Scruton Sky at Night – September 2020

by Peter Williams

Darkening nights now make for better viewing of the evening skies and it is interesting to note that there are proposals to designate parts of the Yorkshire Dales as a Dark Sky Reserve. Full Moon is on the 2nd Sept. and is often called the “Harvest Moon”, since its light was used to assist in farm work prior to mechanisation.

During the morning of the 6th there is a beautiful close conjunction between the Moon and Mars, when the two are separated by only one degree. The sight of the two together in the sky will be spectacular to the unaided eye and in binoculars. In fact from the Mediterranean area, Mars will appear to pass behind the Moon.

The Autumnal Equinox on 22nd Sept. marks the official start of Autumn. Day and night are almost equal in length again. The 3 space craft I mentioned last month are all now well on their way to Mars, and if you want to participate in the next main launch in 2026, just search ‘Send your name to Mars’ and you can be ‘on board’. You can also print off a Boarding Pass – just a bit of fun for the kids!