"There are a large number of tiny asteroids like this one, and several of them approach our planet as close as this several times every year," said Paul Chodas, director of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. Viewed in a telescope, the planet will exhibit a waning gibbous phase, and an apparent disk size that shrinks from 19.5 to 15.6 arc-seconds. The ringed planet will move retrograde (westward) through the stars of northeastern Sagittarius until Sept. 29, and then resume regular prograde motion — allowing faster Jupiter to move closer to it during autumn. After 24 hours of eastward motion, the bright waxing moon will sit several finger widths to the lower left (or 3.6 degrees to the celestial south of) yellowish Saturn in the southern sky after dusk. This fall, the Red Planet starts September at … In the early morning hours of August 16, the asteroid passed within 1,800 miles of the earth's surface over the Indian Ocean and was only discovered after having zipped past our planet. DEBATE: Will the National Security and Investment Bill make it harder to ensure that the UK remains a business hub? On Wednesday, Sept. 9, Mars will cease its eastward motion through the distant background stars of Pisces, and commence a retrograde loop (red path with labeled dates) that will last through opposition in October, and end in mid-November. Fortunately, scientists are confident that 99942 Apophis will not strike earth in 2029. Venus will end the month near Leo's brightest star Regulus. On Friday, Sept. 11, Neptune will be directly opposite the sun in the sky. As a result of the asteroid’s orbit’s uncertainty, closest approach might occur up to 24 minutes earlier or later than expected. During September, Venus will diminish slightly in visual brightness. It made history last month by becoming the. Gray line represents the moon’s orbit, but not to scale. At its last quarter phase at 9:26 GMT on Thursday, Sept. 10, the moon will rise around midnight and remain visible in the southern sky all morning. The green line indicates the asteroid’s trajectory, while the yellow line points to the sun. Throughout the month, the planet will be creeping toward that constellation's naked-eye star Phi (φ) Aquarii, located about two degrees to Neptune's west. Observers viewing from southerly latitudes will be able to see the duo more easily. Asteroid 2020 SW is expected to pass an estimated distance of 17,556 miles (28,254 km) from Earth. On the equinoxes in March and September, day and night are of equal length and the sun rises due east and sets due west. Like us on Facebook to see similar stories, Giant marine sanctuary to surround most remote island, Leona Lewis working on TV project inspired by her hometown, Gemma Atkinson's hair transformation photos are unreal, Critics speak out on Tokyo Olympic costs, pandemic, fairness, This top-rated Shark vacuum is under £200 in Very's Black Friday sale. On Sept. 25, the waxing gibbous moon will sit 3.6 degrees to the south of Saturn. Asteroid 2020 SW will pass at a safe distance, probably over Australia or New Zealand, during its closest approach, as shown on the illustration below: Asteroid 2020 SW will pass at a safe distance, probably over Australia or New Zealand, during its closest approach. Bottom line: Small asteroid 2020 SW will pass just 7% of the moon’s distance on September 24, 2020 at around 11:18 UTC (7:18 am ET; translate UTC to your time). Want to try to spot asteroid 2020 SW very close to the time of its closest approach? During the rest of the night, the moon's orbital motion (green line) will carry it closer to the cluster — bringing it just a finger's width to the right of Messier 35 before dawn. Its apparent disk diameter will shrink from 44 To 40 arc-seconds. At first quarter, the moon always rises around noon and sets around midnight, so it is also visible in the afternoon daytime sky. Point it to one of the stars shown here (HIP 1948 or HIP 1772) on the night of Wednesday, September 23, 2020, at around 10:30 pm CDT (03:30 UTC on September 24… The moon's monthly visit with the gas giant planets Jupiter and Saturn will commence on the evening of Thursday, Sept. 24. That reversal will keep the planet within the V of Pisces all month long. Its closest approach to earth will occur around 7:12 a.m. The star will reappear from behind the opposite limb of the moon at about 11:13 p.m. EDT. By the time the moon and Saturn set shortly before 1 a.m. local time, the moon will be farther from Saturn — and the diurnal rotation of the sky will lower Saturn to the moon's right. Green line indicates the asteroid’s trajectory, with blue marks indicating position every 30 minutes. Mars' longer year means that its seasons are longer, too — slightly more than five months. Slim Patches: Do They Help You Lose Weight? During a two-week period that starts just before the September new moon, look above the eastern horizon for a broad wedge of faint light rising from the horizon and centered on the ecliptic (marked by a green line), which extends below Venus toward the bright star Regulus in Leo. Follow Starry Night on Twitter @StarryNightEdu and Chris at @Astrogeoguy. Neptune will be visible all night during September — moving retrograde (westward) among the stars of eastern Aquarius. As the month opens, the red planet will rise shortly before 10 p.m. local time and cross the overnight sky as a -1.83 object among the stars of southern Pisces. On Sunday, Sept. 13 at 9:08 p.m. EDT (or 1:08 GMT on Monday), Algol will reach its minimum brightness of magnitude 3.4. ET on Thursday, as it skirts over the Southeastern Pacific Ocean, near Australia and New Zealand. Although we received a six-day heads up on this week's arrival of asteroid 2020 SW, no one saw the SUV sized asteroid called 2020 QG coming. During September, Mercury will steadily swing away from the sun in the western evening sky. On Wednesday, Sept. 2, the main belt asteroid designated (2) Pallas will complete a retrograde loop that began in May — causing it to temporarily stop moving through the background stars. The space rock will be located not too far from where we see the star Algenib (Gamma Pegasi), in the Great Square of Pegasus. Fortunately, the asteroid is not on an impact trajectory with earth, and if it were, our atmosphere would likely break it apart, creating a bright meteor, known as a fireball. Your binoculars might also reveal the large open star cluster known as the Beehive or Messier 44, sitting just above and between the moon and Venus. (Venus will pass very close to Regulus on October 2-3.) Observers using a telescope might detect the asteroid, which will look like a “star” moving very slowly because of the distance. The asteroid will pass just 7% of the moon’s distance. Illustration by Eddie Irizarry using Stellarium. Asteroid 2020 QG made a record close approach to Earth on August 16, 2020. Since Mars' solstice occurs on Sept. 3, the planet's bright southern polar cap will be tipped towards Earth — shrinking as it warms, but still prominent in telescopes. Look for much brighter Jupiter sitting to their right (west). Editor's note: If you have an amazing skywatching photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at spacephotos@space.com. During September, Jupiter will drop slightly in brightness — from magnitude -2.55 to -2.35. Updated 2319 GMT (0719 HKT) September 23, 2020. When the waning crescent moon rises shortly after 12 a.m. local time on Friday, Sept. 11, it will be positioned several degrees to the celestial west of the large open star cluster in Gemini known as Messier 35 or the Shoe-Buckle. Viewed in a telescope during September, Mercury will wane in phase from 91% to 77% illuminated, and the planet's apparent disk size will increase by about 20%. After sunset on Friday, Sept. 18, sharp-eyed observers might spot the very slim crescent moon sitting just above the western horizon, and a slim palm's width to the upper right (or 5 degrees to the celestial north) of Mercury. Thursday, September 24, 2020: Jupiter and the Moon If you’re an evening stargazer then look to the southwest after dark tonight to see Jupiter and the Moon, the latter about 61% illuminated. close pass of Earth on the day before Election Day. Due to the shallow angle of the evening ecliptic, Mercury will remain very close to the horizon for observers at mid-northern latitudes. On Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 13:31 GMT, the sun will cross the celestial equator moving southward, marking the autumnal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and the beginning of autumn there. The earlier sunsets of autumn will keep Jupiter in sight, even as it slides farther into the west every night. Look below that for charts for telescope users. At its new phase, the moon is travelling between Earth and the sun. At that time, the blue-tinted planet will be 4 light-hours or 28.9 Astronomical Units from Earth, it will shine at a slightly brighter magnitude 7.8, and will be visible all night long in good binoculars and backyard telescopes in a dark sky. At this phase, the moon is illuminated on its western side, towards the pre-dawn sun. The 6.5 foot asteroid poses no threat to Earth and its puny stature would be no match for our atmosphere even if it had an impact trajectory with earth. If you are pointing the telescope at the correct position and time, carefully observe the stars’ pattern and compare it just five minutes later. Closest approach of this asteroid – labeled 2020 SW – should occur at around 11:18 UTC (7:18 am ET) on September 24. When the bright, waning gibbous moon rises in the east at about 10 p.m. local time on Sunday, Sept. 6, it will be positioned several finger widths to the lower right (or 4 degrees to the celestial south) of blue-green Uranus. Its approach will be so close to earth, that our gravity will alter its speed and trajectory according to. Mars will become a prime target for skywatchers during September — a dress rehearsal for its big opposition event in mid-October — the best in the 2020's. The evenings surrounding first quarter are the best ones to see the lunar terrain when it is dramatically lit by low-angle sunlight. Small asteroid 2020 SW will pass so close to Earth on September 24 that our planet’s gravity will alter the space rock’s speed and bend its path through space. Last quarter moons are positioned ahead of the Earth in our trip around the sun. Magnitude -4.14 Venus will outshine magnitude 8.16 Vesta by more than 8300 times! Commencing a few minutes before midnight on Sunday night, and continuing during the wee hours of Monday, Sept. 14, observers on the west coasts of the USA and Canada, and the Pacific Ocean, can witness the rare event of a double shadow transit — accompanied by the Great Red Spot!

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