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Skywatching in September
Some of the big constellations of autumn begin to push their way into the evening sky this month. Pegasus, the flying horse, is well up in the east at nightfall by month’s end, with Andromeda, the princess, to its left. Under especially dark skies, you should be able to pick out M31, the Andromeda galaxy. Venus, the Evening Star, inches higher in the western sky at sunset. And Mars begins to eke away from Antares and Saturn, although they remain fairly close throughout the month. More skywatching information is available at StarDate.org
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Universo is a Spanish-language radio program on astronomy and is available at no cost. Like its English-language counterpart, StarDate, Universo's web site provides skywatching information and highlights. Broadcast since 1995 many of the audio programs deal specifially with Mesoamerican astronomy and skylore, the contributions of Hispanic astronomers in the United States, and broader cultural topics of interest to Hispanic audiences. Avisos semanales para mirar las estrellas y audios en Espanol vaya a RadioUniverso.org
September 4, 2016
The star cluster Messier 39 contains only about 30 stars, but they sparkle grandly in this view, which was compiled from dozens of images taken with the WIYN telescope in Arizona. The cluster is about 800 light-years away, near the tail of Cygnus, the swan, and is a good target for binoculars.
September 11, 2016
Little Telescope, Big Discoveries
This artist's concept shows how Kepler Space Telescope discovers planets in other star systems. The telescope looks for a planet to pass in front of its star, blocking a bit of the star's light, making it look slightly fainter than normal. (Kepler operates from Earth orbit, so it never sees any star as more than a pinpoint of light, however.) Kepler has discovered thousands of confirmed or possible planets, even though it is a relatively small telescope. Even smaller telescopes on the ground also are discovering exoplanets.