September Skywatching from Glasgow, UK

September is already upon us and there’s a feast of activity to catch by gazing skywards! It’s been great to see some rainbows again in the mornings and evenings as all the elements conspire at just the right angle to one another. The autumnal equinox is this month. This is a point in time when the Earth is neither titled towards nor away from the Sun and day and night are about equal length.

Read about what you can see in the night-time sky from Glasgow and the UK this month, plus the sunrise and sunset times and of course the all important phases of the Moon.

The Night Sky

Gaze up from Glasgow (or indeed from much of the UK) this September and you could see a view similar to the image below (click to embiggen).

The overheard view from Glasgow, UK at midnight on 5th September 2013

The overheard view from Glasgow, UK at midnight on 5th September 2013

The image shows the whole overhead night sky at midnight on 5th September from Glasgow, Scotland – the night of the New Moon. Although the Moon and the planets will vary position somewhat from night to night through the month, the position of the stars stays similar to as you can see in the image.

The asterism of the ‘Summer Triangle‘ is comprised of the bright stars Deneb, Altair and Vega and is visible from even the city’s light-polluted skies.

Find and follow ‘The Plough’ to find Polaris, the North Star. You can use this as a starting point to find your bearings even if you don’t have a compass or GPS.

Look out for Cassiopeia – high overhead in the ‘W’ in the Milky Way.

Fancy swotting up on what you’re looking at in the night sky? Check out these fantastic books about astronomy.

Sunrise and Sunset times, Glasgow

  • 5th September 2013 – Sunrise 06:31 Sunset 19:58

  • 12th September 2013 – Sunrise 06:43 Sunset 19:42

  • 19th September 2013 – Sunrise 06:57 Sunset 19:24

  • 27th September 2013 – Sunrise 07:12 Sunset 19:03

The September or autumnal equinox is on Sunday, 22nd September 2013 at 21:44.

Times are listed are local to Glasgow and take account of Daylight Saving Time (also known as British Summer Time or BST).

Moon Phases

  • New Moon – 5th September 2013, 12:37

  • First Quarter – 12th September 2013, 18:09

  • Full Moon – 19th September 2013, 12:13

  • Last Quarter – 27th September 2013, 04:56

Times are listed are local to Glasgow and take account of Daylight Saving Time.

Daytime Skywatching – The clouds

The Sun illuminates some clouds creating a wonderful array of colour. Photo by Derek Shirlaw

The Sun illuminates some clouds creating a wonderful array of colour. Photo by Derek Shirlaw

Spotted any incredible cloud formations recently? If clouds are your thing – and let’s face it, who can fail to be mesmerised on a daily basis by the stunning beauty and variety of them – then you’ll definitely want to check out the Cloud Appreciation Society and get yourself a good cloudspotting guide.

Enjoy your skygazing this month!

About Derek Shirlaw

I'm passionate about science communication, social media, and my home country, Scotland. In particular, I have a real interest in astronomy, digital marketing, and the great outdoors.
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