Last Week's Stargazing Tips

September 29: Moon, Mars, and Antares

There’s a sweet alignment in the southwest as night falls this evening: the Moon, the planet Mars, and the star Antares. Mars and Antares both shine with a distinctly orange color. They line up below the Moon.

September 28: Moon and Planets

The Moon cruises between two planets early this evening. Saturn looks like a bright star to its lower right, with slightly brighter Mars to its left. The star Antares is below Mars, and shines with the same orange color.

September 27: Moon and Saturn

The planet Saturn stands quite close to the Moon this evening. The giant planet looks like a bright golden star to the upper left of the crescent Moon as night falls. They set about an hour later.

September 26: Capricornus

Capricornus, the “gateway to heaven,” rolls low across the south this evening. It looks like a large triangle, with the longest side aligned east to west. Mythology says it is the gateway for human souls on their way to heaven.

September 25: Mars and Antares

Two orange pinpoints huddle close together in the southwest the next few evenings: the planet Mars and the star Antares. Tonight, Antares is to the lower left with Mars to the upper right. Mars will move up and over Antares over the next few nights.

September 24: Doomed Giant

A huge star in Canis Major, the big dog, is probably about to go “boom.” VY Canis Majoris is veiled by dust, so you need a telescope to see it, to the left of the dog’s hindquarters. It is likely to explode in the next million years or so.

September 23: Cepheus

Cepheus, the king, rotates high across the north on autumn evenings. In that position, its brightest stars form a pattern that looks a bit like an ice cream cone.

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