Space and Astronomy

Phases Of The Moon

New Moon

First Quarter

Full Moon

Last Quarter

Tuesday September 19, 10:30 p.m.

Wednesday September 27, 7:54 p.m.

Wednesday September 6, 12:03 a.m.

Tuesday September 12, 11:25 p.m.

The Planets and Special Events

The Autumnal Equinox occurs at 1:02 p.m. on Friday September 22. At this moment, the Sun crosses the Celestial Equator from North to South. Autumn begins in the Northern hemisphere and Spring begins in the Southern Hemisphere.

A Public Star Party with telescopes provided by the Los Angeles Astronomical Society and the Los Angeles Sidewalk Astronomers will take place on the front lawn of the Griffith Observatory from 2 p.m. until 9:45 pm on Saturday September 30.

Venus (Mag -3.9) rises in the East around 3:54 a.m. and is nearly 30 above the horizon at sunrise.

Jupiter (Mag -1.7) is hidden by the Sun this month.

Mars (Mag +1.8) is very low on the eastern horizon at sunset.

Saturn (Mag +0.5) is high in the South at Twilight. Saturn's Ring System is tailted at almost maximum making it ideal for viewing. on September 15, NASA's Cassini Spacecraft will be directed to enter Saturn's atmosphere, ending it's mission, after orbiting the planet since 2004. .

Reprinted with permission, the information above is made available in the Griffith Observer , a monthly publication by the Griffith Observatory. For complete information on the Planets and other items related to Astronomy, please visit the Griffith Observatory Web Site.

Fun Facts

When you hear somebody talk about a celestial object being 30 (or 30 degrees) above the horizon, how in the world do you know how far up that is ? Well, hold your hand out at arms length with your thumb and fingers together, the palm of your hand facing you with the sky behind it. The distance from the edge of the little finger on the bottom of your palm to the edge of your thumb on the top is about 10 (10 degrees). Two palm widths is 20, three is 30 and so on.

The theory that our Sun is the center of the universe and our planets revolve around it was first documented by Nicolas Copernicus. The interesting thing is that Copernicus was a Catholic Priest and Philosopher, not an Astronomer. But he believed that God would have made the movements of the planets more simple than the previously documented theory (which was very complex). As we know today, Corpernicus was right !

Space and Astronomy Related Links

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