I am waaay behind this month! But do not despair as September ushers in the dry and clear skies of the fall. We have already gotten a taste of fall the past two weeks with several nights of clear skies.

Nothing outstanding the night sky this month other than fine opportunities to see the glorious band of the Milky Way directly above with Cygnus the Swan flying through the milky corridors (my that sounds poetic!).

For the planets this month; mighty Jupiter returns to the morning sky, rising about midnight in mid month. On September 10th Jupiter got smacked by a passing asteroid and the event was observed by a multitude of amateur astronomers. Check this link for details.

Saturn and Mars are rapidly disappearing at twilight and will not return to the evening skies for several months.

Dazzling Venus rises around 3 AM during September.

The autumnal equinox occurs at 10:49 a.m. EDT September 22.

As always, remember to turn out your outside lights and go out and enjoy the night skies of Balsam Mountain Preserve.

Jim Stratigos

Resident Astronomer