Moon near Saturn on September 7 and 8

Moon near Saturn: 2 gibbous moons on either side of Saturn with 2 dates.
On the evenings of September 7 and 8, 2022, you can catch the moon near Saturn. The moon is in a waxing gibbous phase, ascending in the eastern half of the sky as night begins. Watch them cross the sky throughout the night. They follow the same path the sun travels during the day. Chart via John Jardine Goss/ EarthSky.

Moon near Saturn on September 7 and 8

A bright waxing gibbous moon passes by Saturn on the evenings of September 7 and 8, 2022. A waxing gibbous moon is one that’s up as darkness falls. It appears more than half-lighted, but less than full. Saturn reached its yearly opposition last month, on August 14. That’s when Earth was passing between Saturn and the sun, placing the ringed planet opposite the sun in our sky. On the night of opposition, Saturn was rising in the east as the sun was setting in the west. Now Earth has moved on in its smaller, faster orbit around the sun. So we see Saturn already up in our eastern sky at nightfall. And Saturn will be visible each night until a few hours before sunrise.

Although Saturn is shining brightly at a +0.4 magnitude, this marvelous ringed world might be difficult to see in the moon’s glare. If so, try placing your finger over the bright moon for a better view of Saturn.

Even small telescopes will reveal Saturn’s glorious rings. Plus, you might catch a glimpse of one or more of Saturn’s 82 moons.

Full moon will be September 9-10

The September full moon will fall at 9:59 UTC (4:59 a.m. CDT) on September 10.

As the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox, it’ll be the Northern Hemisphere’s Harvest Moon.

Let the moon near Saturn guide you to Capricornus

If you have a dark sky, and you use the moon to locate Saturn these next few nights, you can then use Saturn to find the faint constellation Capricornus the Sea Goat. Saturn is located within Capricornus now. But Capricornus is faint, so be sure to wait until the moon moves away.

Capricornus is one of the 12 constellations of the zodiac. Its stars are only third and fourth magnitude. But this constellation has a distinctive shape, that of an arrowhead.

Saturn in September near Capricornus.
In the early evening, Saturn shines in the dim, but pretty constellation Capricornus, which lies in the southeast as night begins, as seen from Northern Hemisphere locations. Chart via John Jardine Goss/ EarthSky.

Bottom line: Look for the bright waxing gibbous moon near Saturn on the evenings of September 7 and 8, 2022. When the moon moves away, look for the arrowhead shape of stars by Saturn that make up the constellation Capricornus.

For more great observing events in the coming weeks, visit EarthSky’s night sky guide

September 7, 2022

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