Dates and times shown are NZST (UT + 12 hours). Rise and Set times are for Wellington. They will vary by a few minutes elsewhere in NZ. Data is adapted from that shown by GUIDE 9.

The southern spring equinox is on September 23 at 7:51pm

NZDT starts on Sunday 29 September, when 2am advances to 3am.

THE SUN and PLANETS in SEPTEMBER 2019, Rise & Set,  Mag. & Cons.
SEPTEMBER 1 NZST SEPTEMBER 30 NZDT Mag Cons Rise Set Mag Cons Rise Set SUN -26.7 Leo 6.44am 5.58pm -26.7 Vir 6.55am 7.27pm Merc -1.8 Leo 6.46am 5.39pm -0.2 Vir 7.36am 9.03pm Venus -3.9 Leo 7.04am 6.19pm -3.9 Vir 7.30am 8.28pm Mars 1.7 Leo 6.52am 5.56pm .1.8 Vir 6.38am 6.36pm Jup -2.2 Oph 11.06am 2.05am -2.0 Oph 10.23am 1.25am Sat 0.3 Sgr 1.11pm 4.11am 0.5 Sgr 12.16pm 3.17am Uran 5.7 Ari 10.38pm 9.13am 5.7 Ari 9.40pm 8.17am Nep 7.8 Aqr 6.30pm 7.20am 7.8 Aqr 5.32pm 6.24am Pluto 14.4 Sgr 1.41pm 4.39am 14.5 Sgr 12.45pm 3.45am SEPTEMBER 1 NZST SEPTEMBER 30 NZDT Twilights morning evening morning evening Civil: start 6.19am, end 6.24pm start 6.30am, end 7.53pm Nautical: start 5.47am, end 6.56pm start 5.58am, end 8.25pm Astro: start 5.15am, end 7.28pm start 5.24am, end 8.59pm SEPTEMBER MOON PHASES, times NZST (NZDT Sep 29) & UT First quarter: Sep 6 at 3.10pm (03:10 UT) Full Moon: Sep 14 at 4.33pm (04:33 UT) Last quarter Sep 22 at 2.41pm (02:41 UT) New Moon: Sep 29 at 7.27am (Sep 28, 18:27 UT)


MERCURY, VENUS, MARS and the Sun are all in Leo at the beginning of the month. Mars is at conjunction with the Sun on the 2nd, at about 10pm. Mercury is at superior conjunction on the 4th at about 2pm. The Sun and all three planets rise and set within a few minutes of one another resulting in none of the planets being observable.

By the end of September all four are in Virgo. Mercury and Venus will be evening objects with Mercury setting nearly 100 minutes after the Sun while Venus sets an hour after it. On the 30th Mercury, magnitude -1.8, should be visible to the west by a few minutes after 8pm NZDT, at an altitude about 9°. Venus will be 6° directly below Mercury. The moon, a very thin crescent, will be a similar distance to the right of Mercury. The previous evening, Mercury will be just over 1 degree to the right of Spica.

On the same date Mars, in the morning sky, rises just a few minutes before the Sun too close to observe.

JUPITER and SATURN are both well placed for evening viewing, although Jupiter will set about 1.30 am NZDT on the 30th.

This month's lunar occultation of Saturn is on the 8th. It is visible from north and west Australia but is a miss for all of New South Wales and Victoria as well as the southeast of both Queensland and South Australia. Two evenings earlier, the moon at first quarter will be just over 2.5° from Jupiter early evening.

PLUTO, like Saturn, is in Sagittarius, the two planets are just under 7° apart.

URANUS becomes a late evening object in September, but is still best viewed as a morning object.

NEPTUNE, is in Aquarius and is at opposition on the 10th.


               SEPTEMBER 1 NZST      SEPTEMBER 30 NZDT  
                Mag Cons  transit    Mag  Cons  transit
(1)  Ceres      8.9  Sco   5.56pm    9.1   Oph   5.35pm
(4)  Vesta      7.7  Tau   5.21am    7.3   Tau   4.34am
(9)  Metis     10.0  Cet   4.10am    9.3   Cet   3.14am
(15) Eunomia    8.6  Aqr  10.41pm    9.1   Aqr.. 9.35pm
(29) Amphitrite 9.8  Psc   3.15am    9.1   Psc   2.04am

CERES joins Jupiter in Ophiuchus on September 10. By the end of the month they are about 5° apart. The asteroid is less than 3° from Antares mid month.

VESTA is in the morning sky in Taurus. It is about 13° above the Pleiades as seen near 5 am. The asteroid is stationary on the 25th.

METIS and AMPHITRITE brighten from 10th to 9th magnitude during September, making them possible binocular objects.

EUNOMIA dims during the month following its August opposition.


Brian Loader


Go to top