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Bruce McClure

Full Harvest Moon September 24-25

It’s the full moon closest to the autumn equinox. For us in the Northern Hemisphere, it means no great lag time between sunset and moonrise, in this season of waning daylight.

Equinox sun is over Earth’s equator

At an equinox, and for several days before and after, the midday sun is straight up at noon seen from Earth’s equator. At this equinox, the sun is crossing the celestial equator, moving from north to south.

Day and night exactly equal at equinoxes?

We’re coming up on an equinox, a word that means “equal night.” Days and nights are nearly equal across the globe now. Nearly, but not quite. Here’s why.

See Venus at its brightest

Greatest brilliancy for Venus is a delicate balance between how much we see of its day side, and the changing distance between our 2 worlds. Conditions are now optimum! Venus looms low in the twilight, dazzlingly bright.

Moon sweeps near Saturn and Mars September 17 to 19

On September 17, 18 and 19 – as soon as darkness falls – let the moon serve as your guide to 2 bright and beautiful planets, Saturn and Mars.

Moon, Jupiter and star Antares September 13 to 15

From September 13 to 15, 2018, let the moon guide your eye to the king planet Jupiter and the red supergiant star Antares.

Moon, Venus, Jupiter September 11 to 13

These next several days – September 11, 12 and 13, 2018 – look westward to spot the crescent moon, plus the planets Venus and Jupiter in the evening twilight.

Will you catch the young moon on September 10?

Africa and South America – and islands in the South Atlantic – have the best shot at tonight’s young moon. Easier, generally, in the Southern Hemisphere than the Northern. If you miss it, look tomorrow!

Neptune opposite the sun September 7

We were closest to Neptune for 2018 yesterday. Neptune’s opposition – when it’s 180 degrees from the sun on the sky’s dome – is today. You need optical aid to spot it. Links to charts here.

Meet the Gemini “twins” before sunup on September 5 or 6

There are many bright stars up before the sun now, but the moon can help you find Castor and Pollux.