IF IT’S CLEAR
By  Fulton Wright Jr.
Prescott, AZ

Celestial events (from Sky & Telescope magazine, Astronomy magazine, and anywhere else I can find information) customized for Prescott, Arizona. 

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September 2017

On Saturday, September 2, the Moon occults two double stars in Capricornus. The first, Pi, happens at 11:09 PM. Pi is listed as magnitudes 5.2 and 8.5, separated by 3 arc-seconds. The second, Rho, happens at 12:18 AM (Sunday). Rho is listed as magnitudes 4.8 and 6.9, separated by 2 arc-seconds. Pi emerges from the bright limb of the Moon at 12:09 AM (Sunday) and Rho at 1:33 AM (Sunday)

On Tuesday, September 5, at 6:46 PM, the full Moon rises spoiling any chance of seeing faint fuzzies for the night. As you would expect from last month’s total solar eclipse, there is almost an eclipse of the Moon this month and you can expect very flat illumination of this full Moon.

On Tuesday, September 12, the Moon occults Aldebaran. At 4:48 AM the bright limb of the Moon covers it, at 6:02 AM (during twilight) it reappears. Later that evening the Moon is at last quarter phase and rises at 11:29 PM.

On Wednesday, September 13, if you are out between 4:00 and 5:30 AM, you can see the northern part of the Moon at its best. In particular, now would be the time to hunt for those illusive craterlets in the floor of the crater Plato.

On Monday, September 18, about 5:30 AM, you can see a lot of objects lined up. Starting at the top, brilliant Venus, Regulus, the very thin crescent Moon, Mars, and Mercury form an almost vertical line. Mars and Mercury are close on September 16. Venus and Regulus are close on September 20.

On Tuesday, September 19, it is new Moon and you have all night to hunt for faint fuzzies.

On Wednesday, September 27, the Moon is at first quarter phase and sets at 11:34 PM.

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October 2017

On Thursday, October 5, about 5:30 AM, you can see 3 objects within half a degree of each other. Venus (magnitude -4) is in the middle. Mars (magnitude 2) is to the lower right. Sigma Leonis (magnitude 4) is to the upper left. Later that evening, the full Moon rises spoiling any chance of seeing faint fuzzies for the night.

On Wednesday, October 11, at 11:17 PM the last quarter moon rises.

On Sunday, October 15, at 3:14 AM, the star, Regulus, appears from behind the dark limb of the Moon. The star will be only 9 degrees above the horizon.

On Thursday, October 19, it is new Moon and you have all night to hunt for faint fuzzies.

On Friday, October 27, it is first quarter Moon, which sets at 11:58 PM.