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Post Info TOPIC: September 2009


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Saturn.jpg

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Jupiter, the king of the planets, will grab your attention in the southeast sky of Everett this month.
It reached its closest approach to Earth last month, something astronomers call opposition, but its still just about as close at 381 million miles from our back yards.

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Saturn, the lord of the rings, is without its rings! Shocked! Don't be, as the rings have not gone anywhere. They have just become invisible to us due to a rare celestial phenomenon.
Explaining the phenomenon, which occurs after every 14.7 years, R C Kapoor, a scientist at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, said, "Saturn is going through a phase called 'Ring Crossing'".

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Uranus-2009-9-6-0h56mb.gif
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Neptune-2009-9-6-0h56mb.gif
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A small but perceptive number of nature-aware children follow the seasonal turnings of the stars. To all longtime starwatchers, the constellations become old, reliable friends. But to those of school age, the emergence of the Great Square of Pegasus low in the east brings a special poignancy and foreboding. In fact, the first sighting of it is almost a shock. Its arrival means the end of summer is looming into sight and school will soon begin.
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Jupiter satellite positions
JupSatSep09-1.gif


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Natural summer light begins to recede
The skies are darkening again; the natural light that covers the stars in summer is receding. Now we just have to contend with the light pollution we produce ourselves.
Astronomical darkness returned on the 20th August and the Sun moves below the celestial equator for the autumnal equinox on 22nd September at 10:18pm.
The full Moon is on the 4th and New Moon is on the 18th.

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Highlights

Autumnal Equinox
On this day, the Sun rises directly in the East, and sets directly in the West. At the South Pole, the Sun will begin to rise after six months of darkness.

Watch out for the zodiacal lights, also known as the false dawn, which maybe visible about two hours before sunrise from dark sites during the latter part of September.



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Meteor Showers

There are no major meteor showers this month...
September is a month with the best sporadic rates and a few mysterious minor showers.
The Alpha Aquarids are active from Aug. 25 to Sept. 5, normally with a ZHR of 10. this year it may be quite active
The Delta Aquarids are active September 5 thru October 10, with a ZHR of 6. It is on view until dawn. Faint, swift meteors are likely and the brighter ones may leave persistent trains.
These two form part of what is known as the Auriga-Cassiopiea-Perseus-Aries-Triangulum radiants, active from late August until mid-October.
The Piscids, active September 1 - 30, have a ZHR of 3.
The Sextanids are active September 9 through October 9. Though, this one is more of a radio/radar showerA new meteor shower,called the September Taurids, might peak this month on the evening of September 13 - 14, 2004. The exact date and time of maximum activity, however, are uncertain. The radiant, which lies between the Pleiades and Hyades star clusters, produces only 7 meteors per hour, with an average brightness of magnitude 2.7.
You can listen to them by tuning to the 67 MHz meteor radar in Roswell, NM.

Shower Activity Period Maximum Radiant Velocity ZHR
Date R.A. Dec. km/s
Aug 25 - Sept. 5
1 September
5.5h
41°
66.0km/s
10
October Arietids
Sept-Oct
8 September
Piscids
Sept 1 - 30
19 September
0.7h
9.2°
30.0km/s
5
Sextanids Sept-Oct 25 September
Andromedids 26 September 58.1° 59.3km/s
Gamma Piscids 23 - 28 28 September 23.4h 11.0° 19.2km/s 4
Pi Virginids
29 September
12.6h
-16.0°
8.6km/s
3


 

 



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Sky watching is at its best throughout September
September is one of the best months for star gazing, says Daniel LeBlanc of Moncton, president of the Beauséjour Astronomy Club.

"It is darker much sooner in the evening, meaning you don't have to wait around until 11:30 at night to get a clear view of the sky".

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