Nene Valley Astronomical Society
The Local Society For Amateur Astronomers In Wellingborough & East Northants
Home            September Starnights

September 2013 - Starnights At Chelveston Village Hall


Our regular observing sessions are held on every clear Friday evening at Chelveston Village Hall, Caldecott Road, Chelveston from 8.00pm onwards.  To check that conditions will permit observing then please check the front page of our website or call 07504 989890 for a pre-recorded message from 7.00pm on the evening.  Here Steve Williams previews some of the sights that we can focus our telescopes on this month.

 The above starchart generated by Night Vision shows how the sky will look at our observing evening on September 13th at approximately 10pm.

With the Moon being New on September 5th, our first observing session this month on September 6th promises to be an ideal one for viewing ‘deep sky objects’. The Moon will however be nicely placed for viewing on September 13th, being just past first quarter phase, amongst the stars of Sagittarius. With Full Moon occurring on September 19th, our session on the following evening will suffer somewhat with bright moonlight, however the following week’s session on September 27th will once again offer some ‘dark sky’ viewing.

The naked eye planets are very much missing from view at present (although we may just about be able to pick out Venus and Saturn very low down in the south-west as twilight fades, particularly early in the month). The distant gas giants of Uranus and Neptune are on view in Pisces and Aquarius respectively, so they will provide a ‘planetary fix’ later on in the evening.

With the southernmost of the zodiacal constellations, Sagittarius, sitting just to the west of the meridian, this month is a good time for exploring it’s offerings. Of course, this constellation is home to the centre of our galaxy and is therefore a good place to ‘sweep with binoculars’ to view the spectacular star clouds in this region of our sky. The bright nebulae M8 (the Lagoon) and M20 (the Triffid) are both in Sagittarius and are worth looking for given a clear southerly view. Slightly further to the North, lies M11 the famous ‘Wild Duck’ open star cluster in the small constellation of Scutum, a very nice target for binocular and telescopic users alike.

High up in the west is the constellation of Hercules with it’s two Messier Globular Clusters, the brighter being M13 with only the slightly more inferior M92 being found in the north-east part of this constellation. Passing not far from the Zenith is the brilliant Vega in Lyra, one of the three bright stars making up the Summer Triangle Asterism (Deneb in Cygnus and Altair in Aquila being the other two stars). Lyra is home to the well known planetary nebula M57, the Ring Nebula. Although its of the ninth magnitude, this celestial smoke ring is easy enough to find lieing roughly mid-way between Gamma and Beta Lyrae.

Towards the East, the Great Square of Pegasus and Andromeda are rising nicely, bringing a real autumnal feel to proceedings!
As ever just a few suggestions of objects which can be viewed this month.  Clear skies!