8 Must-See Space Events in September 2023

The Aurigid meteor shower is considered a relatively minor event, with a peak rate (ZHR) of approximately six meteors per hour. However, if you happen to be observing the night sky on September 1st, you might have observed a handful of these meteors.

September 1: Aurigid Meteor Shower

On the evening of September 4th, the Moon and Jupiter graced the sky in close proximity. At their nearest point, they were separated by a mere 3°04′, which is roughly equivalent to the distance between the three stars forming Orion's Belt, just to provide some context.

September 4: Conjunction of Moon & Meteor

On September 9th, look out for ε-Perseids meteors. Although they share a name with the August Perseids, they likely originate from a different comet (not 109P/Swift-Tuttle) and merely seem to come from the same spot in the sky.

September 9: ε-Perseid Meteor Shower

September 18th marks the peak brightness of Venus in the morning sky. It's the highest level of brightness Venus will achieve in the morning sky before it begins its journey back towards the Sun and eventually reappears in the evening skies.

September 18: Venus at Greatest Brightness

It means that Neptune and the Sun will be in opposition, with Earth in between, creating a distant eclipse-like alignment. The Sun will brilliantly illuminate Neptune, making it an excellent time to observe the beloved dwarf planet.

September 19: Neptune at Opposition

This year, on September 22nd, we marked the official change of seasons with the September Equinox. In the northern hemisphere, it's called the "autumnal equinox," while in the southern hemisphere, it's known as the "vernal equinox." This event signifies a nearly equal balance between day and night.

September 22: September Equinox

September offers numerous opportunities for planetary viewing, and it concludes with a chance to see the smallest planet, Mercury, which is closest to the Sun. We can only observe Mercury when it reaches its highest point, meaning it's visually farthest from the Sun.

September 23: Mercury at its Morning Peak

After two close approaches in August, Saturn doesn’t appear near the Moon again until the end of September. Specifically, on the night of September 26th, the Moon and Saturn will appear within 2°25′ of each other in the night sky.

September 26: Close Approach of Moon & Saturn

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