it from the morning to the evening side of the sun on May 9th. On September 12th, the crescent moon will appear above and to the left of Venus in the western dusk. On September 13th, the crescent moon will appear above the bright planet Jupiter. On September 15, the moon will appear above the bright pinkish star Antares in the Scorpion.

Third Quarter of September (Sep 16-23)

Local sunrises are about 7 a.m. with sunsets about 7:20 p.m. Daily sunlight is about 12.33 hours. Each day, sunrises are a minute later while sunsets come a few minutes earlier. On September 22, fall officially begins with the sun’s direct rays crossing the equator, moving South. Over most of the world, the sun rises due East and sets due West. On September 16, the evening moon appears half full, shaped like a ‘D’. This evening and the following evening offer the best views of the lunar craters along the lighted left edge of the moon, where the sun there is rising. On September 17, the planet Saturn will appear to the right of the moon. On September 19, the moon will appear near the bright orange planet Mars.

Last Quarter of September (Sep 24-30)

Local sunrises are about 7:06 a.m. with sunsets about 7:07 p.m. Daily sunlight is about 12 hours. Each day, sunrises are a minute later while sunsets come a few minutes earlier. On September 26, day and night are balanced, each nearly 12 hours. The brilliant planet Venus is now setting in the West less than an hour after sunset. The bright planet Jupiter is now setting in the West about 9 p.m. The bright orange planet Mars is the brightest point of light in the late evening sky, peaking in the South about 9:30 p.m. To the right of Mars is the planet Saturn. The moon is full on September 24. This is the Harvest Moon, the full moon closest to the start of fall. Because of the low angle of the moon’s orbit to the eastern horizon, there is only a half hour delay in moon rise from night to night. So the evenings of September 25 – 28, there will be extra moonlight in the early evenings. Colonial farmers used this extra moonlight to work after sunset to harvest their crops.

The Frostburg State Planetarium will have free public shows on September 12 and 26 (both Wednesdays) at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. There will be a Saturday program on September 15 at 8 p.m. The Planetarium is in room 186 of the Gira Center.

Contact Us

Dr. Jason Speights

Director of the MLC
Assistant Professor of Physics

Email: jcspeights@frostburg.edu (preferred)
Phone: 301.687.4339
Office: Gira CCIT 189

Send Mail To

Department of Physics and Engineering
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD 21532-2303

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