The summer constellations Virgo, Libra and Scorpius are now low in the west. Sagittarius “A," the center of our Milky Way galaxy, is due south at 8 p.m., but by 10:30 p.m. falls below the southwestern horizon. The autumn constellations, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces are now becoming prominent along the zodiac in the south and southeast. We can get a sneak preview of the winter constellations Taurus and Orion just after midnight as they rise in the east.
Autumn begins when the sun crosses the equator at precisely 7:33 a.m. Sept. 22 on its southward journey for the winter. Daylight will become shorter yet and the nights will become longer until the sun reaches its southernmost travels, arriving at the Tropic of Capricorn for the winter solstice Dec. 21.
The beautiful open star cluster M45, the Pleiades, will rise in the east at 10 p.m. and is best viewed with a good pair of binoculars. Jupiter is still in the constellation Taurus and will rise tonight at 10:27 p.m. in the east just below the Pleiades. Venus will rise at 3:11 a.m. Friday morning in the constellation Cancer. The moon is a 6-day-old waxing crescent and will set at 10:56 p.m., making the night sky ideal for deep-space viewing with a good telescope.