Things to See in the UAE Night Sky this September 2021

After August’s meteor shower spectacle, September indulges us in a number of planet-gazing opportunities, with planets Mercury and Neptune joining the night sky regulars Jupiter, Saturn, and Venus this month.

To get a better look at our neighbors in the Solar System—especially the stunning deep-sky objects like nebulae and galaxies that pop out better on moonless nights, make use of optical instruments like a telescope or binoculars with enough power. The smart telescope Stellina can come in handy with these types of observations. Al Sadeem Astronomy is the only distributor of this smart telescope here in the Middle East. You can place an order or inquiry here.

Without further ado, we’ve prepared for you a list of the astronomical events this September. All dates and times were given in UAE Local Time (UTC+4).

September 3 – Mercury at its highest point in the sky

Planet Mercury is not easily seen in the sky because of its proximity to our Sun, but on this day, there will be a short window of opportunity to this little planet.

At a peak altitude of 14° above the western horizon, Mercury can be seen around 6:35 in the evening, appearing like a moderately bright star at sunset.It’s best to observe Mercury in a highly-elevated area, where the horizon can be seen and is not obstructed.

September 10 – Moon-Venus Appulse

On September 10, we’ll be seeing the third brightest object in the sky—planet Venus—sitting next to the Moon.

We’ve actually seen this pair last month, and now the planet-Moon pairing will be making an appearance again as an appulse. Catch them at21° above the south-western horizon at around 06:49 P.M. They will stay up in the night sky for approximately two hours.

For clarity between appulses and conjunctions, here’s a quick explanation about that on our Twitter page. You can read the thread below:

September 14 – Neptune at Opposition

Planetary oppositions have delighted us in August, with Saturn and Jupiter taking turns to be in the spotlight during the beginning and the end of the month, respectively.

This month, it is planet Neptune’s turn to be at opposition, which means that this blue gas giant will appear slightly larger and brighter than usual because it is going to be directly opposite of the Sun in the sky.

When a planet is in opposition, the solar system is aligned such that the planet lies on the same side of the Sun as the Earth. At this time, the planet makes its perigee or closest approach to the Earth.

To enjoy this special astronomical phenomenon, stargazers and avid astronomy enthusiasts are encouraged to use their optical instruments. Neptune is pretty far from us—about 4.33 billion kilometers away—with an apparent magnitude of +7.8, so it will be close to possible to observe the planet with the naked eye. When viewed through large-aperture telescopes (at least 8” and above), it would look like a dark bluish “star.”

September 14 – Mercury at Greatest Elongation

We get to have another chance at observing Mercury on this day, September 14, because the planet will be at its greatest eastern elongation. When a planet is at its greatest eastern elongation, it will be visible as evening objects in the sky, just right after sunset.

Again, it will be best to observe Mercury in a highly-elevated area, where the horizon can be seen and is not obstructed.

September 16 – Moon-Saturn Conjunction

The Saturn-Moon pairing comes back in our night sky as a conjunction this month, with the Moon passing roughly 8° SE of Saturn.

September 17 – Moon-Jupiter Conjunction

The Moon will dance with planet Jupiter on this day, with the Earth’s natural satellite passing roughly 10° SE of Jupiter.

September 22 – Autumnal Equinox

It’s that time of the year again when the amount of daytime is approximately equal to night-time in all areas of the Earth (about 12 hours)! This is called the equinox.

The equinox sets the tone for the gradual shift of duration of day and night, with night-time becoming longer in the Northern Hemisphere after this day. This period also marks the beginning of autumn or fall in the Northern Hemisphere and spring in the Southern Hemisphere.

Diagram showing Earth’s Orientation during the September Equinox (Image Credit:

Sunrise and Sunset times

September 1               06:03 ↑          18:40

September 30             06:14 ↑          18:10

The Al Wathba skies at summer dusk. Image taken by Al Sadeem Observatory’s owner and co-founder, Thabet Al Qaissieh.

The Moon’s Phases

September 7 – New Moon

September 13 – First Quarter

September 20 – Full Moon

September 29 – Last Quarter

  • Astronomy Calendar of Celestial Events 2021. (n.d.). Retrieved from Sea and Sky:
  • Calendar of Astronomical Events. (n.d.). Retrieved from year=2021&month=9&maxdiff=4 #datesel
  • Sunrise and sunset times in Abu Dhabi, September 2021. (n.d.). Retrieved from dhabi?month=9&year=2021