September 2014 Night Photography Events Calendar

Each month I post a monthly night photography events calendar on the first day of the month. Events listed on this calendar are suitable for wide-field and moderate-telephoto astrophotography, as well as for general night photography. Unless otherwise stated, all events occur in the United States at mid-latitudes. Most of the events also occur at other locations, although some of them may require correction for latitude and longitude.

The position of the Moon relative to the planets and stars changes throughout the night. Generally, when a position is given, it is for the period about 45 minutes after sunset or 45 minutes before sunrise. Do not confuse the times of the Moon phases for the times of Moonrise and Moonset. Consult local charts for rise and set times.

September ranks among my favorite months for night photography. The nights are starting get longer and cooler after the summer season, and in my region, the skies are generally clear and the humidity low. The Milky Way remains a good photo op and Orion makes a great early-morning target. September is also the best time to photograph the Zodiacal light in the autumn season. This year, the first and last weeks of the month are ideal for shooting the spectacle.

If you sign up for my free Night Photography News eNewsletter, you’ll receive each calendar two weeks early, on the 15th of the preceeding month. This will give you more time to plan your night shooting.

All month This Milky Way shines brightly and high in the sky for most of the night. September is a great month to photograph it because the summer haze is gone and the nights are often dry and clear.
All month Orion rises around 3am in the East at the first of the month and around 1am at the end. Look for it toward the Southeast in the dawn twilight sky.
All month Mars and Saturn shine low in the dusk twilight sky, looking Southwest. They appear at about the same brightness.
All month Jupiter shines brightly (mag -1.8) in the dawn twilight sky, looking East.
All month Venus shines very low on the horizon in the dawn twilight, looking East. At the first of the month, it rises about an hour before the sun, but by month’s end it rises only 30 minutes before and won’t be easily seen.
1 – 6 Look for the zodiacal light in the east before sunrise from dark locations. See this blog post for more information.
2 First Quarter Moon at 7:11am.
8 Full Moon (Harvest Moon) at 9:38pm. Don’t forget, in addition to including the Full Moon as a complement to a landscape or urban scene, you can use the light from the Full (or nearly full) Moon to illuminate your scene.
11 – 14 5th Annual Western North Carolina Foto Fest in Montreat, NC. For night photographers, this year’s event features  a light-painting workshop, a light-painting photo shoot, and a program on photographing waterfalls at night.
15 Third Quarter Moon at 10:05pm.
19 The Crescent Moon shines in the dawn sky, looking East. Jupiter shines to the lower left of the Moon.
20 A  thin Crescent Moon shines  low in the dawn sky, looking East. Jupiter shines to the upper left of the Moon.
21 A sliver thin Crescent Moon shines  low on the dawn horizon, looking East. Jupiter shines directly above the Moon.
21 – 30 Look for the zodiacal light in the east before sunrise from dark locations. See this blog post for more information.
22 Autumn begins at 10:29pm in the Northern Hemisphere (the autumnal equinox) and spring begins in the Southern Hemisphere (the vernal equinox).
22 A sliver thin Crescent Moon shines very low on the dawn horizon, looking East. Jupiter shines directly above the Moon.
24 New Moon at 2:14am. Don’t forget, the best time to shoot the stars (as either pinpoints or star trails) is when there is no light pollution from the Moon.
26 A very thin Crescent Moon shines very low on the horizon in dusk twilight sky, looking West-Southwest. Mars and Saturn shine to the upper left of the Moon.
27 A thin Crescent Moon shines low on the horizon in dusk twilight sky, looking West-Southwest. Saturn shines very close to the left of the moon, while Mars is farther to the left.
28 The Crescent Moon shines in the dusk twilight sky, looking West-Southwest. Mars shines to the left and Saturn to the lower right of the Moon.
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