Mars Passes Regulus in the Pre-Dawn Twilight

September 24rth, 2015

Today is the equinox and depending upon where you live, you’re either about to start autumn or the spring. The word is actually latin and literally means “equal nights.” Sure enough, although the times of sunrise and sunset may vary, the actual nights are of roughly equal length, no matter where you are in the world. And if the nights are of equal length, then the days are too, with both being about twelve hours long.

There’s one more thing to bear in mind, which few people remember. On the equinox, the Sun rises at due east and sets at due west. So if you’re not sure which way is west, be sure to go outside at sunset and look out for any local landmarks that will help you to remember.

Keep an eye on where the sun sets over the next few months. If you live in the northern hemisphere, you’ll see the sunset creep toward the south as autumn progresses. If you live in the southern hemisphere, you’ll see the sunset move toward the north as the Spring slowly turns to Summer.


All Astronomical Events for September 24th, 2015

08:13 UT – Mars appears 0.8° north of Regulus. (Mars: 97% illuminated, magnitude 1.8, diameter 3.9”. Naked eye, Leo, pre-dawn sky. See images above.)

09:52 UT – Pluto is stationary prior to resuming prograde motion. (Magnitude 14.2. Sagittarius, evening sky.)

12:00 UT – Asteroid 4 Vesta is at perigee. Distance to Earth:  1.426 AU (Magnitude 6.0. Cetus, all night.)


Events in bold involve objects and/or events that are visible with the naked eye.

All times are in Universal Time (UTC). To convert the time to your timezone, click here.

Astronomical events taken from 2015: An Astronomical Year, available in Kindle and paperback formats from Amazon in the USCanada and the United Kingdom. Sky simulations created using the Mobile Observatory app for Android devices.

2015 An Astronomical Year (Kindle Edition) 2016 An Astronomical Year Paperback Cover 2016 The Night Sky Sights

2015: An Astronomical Year

2016: An Astronomical Year 2016: The Night Sky Sights The Astronomical Almanac (2016-2020) The Amateur Astronomer’s Notebook (Pocket Edition)

(Kindle & Paperback)

(Kindle & Paperback) (Kindle & Paperback) (Kindle & Paperback)


Amazon – US

Amazon – US Amazon – US Amazon – US Amazon – US
Amazon – UK Amazon – UK  Amazon – UK Amazon – UK

Amazon – UK

Details of all available books across the world can be found here or by visiting the author’s page on Amazon. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me at astronomywriter “at”


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