WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

Whats up in the sky for the week of September 7

Posted September 7, 2020 6:34 p.m. EDT
Updated September 7, 2020 6:44 p.m. EDT

This week look directly overhead after sunset. As twilight sets in, that first star you see is Vega. It is 50 times brighter than our sun, but 1.6 million times further away. The starlight you are seeing left Vega 25 years ago.

Tue, Sep 8

Join Morehead Planetarium educators at 10 am for Greek Myths and the Summer & Fall Skies via Zoom.

At 11:00 am, JPL Solar System Ambassador Alan Rich will share the wonders of interstellar space travel in this week's NC Museum of Natural Sciences Classroom.

Around noon, near-Earth object (2020 PT4), between 91 to 204 feet (28 and 62 meters) across, will pass the Earth traveling at 28,090 miles per hour (12.56 kilometers per second). It will pass harmlessly by at about five times the distance beyond the Moon.

Wed, Sep 9:

The last quarter moon rises around 11 pm, nestled between the bright star Aldebaran in Taurus and the Pleiades, an open star cluster also known as the Seven-Sisters, is nearly overhead.

Nearly every culture that tells stories based on the night sky has one about the Pleiades. The stars themselves are named for Maia, Alcyone, Asterope, Celaeno, Taygete, Electra, and Merope, the daughters of Atlas, who held up the Earth, and Pleione, protector sailors.

The Native American stories are as varied as the tribes themselves.

The Kiowa of Wyoming tell of seven sisters who were chased by bears. The Great Spirit protected the girls by causing the rock to rise up into the sky. The bears left scratches on the rock, known to the Kiowa as Mateo Tipi.  We know it as Devils Tower.

The group starts are known as the Orphan Boys to the Blackfoot of Alberta and Montana, forever playing together in the sky after being shunned by their tribe and being befriended by a group of wolves.

The Hindi legend of Krittika tells of the wives of the seven wise men.

In Japan these stars are known as Subaru, which also means "unity" in Japanese. You might notice the Subaru car company's logo has only six stars. These are the stars most visible to the naked eye.

The Pleiades and bright star Aldeberan line up with the Moon

Thu, Sep 10:

Look for a string of Starlink satellites begins at 6:26 am rising in the southwest, 8 of the desk-sized communications satellites will pass directly overhead before setting in the northeast five minutes later.

The Dr. Stephany Taylor, Assistant Professor of Physics at Shaw University joins the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences to share her research on hurricane tracks at 7 pm on YouTube.

Thu, Sep 11:

The best opportunity to see line of Starlink satellites begins at 6:09 am over the next 7 minutes, 15 satellites will move in a line from the southwest to the northeast.

Fri, Sep 11:

Look for Saturn and Jupiter nearly horizontal to the left of the teapot asterism in Sagittarius.

The best pass of the International Space Station this weeks beginning at 5:50 am from the northwest, setting 6.5 minutes later in the east southeast.

Saturn and Jupiter are easy to spot near the teapot

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