Society News and Night Sky Notes – September 1999

Society News Headlines

  • 1st Sept – Saturn is 3° North of Moon.
  • 2nd Sept – Aldebaran 0.8° South of Moon.
  • 7th Sept – Venus 8° South of Moon.
  • 8th Sept – Regulus 1.1° South of Moon.
  • 8th Sept – Comet Temel II at Perihelion (1.482AU).
  • 9th Sept – Mercury at Superior Conjunction.
  • 10th Sept – Public Open Night at LAS Pex Hill Observatory. 7:30pm – 9:30pm.
  • 10th Sept – Horncastle Astronomy Weekend, Linconshire.(ends Sept 12th).
  • 11th Sept – Vesta 0.9° North of Moon.
  • 16th Sept – Comet Kearns-Kwee at Perihelion (2.339AU).
  • 16th Sept – Mars 3° North of Antares.
  • 17th Sept – LAS Presidental Address & Eclipse’99 reports, plus Cheese&Wine.7pm at RC Catheral, Crypt Concert Room.
  • 20th Sept – Neptune 0.7° South of Moon.
  • 21st Sept – Uranus 0.6° South of Moon.
  • 23rd Sept – NASA Mars Climate Orbiter reaches Mars Orbit.
  • 23rd Sept – Comet C/1999j3 (Linear) at Perihelion (1.148AU).
  • 23rd Sept – Autumn Equinox 23h:33m UT.
  • 24th Sept – Alston Hall Weekend – Developments in Telescope-Making & White-light Imaging.(Ends Sept 26th).
  • 24th Sept – Whirlpool Star Party, Birr Castle, County Offaly.
  • 25th Sept – Southampton A.S. 75th Anniversary Convention at The Univ of Southampton, 10:15 – 17:00.
  • 26th Sept – Venus at greatest brillancy.
  • 27th Sept – Jupiter 4° North of Moon.
  • 28th Sept – Saturn 3° North of Moon.
  • 30th Sept – Aldebaran 1° South of Moon.
  • 30th Sept – Mercury 1.7° North of Spica.


Will it be cloudy to-night?, ask the The U.K. Goverment Met Office Weather service. To make your own star chart fo your location at any time, Click Here.

The Sun and Moon

All times are in BRITISH SUMMER TIME (BST). Times For Observer in Liverpool, Merseyside, England, U.K.

Latitude 53 degs 24 mins North.
Longitude +3.0 degs West.

            3rd          8th         13th       18th       23rd        28th         3rd Oct
SUNRISE    06:24        06:33       06:42      06:50      06:59       07:08         07:17
SUNSET     19:57        19:45       19:33      19:21      19:09       19:57         18:45

on 17th
at 20h:07m
on 25th
at 11h:52m
on 2nd
at 23h:18m
on 9th
at 23h:03m


The autumn equinox occurs on the 23rd. This is when the Sun crosses the celestial equator heading south towards the winter solstice in December. At this time, from any point on the Earth’s Surface day and night are of Equal length.



Mercury is at superior conjunction on the 8th and is there unobservable.


Venus very quickly becomes established in the morning sky passing through the constellation of Leo. On the evening of the 7th the Moon passes 7° North but by the time Venus has risen the following morning this distance will have widened a little. On the 9th look for the naked eye star Omicron Leonis a mere 11′ to the North. Venus ‘ diameter decreases quite dramatically from over 50″ on the 1st to 35″ at the end of September as the planet heads away from us. As Venus moves around the back of the Sun as seen from the Earth its phase increases to 50% by the end of October and as more of the sunlit hemisphere is turned towards the Earth the brightness correspondingly increases.


Mars’ elongation has dropped to under 90° so the effect of its phase is at its most noticeable now. By the end of the month Mars sets one and a half hours after the Sun does and is much fainter than it was at the end of April.

MARSWATCH – latest observations of the red planet.


  • 16 Pysche can be found in Capricornus st 10th Mag.
  • 198 Ampella can be found in Pegasus and is at opposistion on the 10th, also at 10th Mag.

For More information on Asteroids Click Here.


Jupiter, drawn by Ken Clarke, as viewed through a 10″ F4.3 Reflector, 308x. w1=54deg, w2=141deg, seeing 2/5, at 21:00 UTC on April 22nd, 1991

Jupiter, drawn by Ken Clarke, as viewed through a 10″ F4.3 Reflector, 308x. w1=54deg, w2=141deg, seeing 2/5, at 21:00 UTC on April 22nd, 1991

Jupiter is nicely placed in the evening sky in the faint constellation of Pisces. On the 27th it is 4.5° North of the Moon and displays a 47″ diameter disk. Launched in October 1989, the Galileo Jupiter Probe entered orbit around the great planet on December 7th 1995. The Project Galileo Homepage will give you up-to-date information and the very latest images returned.


Saturn is now becoming visible in the South East late on in the evening. Its apparent diameter is 19″.


Both Outer planets are slightly past their best, are still available for viewing provided you know their exact locations. have a nice sky and have some kind of optical aid such as binoculars or preferably a telescope.. Both can be found in the Capricornus, Uranus maybe found close to the naked eye star theta Capricorni, whilst Neptune lies close to Sigma Capricorni.

Uranus Positions for the 1st September:

                          R.A.                   DEC                    TRANSIT TIME           MAG
                      21h:06m:16s           -17°:20':15"                   23h:36m             5.7

Neptune Positions for the 1st September:

                          R.A.                   DEC                    TRANSIT TIME           MAG
                      20h:17m:02s           -19°:26':03"                   22h:47m             7.9


Pluto is now not favourable for observations until next year.


  • Alpha-Aurigids on Sept 15th ( 10per hour) Fairly favourable. Moon 6 days old.
  • Piscids on Sept 9th & 21st Double radiant-(8 per hour):
    • 9th – Favourable/MOON is NEW.
    • 21st – Unfavourable/MOON 11 days old.


Plus these pages will give daily and weekly reports of this and other Comets progress.


  • Sept 23rd at 02h:17m:59s Disappearance of lota Aquarii
  • Sept 27th at 23h:09m:49s Reappearance of Zeta Aquarii
  • Sept 29th at 01h:45m:48m Reappearance of SAO93469