Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mars Enters Libra

Mars marches across the sky past stars and other planets. All throughout August, Mars approached, passed, and receded from Saturn. Now, the Red Planet approaches the wide double star Zubenelgenubi in Libra. On September 15, it will lie right below the star, whose double nature is easily apparent through binoculars. Look for the continuing Mars scenes at 8:30 p.m. in the west-southwest.

The first image shows the general area of the sky with Mars glowing to the lower right and Zubenelgenubi just to its upper left. Scorpius with its bright star Antares sits to their far left. The moderately bright star in the upper right corner is another Zuben: Zubeneschamali.

The second image shows Mars and Zubenelgenubi. The two stellar components are apparent when the image is enlarged slightly. They are to Mars' upper left. 

 Such is our view from Earth...

Monday, September 3, 2012

2012 September Celestial Highlights

Celestial Highlights for September

Sept. 6: Venus in a line with Pollux and Castor
Sept. 8: Moon near Jupiter
Sept. 12: Moon near Venus

Sept. 13: Venus near Beehive, look at 5 a.m. to the east.

Sept. 15: Mars near the double star Zubenelgenubi. Binoculars will reveal the star's two components.

Sept. 18: Moon near Spica
Sept. 19: Moon near Mars

Sept. 22: 10:47 a.m. Autumnal Equinox. The moon's location on the celestial dome is near the point of the  Winter Solstice.
Sept. 29: 11:17 p.m. EDT, Full Moon, Harvest Moon

Such is our view from Earth...