Look up! Possible naked-eye comet highlights September celestial events

Supermoon closes out the month

Stargazers (WDIV)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Comets are notoriously hard to predict. While newly-discovered Comet Nishimura has a chance to attain naked-eye brightness, it still may be hard to see with the unaided eye.

If you want to get to try to catch a glimpse of this comet, have a pair of binoculars ready and be prepared to get up early.

Comet Nishimura

The comet will be low on the eastern horizon so you will be fighting potential viewing obstructions like buildings and trees. By the time Sept. 9 rolls around, the comet will only be at 10°, or about one fist if you held it straight out from your body on the horizon.

To increase your chances of seeing the comet, get away from as many lights as possible and look east a couple of hours before sunrise during the first week of September.

Sept. 16: Crescent moon and Mars

On the evening of the 16th, the crescent moon and Mars will put on a show.

Mars and crescent moon in the night sky

Look toward the western sky after sunset to see the thin sliver of the moon paired up with mars. Mars will appear as a faint, red dot to the right of the moon.

Sept. 28/29: Super Harvest Moon

The month will end with another supermoon. The moon will reach peak illumination just before 6 a.m. on Sept. 29, so the moon will appear full during the evenings of the 28th and 29th.

A moon is considered to be super when it is at or near the closest point to Earth. The “near” part of the definition is what allows there to be multiple supermoons in a year.

The September full moon is known as the Harvest Moon.

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About the Author:

Jonathan Kegges joined the News 6 team in June 2019 and now covers weather on TV and all digital platforms.