On September 6 we will see a waxing moon and Jupiter close together in the sky. A waxing moon is one that is getting larger each night. Then, on September 8-9, Saturn will be close to the moon. September 13 sees an apogee full moon, which is when the moon is at its most distant point from Earth. The moon’s distance from Earth varies throughout its monthly orbit because the moon’s orbit isn’t perfectly circular. Every month, the moon’s eccentric orbit carries it to apogee and then to perigee — the moon’s closest point to Earth — roughly two weeks later. So on September 28 we will see a perigee moon.
On September 29 we will see Mercury close to Spica, which is the brightest star in the southern constellation Virgo and the 16th brightest star in the sky. It is a blue subgiant star located at a distance of 262 light-years from Earth. Spica is really a close binary star system and is one of the nearest massive binary stars to the solar system. Then on September 30 the crescent moon appears close to Spica and Mercury, with Venus shining below them in the evening sky.
On Friday, September 6, the Mornington Peninsula Astronomical Society will be holding its monthly public stargazing night at the MPAS Observatory at The Briars in Mount Martha, starting at 8pm. Hear an inspiring multimedia talk and Q&A, even hold a meteorite, before moving outside to view the moon, stars, planets, clusters and galaxies through a wide array of telescopes supplied by the society and members. These nights are family friendly, and even the littlies get a thrill from looking through a telescope. Bookings are preferred, so for more information visit the society’s website at mpas.asn.au
NERIDA LANGCAKE, Mornington Peninsula Astronomical Society