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09/01/2016 – Ephemeris – Previewing the pivotal month of September’s skies

September 1, 2016

Ephemeris for Thursday, September 1st.  The Sun will rise at 7:05.  It’ll be up for 13 hours and 12 minutes, setting at 8:18.  The Moon is new today, and won’t be visible.

There’s an eclipse of the Sun in progress now for parts of the southern hemisphere centered on southern Africa.  Today is also has the first of two new Moons this month, the second being called the Black Moon.  Let’s look at the skies for September. The sun is moving at its greatest speed in its retreat to the south. Daylight hours in the Interlochen/Traverse City area and will drop from 13 hours and 12 minutes today to 11 hours 44 minutes on the 30th. The altitude of the sun above the southern horizon at local noon will be 54 degrees today, and will descend to 42 degrees on the 30th. The official season of summer is getting short too, so enjoy it while you can.  Summer ends and autumn begins at 10:21 a.m. on September 22nd.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.


September Star Chart

September Star Chart

Star Chart for September 2016. Created using my LookingUp program. To enlarge in Firefox right-click on image then click View image.

The planets and stars are plotted for the 15th at 10 p.m. EDT.  That is chart time.  Note, Traverse City is located approximately 45 minutes behind our time meridian.  (An hour 45 minutes behind our daylight saving time meridian.) To duplicate the star positions on a planisphere you may have to set it to 1:45 earlier than the current time if you are near your time meridian.

Evening nautical twilight ends at 9:24 p.m. EDT on the 1st, increasing to 8:27 p.m. EDT on the 30th.

Morning nautical twilight starts at 5:59 a.m. EDT on the 1st, and decreasing to 6:37 a.m. EDT on the 30th.

Add a half hour to the chart time every week before the 15th and subtract a half hour for every week after the 15th.

For a list of constellation names to go with the abbreviations click here.

  • Pointer stars at the front of the bowl of the Big Dipper point to Polaris the North Star
  • Follow the arc of the handle of the Big Dipper to the star Arcturus
  • The Summer Triangle is outlined in red.  Vega in Lyra (Lyr), Deneb in Cygnus (Cyg) and Altair in Aquila (Aql).

Calendar of Planetary Events

Credit:  Sky Events Calendar by Fred Espenak and Sumit Dutta (NASA’s GSFC)

To generate your own calendar go to http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SKYCAL/SKYCAL.html

Times are Eastern Time.

    Date    Time    Event
Sep 01  Th          Venus: 23.5° E
    01  Th  5:03 am New Moon
    01  Th  5:08 am Annular Solar Eclipse (Atlantic, Africa, Indian Ocean)
    01  Th 11:27 am Moon Ascending Node
    02  Fr 11:16 am Neptune Opposition
    03  Sa  6:33 am Moon-Venus: 1.2° S
    04  Su  8:03 pm Saturn-Antares: 6.1° N
    06  Tu  2:44 pm Moon Apogee: 405100 km
    08  Th  5:23 pm Moon-Saturn: 4.2° S
    09  Fr  7:49 am First Quarter
    10  Sa  6:05 am Moon South Dec.: 18.5° S
    12  Mo  7:38 am Mercury Inferior Solar Conjunction (Will enter the
                    morning sky)
    15  Th  7:55 pm Moon Descending Node
    16  Fr  2:56 pm Penumbral Lunar Eclipse (Not visible in MI)
    16  Fr  3:05 pm Full Harvest Moon
    18  Su 11:12 am Venus-Spica: 2.4° N
    18  Su  1:00 pm Moon Perigee: 361900 km
    21  We  6:13 pm Moon-Aldebaran: 0.2° S
    22  Th 10:21 am Autumnal Equinox (Summer ends and autumn starts)
    23  Fr  5:56 am Last Quarter
    23  Fr 12:44 pm Moon North Dec.: 18.5° N
    26  Mo  2:19 am Jupiter Solar Conjunction (Will enter the morning sky)
    27  Tu  6:32 pm Moon-Regulus: 1.8° N
    28  We  2:59 pm Mercury Greatest Elongation: 17.9° W
    28  We  6:06 pm Moon Ascending Node
    30  Fr  8:12 pm New Moon (Second new Moon this month)
Oct 01  Sa          Venus: 30.9° E
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