Moon and planet pairings move to early and late evenings this September, and two planetary oppositions are available to view throughout some nights. We’ll also have an equinox this month! More importantly, the Milky Way is still a treat in September.
Keeping a sky map handy for your observation is useful, and optical instruments like telescopes or binoculars can even enhance your night sky experience. Easy-to-use observation stations like Stellina and Vespera come in handy–they are easily operated using smartphones and tablets! Al Sadeem Astronomy is the only distributor of this smart telescope here in the Middle East. You can place an order or inquiry here.
Check out the sky events for September 2022 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). All dates and times are in UAE Local Time (UTC+4).
September 8 – Appulse of Moon and Saturn
Waving hello to us on a Thursday night, September 8, is the Waxing Gibbous Moon and planet Saturn, which will both appear in the early evening sky. Catch the pair at 6:50 P.M. in a close approach or in what is also known in astronomy as appulse.
September 11 – Appulse of Moon and Jupiter
After its rendezvous with the Ringed Planet, the Moon in its almost Full phase will team up with Jupiter on September 11. The pair will be visible in the evening sky, becoming visible around 8:00 P.M. until being glared out of view by the Sun breaking out of the horizon at 5:50 A.M.
September 16 – Neptune at Opposition
Here’s a treat on September 16–Neptune, the Solar System’s farthest planet (my bad, Pluto) will be at opposition. This means that the side of Neptune visible to us will be fully illuminated by the Sun. It also happens that it is going to be the planet’s closest approach to Earth, too.
The icy, blue planet will shine brighter than any other time of the year and will be visible all night long, which makes it the best time to view and image Neptune.
But because it is far away from Earth, it will only appear as a tiny blue dot, and capturing Neptune would require a high-powered telescope (at least 12” and larger) to properly observe it.
September 17 – Conjunction of Moon and Mars
The Moon in its Waning phase will dance with Mars on September 17, while also sharing the same right ascension. In astronomy, when two objects in the sky share the right ascension, the pairing is called a conjunction. The Moon and Mars will be visible around 11:30 until they set close to day break at 5:52 A.M.
September 23 – Equinox
On September 23, the world will experience an equal length of day and night. This is called the equinox. We get two equinoxes in a year, with the last one happening in March.
This September, the equinox marks the first day of autumn for us in the Northern hemisphere, and the first day of spring in the Southern hemisphere.
It’s the Earth’s polar axis and how it is oriented with the Sun in its orbit that causes the solstices, equinoxes, and change in seasons. The Earth is tilted at an angle of 23.5° with respect to its orbital plane around the Sun. There are certain times when the Earth’s northern axis is tilted towards (in June) and away (in December) from the Sun.
September 26 – Jupiter at Opposition
Just like Neptune ten days ago, the largest gas giant is also at its opposition on September 26.
A medium-sized (at least 6”) telescope should be able to reveal some of the details in Jupiter’s cloud bands. A good pair of binoculars or a smaller aperture telescope may treat you to a view of Jupiter’s four largest moons, which will appear as bright dots on either side of the planet.
MOON PHASE CALENDAR
Sept 3 – 1st Quarter
Sept 10 – Full Moon
Sept 18 – Last Quarter
Sept 25 – New Moon
SUNRISE AND SUNSET TIMES
September 1 06:03 ↑ 18:41 ↓
September 30 06:13 ↑ 18:10 ↓
- Astronomy Calendar of Celestial Events 2022. (n.d.). Retrieved from Sea and Sky: org/astronomy/astronomy-calendar-2022.html
- Calendar of Astronomical Events. (n.d.). Retrieved from In-The-Sky.org: https://in-the-sky.org/newscal.php?month=9&year=2022&maxdiff=4#datesel
- Sunrise and sunset times in Abu Dhabi, September 2022. (n.d.). Retrieved from timeanddate.com: https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/united-arab-emirates/abu-dhabi?month=9&year=2022