In the Sky in September 2015

You can read in detail about The Sky of September here. It will be the same year after year, Pluto and all.

Relax, Pluto WILL not go anywhere soon

In fact  Pluto takes 248 years to orbit the Sun as it orbits at an average distance of 5.9 billion km from the Sun, while Earth only orbits at 150 million km. This means that it will take Pluto almost 20 years to shift into another constellation.

Everything else you need to know about Pluto is below and xkcd.com does a great job at explaining all this chaos:


Unlike Pluto, the other planets and the Moon are all over the place in the sky from month to month let alone from year to year.

This is what they will do this month:

The planets and the Moon are changing their position on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis; unlike the stars, which repeat their patterns once a year. This is the reason why the planets were called by the ancient Greek the wanderers. Their positions are called ephemerides and can be calculated. 

The harbinger of this spring is a Supermoon, which is when the full Moon coincides with when the Moon is closest to Earth, also known as perigee. This happens roughly once every 13 months, which is every 14th Full Moon.

The opposite of a Supermoon is a micromoon…

The Moon in Māori is called Mārama which literally can mean the white light coming from the sun Ra.

When the Moon does not take over the entire sky with her light we can see the following planets:

In the evening

Mercury (Māori: Whiro) and Saturn (Māori: Pāre-a-Rao) are bright planets in the evening sky. At the beginning of the month Mercury is making its best evening sky appearance of the year, low in the west. Cream-coloured Saturn is northwest of the zenith at dusk and midway down the western sky by late evening.

and the Morning stars are

Just one, brilliant Venus, ‘Kopu Rere Ata’ . The morning star of the Māori rises in the east two hours before the Sun. A telescope shows Earth-sized Venus as a thin crescent from 60 million km away. On 21 of September Venus displays its greatest illuminated extent as the morning “star”, which means that for the next several days our morning star Venus will be shining at or near its greatest brilliancy. Remember that Venus shines the most when is in crescent phase.