PHL nights to get longer after Autumnal Equinox on Sept 22

Nights in the Philippines will start to grow longer in September as the Sun approaches the celestial equator, state astronomers said Thursday.

In its astronomical diary for September, PAGASA also said the autumnal equinox will take place September 22, "when day and night will have equal length on Earth."

Aside from the longer nights, PAGASA administrator Nathaniel Servando also said the fainter constellations will be visible this month, with many stars along the Milky Way giving way to them.

"The rich band of constellations and stars along the Milky Way from the constellations Cygnus, the Swan, in the north to Sagittarius and Scorpius in the south, begin to give way this month to fainter constellations, many of them with watery associations such as the constellations of Capricornus, the Sea Goat, Aquarius, the Water Bearer and Pisces the Fish," he said.

Servando also said the famous asterism Teapot in Sagittarius can be observed at about 40 to 47 degrees above the southern horizon, an hour after sunset.

Planets visible on September 1

At around 1 a.m. of Saturday, September 1, Jupiter will be found at about 25 degrees above the east northeastern horizon, glowing at magnitude -2.3.

It will lie among the background stars of the constellation Taurus, the Bull, he said.

"Jupiter will be visible in the morning twilight throughout the month," he added.

On the other hand, at 4 a.m. of September 1, Venus will be found at about 21 degrees above the east northeastern horizon, "shining brilliantly at magnitude -4.1."

At 7 p.m., Saturn and Mars will be found at about 23 and 29 degrees above the west southwestern horizon.

The two planets will lie among the background stars of the constellation Virgo, the Virgin and Libra, the Scale, respectively.

"They will be fine targets for telescoping sessions after sunset until it will no longer be visible in the sky for observation on the last week of the month," he said.

Meanwhile, at 8 p.m., Uranus will be found at about 15 degrees above the eastern horizon with the background stars of the constellation Pisces, the Fish.

Neptune will be found at about 43 degrees above the east southeastern horizon and will lie among the background stars of the constellation Aquarius, the Water-Bearer.

"Uranus will glow at magnitude +5.7 while Neptune will be faint at magnitude +7.8. A binocular or a telescope and a star map will be needed to observe these icy planets," Servando said.

He added both planets will be visible in the evening sky throughout the month.

On the other hand, Mercury will start to climb up the western horizon after sunset on the middle of the month and onward.

It will be difficult to observe due to its proximity to the horizon and to the Sun, Servando said. — TJD, GMA News

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