Society News and Night Sky Notes – September 2000

Society News Headlines

  • Sept 1st: Ceres is 0.4° North of Moon.
  • Sept 1st: Comet C/1999 T3 (Linear) at perihelion (5.365AU).
  • Sept 1st: BAA Out-of-London weekend at Cambridge. (ends Sept 3rd).
  • Sept 7th: Jupiter is 5° North of Aldebaran.
  • Sept 8th: Moon at apogee.
  • Sept 8th: Planned launch of space shuttle Atlantis on mission STS-106 to International Space Station ISS.
  • Sept 8th: Horncastle Astronomy Weekend, Horncastle College, Lincs. (ends Sept 10th).
  • Sept 9th: Neptune 1.2° North of Moon.
  • Sept 9th: Comet Encke at perihelion.
  • Sept 9th: Piscids meteor shower max 1.
  • Sept 11th: Uranus 1.4° North of Moon.
  • Sept 12th: Saturn is stationary.
  • Sept 14th: Vlasium Astronomical Society members visit to Liverpool AS (ends Sept 17th).
  • Sept 14th: Comet Kojima at perihelion (2.003AU).
  • Sept 14th: John Dobson’s 85th Birthday.
  • Sept 15th: Alpha Aurigids meteor shower max.
  • Sept 15th: Start of the 119th session of Liverpool Astronomical Society.
  • Sept 15th: Presidential Address and Cheese & Wine Reception (tickets Req) at RC Catheral Crypt Conert Room at 7pm.
  • Sept 16th: Mars 0.8° North of Regulus.
  • Sept 16th: Special International Night of Astronomy at LAS Pex Hill Observatory.(Details at later date)
  • Sept 18th: Venus 3° North of Spica.
  • Sept 19th: Saturn 1.8° North of Moon.
  • Sept 19th: Jupiter 2° North of moon.
  • Sept 21st: Piscids meteor shower max 2.
  • Sept 22nd: Autumnal Equinox at 18:11BST.
  • Sept 22nd: Equinox Star Party, Thetford, Norfolk. (ends Oct 1st).
  • Sept 23rd: Mercury 0.7° North of Spica.
  • Sept 24th: Moon at Perigee.
  • Sept 25th: Mars 2° South of Moon.
  • Sept 27th: Juno is stationary.
  • Sept 29th: Mercury 8° South of Moon.
  • Sept 29th: Jupiter is stationary.
  • Sept 30th: Venus 5° South of Moon.
  • Sept 30th: Ceres 0.5° South of Moon.
  • Sept 30th: FAS Convention & AGM Rutherford Appleton Labs, Didcot.


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.

            2nd          7th         12th       17th       22nd        27th         2nd Oct
SUNRISE    06:23        06:32       06:40      06:49      06:58       07:06         07:15
SUNSET     19:59        19:47       19:35      19:23      19:11       18:58         18:46
on 5th
at 17h:28m
on 13th
at 20h:38m
on 21st
at 02h:29m
on 27th
at 20h:54m


The autumn equinox occurs on the 22nd. 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 not visible this month.


Venus is still skirting the western horizon in the evening. Look VERY low down about half an hour after Sunset at an azimuth of around 245° at the end of the month when the 3 day old sliver of the Moon passes 4.5° to the North of the planet. You will need a clear, unobstructed view of the horizon to see this conjunction.


Mars has now moved from the constellation of Cancer where it resided last month, and now passes swiftly through Leo, passing less than a degree North of Regulus (alpha Leonis)on the 16th at 17h. Note its position on the morning of the 16th and also on the following morning. It isn,t often you get a good sence of a planet moving against the background stars but this will be an excellent opportunity to experience this (it’ll be cloudy of course). On the 25th at 18h the Moon will pass 1.5° North of Mars.

MARSWATCH – latest observations of the red planet.


  • Ceres is at Mag 8.9 in Virgo, and will be close to the Moon on Sept 1st and 30th.

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 and Saturn dominate the early morning sky lying as they do in the constellation of Taurus. Their apparent motion against the background stars slows considerable throughout the month as they head towards their respective oppositions in a couple of month’s time. At the start of the month Saturn crosses the meridian (i.e. lies due South) at 06:03 with Jupiter following it half an hour later at 06:30. On Sept 19th at 02h Saturn lies 2.5° North of the Moon and on the same date the Moon passes 3.5° South of Jupiter at 20h.

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 can be found in the Morning sky close to Jupiter – see Jupiter text for details.


Uranus and Neptune, having passes their oppositions are now evening objects. Neptune crosses the meridian at 20h at the end of September with Uranus following close behind at 21h.

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:22m:51s           -16°:07':24"                   23h:49m             5.7

Neptune Positions for the 1st September:

                          R.A.                   DEC                    TRANSIT TIME           MAG
                      20h:26m:20s           -18°:59':06"                   22h:53m             7.9


Pluto is now not favourable for observations until next year.


  • Alpha-Aurigids on Sept 15th ( 10 per hour) Unfavourable. Moon 16 days old.
  • Piscids on Sept 9th & 21st Double radiant- (8 per hour):
    • 9th – Unfavourable/MOON is 11 days old. (Just one of several radiants).
    • 21st – Unfavourable/MOON is 21 days old. (Generally low rates).


  • Sept 1st: Comet C/1999 T3 (Linear) at Perihelion (5.365AU).
  • Sept 9th: Comet Encke at Perihelion (0.340 AU).
  • Sept 14th: Comet Kojima at Perihelion (2.003AU).

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


There are no occultations of bright stars this month.