SkyDiary
Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Find out what’s up in the night sky:
Upcoming astoronomical events, interesting observations, packed with everything a stargazer needs to know.

Observations are described for the NORTHERN hemisphere and can be made by naked eye, small binoculars or by small telescope.

September 2018

Phases of the Moon

Last Quarter:September 03
New Moon:September 09
First Quarter:September 16/17
Full Moon:September 25

Venus

Venus is on the evening sky, but its angular distance from the Sun decreases during September. It is interesting to compare its height over horizon at the same hour (after local sunset) during September with the interval of, say, 7 days. You will see that the planet shifts indeed towards the Sun.

Mars Observation: Great perihelic opposition 2018

During August, I was able to observe the planet with my large aperture (180mm) Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope. The planet is very low in my sky, only 15 deg above horizon at local midnight, so that the seeing can be very poor and higher magnifications can not be used. However, on August 22, I had perfect conditions in very hot weather, so I could use the magnifications x300 and x338. The southern pole was inclined towards the Earth and the southern polar cap was clearly seen. It was quite large, because there is a late spring on the southern hemisphere on Mars. Some dark features, including Solar Lacus and Mare Sirenum, could also be observed. However, the dust is still spread in the atmosphere of Mars, so that these features are best seen using the red filter, which enhances the contrast.

Article by (C) G. Okša