For live links, click to: riverhouses.org/2019-09-sky
On the first Saturday of every month we post educational skywatching notes for the homeschool month ahead. Here’s the monthly northern hemisphere night-sky review for September 2019 from the Hubble Space Telescope’s website:
And here’s another September night-sky review, courtesy of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California — it particularly features the monthly moon phases and the “solar conjunction” of Mars that you and your students can study this month:
For serious homeschool skywatchers, the weekly updates from Sky & Telescope magazine provide a wealth of additional detail. Here’s the latest one:
It includes a constellation chart for the month, as well as a schedule of upcoming astronomical events. (Monthly maps for the southern hemisphere and the equatorial regions are also available.)
The best stargazing nights in September will be toward the beginning and end of the month: the moon will be full (and the stars less visible) on the 14th. As always, you can look up the moon’s phases in your River Houses almanac (riverhouses.org/books) and also at the excellent timeanddate.com website.
September is the first month of Cygnus Term, the first of the four terms that make up the River Houses year. Our Great Star for the month of September is Deneb (alpha Cygni), which we’ll be writing about next week. Print your own River Houses Star Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us through the year as we learn about twelve of the high lights of the northern hemisphere night sky.
September is also the month of the autumnal (fall) equinox in the northern hemisphere — the astronomical beginning of fall — which “falls” this year on Monday the 23rd. (In the southern hemisphere the 23rd will be the vernal equinox — the astronomical beginning of spring.) On the day of the equinox we experience almost exactly twelve hours of light and twelve hours of darkness — “equal night and light.” 🌚🌞
What celestial observations will you and your students be making in your homeschool this month? 😊
❡ Watchers of the skies: Teaching your students to recognize the constellations is one of the simplest and most enduring gifts you can give them. Your recommended backyard star guide and homeschool world atlas (riverhouses.org/books) both contain charts of the constellations that will show you the all the highlights. Find a dark-sky spot near you this month and spend some quality homeschool time beneath the starry vault. 🌠 🌌 🔭
❡ Star bright: This is one of our regular “Watchers of the Skies” homeschool astronomy posts. Add your name to our River Houses mailing list (riverhouses.org/newsletter) and get great homeschool teaching ideas delivered right to your mailbox every week. 😊