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    Articles > September 2004
 
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Celestial Delights

Both an introduction to Astronomy and a calendar of upcoming celestial events to 2010, this layperson's guide forecasts and explains numerous celestial phenomena in lucid writing and easy-to-grasp diagrams. Specially written for urban skywatchers, Celestial Delights deepens our appreciation of what we see when we look up into the night sky, and inspires us to do so more often.
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  Sky Calendar -- September 2004
5 Moon near the Pleiades at 11h UT (morning sky).
6 Last Quarter Moon at 15:11 UT.
8 Moon at apogee (furthest from Earth) at 3h UT (distance 404,464 km; angular size 29.6').
9 Mercury at greatest elongation, 18° west from the Sun (morning sky) at 14h UT. Mercury (mag. -0.2) visible low in the east about 1 hour before sunrise.
10 Moon near Saturn at 0h UT (morning sky).
10 Mercury 0.05° from Regulus at 6h UT (morning sky). Low in the east about 1 hour before sunrise. Magnitudes -0.4 and +1.3.
13 Moon near Mercury at 4h UT (morning sky).
13 Venus near Beehive star cluster at 19h UT (morning sky).
14 New Moon at 14:29 UT. Beginning of lunation 1011.
15 Mars at conjunction with the Sun at 13h UT. The red planet passes into the morning sky.
17 Moon near Spica at 0h UT (evening sky).
20 Moon near Antares at 7h UT (evening sky).
21 First Quarter Moon at 15:54 UT.
22 Jupiter at conjunction with the Sun at 0h UT. The giant planet passes into the morning sky.
22 September equinox at 16:30 UT. The time when the Sun reaches the point along the ecliptic where it crosses into the southern celestial hemisphere marking the start of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere and spring in the Southern Hemisphere.
22 Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 21h UT (distance 369,589 km; angular size 32.3').
27 Mars 0.18° from Jupiter at 0h UT (morning sky). Only 4° from Sun making direct observation impossible.
28 Full Moon at 13:09 UT. The full Moon of September is called the "Fruit Moon" and, because this year it is the nearest to the September equinox, also the "Harvest Moon".
29 Mercury, Mars, and Jupiter within a circle of diameter 1.06° at 8h UT. Only about 5° from the Sun making direct observation impossible.
All times Universal Time (UT). (USA Eastern Daylight Time = UT ­ 4 hours)

Clear skies till next month!

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