September is a time of transition. Sunset comes earlier and earlier, by 7:30 p.m. most everywhere at mid-northern latitudes. Another thing that’s winding down is summer in the Northern Hemisphere — the equinox is on the 22nd.
Jupiter has just passed its opposition, that is, sitting opposite the Sun in the sky. So the King of Planets rises about when the Sun sets and vice versa, its brightness dominating all the other nighttime stars.
Meanwhile, Venus now reigns supreme in the morning sky before dawn. It’ll make a spectacular pairing with a hair-thin crescent Moon on the morning of the 16th.
To get a personally guided tour of these sights and others, hosted by Kelly Beatty, S&T's senior contributing editor, download this month's audio sky tour to your iPod or other handheld device — or just use your computer to play it.