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Last Week's Stargazing Tips

September 19: Moon and Mars

Mars stands close below the Moon as darkness falls tonight. Although it has faded a good bit since its peak in July, the planet still looks like a bright orange star.

September 18: Distant Galaxy

M31, the Andromeda galaxy, is about 2.5 million light-years away, in the constellation Andromeda. Under dark skies, it is just visible as a hazy smudge of light. It is the farthest object that most people can see with their eyes alone.

September 17: Andromeda

Andromeda, the princess, is in the east and northeast as the sky gets dark on September nights. It’s not all that bright, but you can find it by looking to the lower left of the more prominent Great Square of Pegasus.

September 16: Moon and Saturn

Look for the ringed planet Saturn near the Moon the next couple of nights. It looks like a bright golden star to the left of the Moon tonight, and closer to the lower right of the Moon tomorrow night.

September 15: Moon and Antares

Antares, the bright orange heart of the scorpion, is among the biggest and heaviest stars in the galaxy. And it’s the dominant member of a vast complex of young, heavy stars. Antares stands directly below the Moon as darkness falls tonight.

September 14: Royal Bonus

Cassiopeia, the queen, glistens in the northeast at nightfall and wheels high across the north later on. The queen’s five brightest stars form the shape of the letter W.

September 13: Moon and Jupiter

Jupiter is the biggest planet in the solar system. It’s 11 times the diameter of Earth, and more massive than all the other planets and moons combined. And it is in great view tonight. The planet is quite close to the crescent Moon as night falls.