KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The night sky is staged for a bright and beautiful September, one of the best times of the year for stargazing.
Kansas City NASA Ambassador Danielle Jones, also known as KC’s NASA Lady, was on FOX4 News at 8 a.m. to let us know what to look for and to give us some tips for getting the most out of this month.
“August and September are really great months to see the first five planets,” Jones said.
Most of the most prominent celestial bodies are visible in the sky close to the moon, which will also be bright at the start of September. Here are some of the easiest things to see:
- September 2nd: Full Moon and Corn Moon
- September 5: Mars, 0.03 degrees south of the moon
- Jupiter, 2.3 degrees south of the moon
- September 9: Aldebaran, 4.2 degrees south of the moon (this is a giant star!)
- September 13: Venus, 4.5 degrees south of the moon
- September 17: New moon
- September 24: Jupiter, 1.6 degrees north of the moon
- September 25: Saturn, 2.3 degrees north of the moon
Tips on viewing:
- Use an app to help you find stars, planets and constellations! These are great and available on both Apple and Android
- Sky Safari, Star Walk, SkyGuide and Stellarium
- The best time is after complete nightfall. Use binoculars or a telescope for the best viewing.
- Avoid light from indoors or devices for 30 minutes before viewing. Red light flashlights are the only type acceptable.
- Leave big cities and head for the country! No light or pollution is the best.
- Look on NASA.gov for more viewing tips and tricks.
Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn aren’t always visible because of their position in orbit relative to the Earth. However, they are all visible during the month of August and September at various times. The next two days, they may be visible with the naked eye in Kansas City.
If you’re planning on viewing the night sky, Jones recommended going without bright lights for at least 30 minutes before so your eyes can fully adjust. If you need to use a flashlight, it should be a red light.
Follow Jones on Instagram @kcsnasalady