Through various affiliate programs, we earn a commission from qualifying purchases when you click affiliate links. This is at no extra charge to you and offsets our cost of creating this content.
Looking to explore what planets and stars are visible right now? Here are some of the best celestial objects to observe with the naked eye, binoculars, or a small telescope in September.
As the Earth continues its journey through the cosmos, September unveils a captivating celestial show that promises to enthrall both seasoned stargazers and curious newcomers. From the distant planets to the glittering stars, the night sky becomes a canvas upon which the wonders of the universe are painted.
Table of Contents
- Celestial Highlights: Planets and Stars to Watch in the September 2023 Night Sky
- Saturn’s Radiant Opposition and Lunar Affair
- Jupiter’s Delicate Dance and Lunar Partnership
- Venus: The Radiant Morning Star
- Mars and Spica: Evening Companions
- Lunar Encounters: Betelgeuse and Antares
- Aurigids Meteor Shower: A September Spectacle from Auriga
- September ε-Perseids Meteor Shower: Radiant Showers in the September Sky
- Celestial Trio: Aldebaran, the Pleiades, and Jupiter Illuminate September 15th Sky
- Planets Visible Tonight In North America (Approximate Times)
- What Planets Are Visible (Evenings/Nights)
- What Planets Are Visible (Mornings)
- Why We Can’t See Mars Much In September
- The Best Planets & Stars To Look At Through Binoculars In September 2023 Night Sky
- Bottom Line On What Planets & Stars Are Visible In The September 2023 Night Sky
- Stargazing Tips
Celestial Highlights: Planets and Stars to Watch in the September 2023 Night Sky
September 2023 graces the night sky with a captivating celestial display that promises a journey through distant worlds and sparkling stars. Evening skies feature the elusive Mars, casting a faint reddish glow against the western horizon, while the brilliant Saturn, basking in its opposition, commands attention with its stunning ring system, visible all night long. Jupiter, although fainter due to its positioning, presents its intricate cloud bands as it gracefully dances near the Moon.
As dawn breaks, the radiant Venus emerges as the “Morning Star,” its brilliance rivaling the Sun, alongside the distant giants, Jupiter and Saturn, adding a touch of wonder to the early morning canvas.
For lunar companionship, the Moon embraces the constellation Orion, making it easy to spot the iconic Betelgeuse, Orion’s “armpit,” enhancing the experience of locating the celestial hunter. Later in the month, the Moon’s journey towards Antares in Scorpius creates a dramatic scene in the southwestern sky.
Additionally, the Aurigids and September Epsilon Perseids meteor showers offer brief but spectacular moments as shooting stars streak across the heavens. As the nights unfold, September’s celestial highlights invite us to look up and experience the enchantment of the cosmos in a symphony of planets, stars, and meteoric wonders.
Saturn’s Radiant Opposition and Lunar Affair
August 27 marked a significant event in the astronomical calendar, as Saturn reached opposition. During this period, Saturn and the Sun were on opposite sides of the Earth, allowing the ringed giant to bask in its full splendor throughout the night. This opposition bestowed sky enthusiasts with the opportunity to witness Saturn’s majestic rings and distinct features in all their glory.
As September unfolds, Saturn remains a prominent celestial figure, visible all night long. For those seeking this gas giant’s celestial embrace, casting your gaze southward or southeast during the evening hours is a rewarding endeavor. Moreover, an exciting rendezvous awaits on September 26 and 27, as Saturn shares the stage with the Moon in the southeastern expanse.
Jupiter’s Delicate Dance and Lunar Partnership
In the evenings of September 4 and 5, the grandeur of Jupiter comes into view. Positioned near the Moon, this gas giant presents an awe-inspiring spectacle for skywatchers. Gazing eastward during these nights allows you to witness this cosmic pas de deux. Although Jupiter’s luminosity may not rival that of its planetary companion Saturn, its sheer size and intricate cloud patterns offer a celestial treat that should not be overlooked.
Venus: The Radiant Morning Star
As dawn’s first light graces the horizon, Venus emerges as the radiant “Morning Star.” Throughout September, this dazzling beauty adorns the eastern sky, offering an enchanting sight for early risers. Thanks to its reflective surface and its relative proximity to Earth, Venus stands as one of the brightest objects in the night sky after the Moon and the Sun. Gaze eastward during the early morning hours to witness Venus’s brilliance painting the heavens.
As Venus graces the eastern horizon, two prominent stars share the celestial stage above it: Castor and Pollux. These twin stars, part of the Gemini constellation, stand out as two of the brightest objects in the sky during the pre-dawn hours. Castor, slightly fainter of the two, and Pollux, its more luminous companion, together create a striking pair of celestial siblings.
Mars and Spica: Evening Companions
As the Sun dips below the horizon, Mars takes the stage in the western sky during the evenings of September. Accompanied by the star Spica, positioned to its northeast, Mars offers a celestial duet that’s not to be missed. Both Mars and Spica grace the sky at a lower altitude, creating a captivating scene for observers.
Throughout the month, Mars’s setting time varies, retiring within an hour of sunset early in September and within a mere half-hour of sunset later in the month. Although Mars’s luminosity might not match that of its planetary counterparts, its unique reddish hue and its distinct presence still captivate the imagination.
Gleaming brightly above Mars and Spica in September’s evening sky is the radiant star Arcturus. This golden-orange giant, part of the Bootes constellation, is one of the most prominent stars visible from Earth.
Finding Arcturus is a simple yet rewarding endeavor for skywatchers. Begin by locating the prominent Big Dipper, part of the Ursa Major constellation, in the northern sky. Follow the arc of the Big Dipper’s handle, and it will lead you directly to Arcturus.
Lunar Encounters: Betelgeuse and Antares
On September 7 and 8, cast your gaze eastward to witness the Moon’s companionship with the prominent constellation Orion. Notably, the star Betelgeuse, the second-brightest star in Orion, graces the constellation’s “armpit.” This celestial marker aids sky enthusiasts in locating Orion, a timeless figure in the night sky.
Later in the month, on the evenings of September 20 and 21, the Moon embarks on a journey toward the southwest, where it encounters the brilliant star Antares in the constellation Scorpius. Often referred to as the “Heart of the Scorpion,” Antares’s fiery radiance adds a dramatic touch to the celestial stage.
MASTER INFLUENCER MAGAZINE
Get business smart and stay ahead of everyone else. Keep up-to-date with the latest news, research, and trends from us with a digital magazine subscription.
YES! Start my free subscription to Master Influencer Magazine
Aurigids Meteor Shower: A September Spectacle from Auriga
The September night sky lacks significant meteor showers but there are a couple that can be seen. The Aurigids meteor shower, a celestial event that originates from the constellation Auriga. Active throughout the month, this meteor shower reaches its zenith in early September. With a peak rate of around 5-6 meteors per hour, the Aurigids shower promises a captivating display as these shooting stars streak across the heavens.
As Earth passes through the debris left behind by Comet Kiess, the meteors burn up in our atmosphere, creating luminous trails that light up the night sky. To witness, simply look towards the constellation Auriga and prepare to be enchanted by the brief but brilliant streaks of light that mark the passage of these celestial travelers.
September ε-Perseids Meteor Shower: Radiant Showers in the September Sky
The September ε-Perseids meteor shower takes center stage from September 5 to 21. This celestial event reaches its pinnacle around September 9, producing a peak rate of approximately 5-6 meteors per hour.
Originating from the debris of Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, the ε-Perseids shower treats skywatchers to a radiant spectacle as the meteors streak across the night canvas. As the night unfolds, step outside and look towards the constellation Perseus to witness these brilliant meteoric travelers as they paint the sky with their fleeting beauty.
Celestial Trio: Aldebaran, the Pleiades, and Jupiter Illuminate September 15th Sky
On the enchanting night of September 15th, the celestial canvas comes alive with a captivating convergence of prominent celestial objects. A spectacular trio graces the heavens, promising an awe-inspiring visual feast for skywatchers. Aldebaran, the fiery eye of Taurus the Bull, stands as a radiant sentinel, its distinct reddish glow capturing the gaze.
Not far away, the Pleiades star cluster, also known as the Seven Sisters, adds a touch of ethereal charm. This tight-knit group of stars, immersed in myth and mystery, twinkles in splendid harmony against the cosmic backdrop.
Amid this cosmic gathering, the largest planet in our solar system, Jupiter, lends its brilliance to the celestial spectacle. As the gas giant shines with its serene radiance, it completes the trio, forming a mesmerizing alignment.
Planets Visible Tonight In North America (Approximate Times)
|Planetary Data for today|
What Planets Are Visible (Evenings/Nights)
On September evenings and nights, Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars are visible in the night sky.
Saturn is near opposition, so it rises in the sky after sunset, and stays up the whole night.
Jupiter rises at around 10 pm.
Mars can only be seen briefly just after sunset in the evening sky as it is currently behind the sun from our view.
What Planets Are Visible (Mornings)
Venus can be found just before dawn. Look east to find this bright planet near where the sun is about to rise.
Mercury can be seen near Venus with better views later in the month.
Saturn can be seen in the morning looking west.
Jupiter is best viewed in the early morning hours high in the southern sky. You can use binoculars to view its moons.
Why We Can’t See Mars Much In September
Mars, like all planets, follows an elliptical orbit around the Sun, and its visibility from Earth varies depending on its relative position to both the Sun and our planet.In September 2023, Mars is approaching the far side of the Sun from Earth, meaning it is nearly in conjunction with the Sun.
During this alignment, Mars is on the opposite side of the sky from the Sun as observed from Earth. When a planet is near conjunction, it is very close to the Sun in the sky, and its illuminated side faces away from Earth. This alignment causes Mars to be lost close to the Sun’s glare, making it difficult to observe in the night sky.
The Best Planets & Stars To Look At Through Binoculars In September 2023 Night Sky
September 2023 offers a celestial treasure trove for those armed with binoculars and a passion for stargazing. Peer through these handheld windows to the cosmos and be rewarded with captivating views of planets and stars. Saturn takes center stage, its stunning ring system coming to life as it reaches opposition, allowing binoculars to unveil intricate details. Nearby, Mars reveals its reddish charm, accompanied by the star Spica, forming an enchanting cosmic duo.
For an ethereal experience, target the Pleiades star cluster in the Taurus constellation. This open cluster, often called the Seven Sisters, dazzles in binoculars, its stars twinkling like precious gems. Additionally, the Andromeda Galaxy beckons, its spiral arms delicately visible through binoculars, offering a glimpse into the universe beyond our own Milky Way. With binoculars as your guide, September’s night sky becomes an accessible realm of wonders waiting to be explored.
Bottom Line On What Planets & Stars Are Visible In The September 2023 Night Sky
September 2023 beckons skywatchers to indulge in the splendor of the night sky. The grandeur of Saturn, illuminated by its recent opposition, continues to grace the heavens all night long. Jupiter’s graceful presence near the Moon offers a captivating sight, while Venus enchants as the radiant Morning Star.
Mars and Spica forge an evening partnership, and the Moon’s companionship with Orion and Antares adds an extra layer of celestial intrigue. As the stars and planets align in this cosmic dance, the September sky invites us to look upward and marvel at the boundless beauty of the universe.
First and foremost, make sure you find an appropriate time to stargaze. After sunset is usually the most convenient time. This guide will show you many wonderful objects to stargaze at during late evening. Early morning is more spectacular. There is less light pollution, even in cities as people have put their outside lights off. However, it’s always a good idea to check local weather conditions before venturing outside — a cloudy or windy night can make viewing less enjoyable.
If you don’t have access to a telescope or binoculars, there are other ways to enjoy the night sky. For example, using an app that provides information on stars and planets such as SkyGuide will help you locate them in space. If observing from Earth isn’t your thing, consider looking at star clusters or nebulae in deep space using powerful telescopes. And lastly, dress warmly! Even on a clear winter evening temperatures can drop below freezing at night.
By Master Influencer Magazine Science & Technology Staff
Star charts and astronomical information are based on software estimated views for mid-northern latitude locations such as the United States of America, Canada, Europe & Northern Asia.
Published 10:57 AM EDT, Saturday September 02, 2023
Saturn Opposition, Stargazing, Night Sky Watching, Binoculars, Betelgeuse, Aldebaran, Castor, Pollux, Mars, Saturn, Neptune, Arcturus, Antares, Fomalhaut, Pleiades, Spica, Venus
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
Advertised Business Content
Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.