sky guide

5 astronomical events you can't miss in September 2022

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As summer transitions to fall, keep an eye on the sky for signs of the changing seasons.

September will bring a stunning lunar event, plus the fall equinox.

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We’ll also have two close encounters with distant planets this month, and a few minor meteor showers to ring in the new season.

Here are 5 cosmic events you don’t want to miss in September:

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5. Aurigid meteor shower

You’ll have a chance to see shooting stars on September 1 — and later in the month.

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The Aurigids peak on the same night that the Perseid meteor shower ends.

And on September 9, another minor meteor shower called the September Epsilon Perseids will be at its peak.

4. Harvest Moon

It’ll be easy to spot the bright, full Moon in the early morning hours of August 10.

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Since it’s the closest Full Moon to the fall equinox, it earns the title of Harvest Moon — and a few other nicknames too, like the Corn Moon and Barley Moon.

3. Neptune at opposition

On September 16, Earth’s orbit will swing between Neptune and the Sun, promising bright views of the ice giant.

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The faraway planet will be at the point closest to Earth in its orbit and reach its maximum brightness.

However, you’ll still need a telescope or binoculars to spot it.

2. Autumn equinox

The days are getting shorter in the Northern Hemisphere, and on September 22, we’ll have nearly the same amount of daylight as we do darkness.

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The Sun will be just above Earth’s equator before it moves south, signaling the start of spring in the Southern Hemisphere.

1. Jupiter at Opposition

Keep an eye on the sky for the gas giant’s closest encounter with Earth on September 26.

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The New Moon will fall the day before Jupiter’s opposition, promising dark skies for a brighter view of the planet.