Every Monday I select the northern hemisphere’s celestial highlights (mid-northern latitudes) for the week forward, however be sure you check my main feed for extra in-depth articles on stargazing, astronomy, eclipses and extra.
What To See In The Night time Sky This Week: September 12-18, 2022
You’ll be able to have a couple of nights off. With a full Moon final week, our pure satellite tv for pc hangs round for a couple of nights earlier than rising previous midnight. And so opens one other 10 nights or so of moonless night time skies excellent for stargazing, Nevertheless, this week sees a couple of good conjunctions involving that waxing gibbous Moon, with each Mars and the gorgeous Pleiades open star cluster each concerned.
Right here’s what’s happening within the night time sky this week:
Thursday, September 15, 2022: The Moon, Mars and the ‘Seven Sisters’
For those who’ve bought expertise of watching the celebs you then’ll already know all in regards to the Pleiades—however right here’s a good looking sight you don’t wish to miss.
Flip your eyes to the east after darkish at present and also you’ll see a good looking twilight tableau within the constellation of Taurus. In addition to crimson star Aldebaran you’ll see, to its left, the brightening planet Mars, and above, a 66% waning gibbous Moon just under the glowing Pleiades open cluster—additionally known as the “Seven Sisters.”
Mars is getting brighter as Earth and Mars get closest collectively on December 7, 2022.
Friday, September 16, 2022: Moon and Mars, Neptune at ‘opposition’
For a similar, however completely different sight tonight look northeast after sundown to see a 57%-lit waning gibbous Moon now very near Mars. with Aldebaran barely farther in the direction of the east.
Tonight additionally sees the eighth planet, Neptune, attain its annual “opposition.” It’s when Earth is between the Solar and Neptune, so the planet is absolutely illuminated by the Solar from our viewpoint. It’s consequently at its brightest of the yr, so the very best time to take a look at it. Nevertheless, Neptune is at all times a difficult object to seek out due to its distance and ensuing tiny obvious dimension.
Open cluster of the week: the Pleiades
The closest and most spectacular open cluster of stars in all the night time sky will this week turn out to be a straightforward goal for anybody on the planet to identify with their bare eyes.
A cluster of stars 440 light-years distant that’s additionally known as M45 and the “Seven Sisters,” the Pleiades (pronounced both “player-deez” or “plee-er-deez”) is without doubt one of the most entrancing sights within the winter night time sky. To get the very best view of its brightness use the averted imaginative and prescient approach and look barely to the facet of the Pleiades somewhat than straight at it.
Object of the week: Mild air pollution
Are you able to see some vivid stars from the place you reside? Sure, you possibly can everybody can—so that you’re all set. Mild air pollution is a big downside for stargazers and it must be stopped from getting any worse, however don’t ever let it put you off even starting to stargaze.
Right here’s a couple of issues to recollect about gentle air pollution:
- It has zero have an effect on on visibility of planets and the Moon.
- Everybody can see the brightest stars even from massive light-polluted cities. For those who assume you possibly can’t then simply look tougher! The less the celebs, the simpler it’s to navigate as a result of solely the massive, vivid well-known stars are seen.
- Out of your yard or from the sidewalk you possibly can study among the brighter constellations, get your bearings and start to navigate the night time sky completely nicely with out worrying about gentle air pollution.
For those who stargaze incessantly you’ll quickly sufficient study to hate gentle air pollution. However for now simply embrace what you possibly can see and don’t fear about what you possibly can’t.
Instances and dates given apply to mid-northern latitudes. For essentially the most correct location-specific data seek the advice of on-line planetariums like Stellarium and The Sky Live. Verify planet-rise/planet-set, sunrise/sunset and moonrise/moonset instances for the place you’re.
Wishing you clear skies and large eyes.