"A Rapid Sun on the First Days of Fall, and; A Mars Reminder"

Scheduled air date: 2003 Sep 08-14


From the Summer Solstice in June until the Winter Solstice in December, the Sun appears to rise a little farther south each day.


At the Autumnal Equinox—September 23rd this year—the Sun rises due East...


...and sets exactly due West...


...which marks the beginning of Fall (Spring in the Southern Hemisphere), when the Sun appears directly on the Celestial Equator.


But don't forget about the brilliant planet Mars, which was at its closest to Earth last week, yet continues to shine very brightly even as it now grows more distant with each day.  It is joined by the Waxing Gibbous Moon on the nights of the 8th and 9th; Full Moon (the "Harvest Moon") occurs on the night of the 10th.
(Shown about 90 minutes after sunset for mid-northern latitudes.)

If you wish to view illustrations for other episodes, please see our Star Gazer Illustrated directory.


Illustrations on this page were created using TheSky Astronomy Software, an advanced desktop planetarium program designed for Windows.

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