If you can get some clear skies this month and there is not much light pollution around, then how can you take a moment to enjoy some of the delight of that huge abyss above your head?
NASA has released a supporting video (below) detailing what to look for in the night sky, and the best part is that you don’t need an expensive kit to enjoy the view. While a pair of binoculars or a pricey telescope will certainly enhance what you see, many points of interest are visible to the naked eye.
For example, on September 6, you will see that Mars appears with the Moon in the sky. When you look at the red planet, consider for a moment that NASA’s Perseverance Rover and Ingenuity Helicopter are heading there.
NASA says in the video, “If you are up early and can step outside for a glance, they will be only one or two degrees apart. That means they will appear in the same area.”
Next week, on 13 and 14 September, throw your gaze eastward before dawn and you’ll see a thin crescent moon slipping by a brilliant Venus.
You will also be able to see Fomalhout, which is a few hundred million years old and is about 25 light years away. Be sure to watch the video to learn more about Fomalhaut, and the interesting story of the “planet” near it.
And don’t forget to watch out for Jupiter and Saturn, both of which can also be seen with the naked eye.
To help you know that mobile apps like Star Walk 2 (iOS and Android) and Planets (iOS and Android) are a big help, both offer on-screen planets and star labeling.
September can also offer a view of the International Space Station as it passes overhead. Check out this article, which shows some easy ways to find out when it’s heading your way.
For a more detailed discussion of what to see in September, see NASA’s Daily Guide.