The early evening of September 9th, looking west 30 minutes after sunset, will reveal the thin crescent Moon just above the brilliant planet Venus. Sky-watchers will need an unobstructed view to the west, and may need binoculars to see this dazzling pair in evening twilight.
Mercury just beneath Venus and the Moon is even closer to the horizon and will be more challenging to spot; but possible.
Much easier across the southeastern sky are Saturn and Jupiter. Saturn is among the stars of western Capricornus is in front of Jupiter, which is farther east (left) but also in Capricornus. Jupiter is clearly brighter than Saturn. Both planets, now just a few weeks past opposition, are best placed for viewing at around 10 pm; and then, on through the night.
Saturn stuns viewers through any telescope with its magnificent ring system. The rings, tilted 19 degrees to our line of sight, show us their upper, northern face currently.
Observing Jupiter is always thrilling with its dark, equatorial belts alternating with its brighter zones between; which are easily detected through all telescopes.
The gibbous Moon will be just below Saturn on September 16th, and below Jupiter on the 18th. September’s Full Moon rises on September 20th.
The autumnal equinox occurs on September 22nd at 3:21 pm EDT. Day length and night length are nearly equal then. As we move into October and November we will notice the shortening of our day length. But this also means night time hours increase giving us more early evening time to get out and watch our skies!