Skywatching: September 5-9

Twilight of the Planets

As summer changes over to fall, our evening skies will become lonely without planets visible to the naked eye.

Later this month, the planets Saturn and Venus will be leaving the evening sky. So, given the forecast for clear skies, the next few nights will provide perhaps your last chance to see them–at least until they reappear in the morning sky later in the fall.

Venus and Saturn on September 5
Venus and Saturn, just after sunset on the night of September 5

Even so, they will be very low in the western sky, so you’ll need a clear horizon. You should be able to spot Venus soon after the sun sets, since it is currently the brightest object in the night sky other than the moon. It will take a few more minutes, say about 8:00 pm Central time, for the sky to get dark enough to see Saturn. It will be above and to the left of Venus. The bright star Arcturus sits high above both.

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