Jupiter appears within a few degrees of Spica setting in the west about 9:30 p.m. on Friday. Saturn sets about three hours later with the ring system nicely tilted for telescopic viewing. Saturn and the waxing crescent moon lie within only 2 degrees on Sept. 26.

Venus rises at 4:15 a.m., quite close to M44, the Beehive in Cancer. Mars will emerge into the eastern dawn about midmonth, and from Sept. 10-16 will be joined by Mercury, Venus and Regulus near the dawn horizon. On Sept. 18, a sliver of the waning crescent moon accompanies the four.

The fall equinox occurs on Sept. 22, with nearly equal amounts of day and night throughout the world. This is also the first day of fall (autumnal equinox) in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of spring (vernal equinox) in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Piscid meteor shower, appearing to radiate from the constellation Pisces, will reach its peak on Sept. 9. The maximum rate of meteors expected to be visible is around 10 per hour, but the waning gibbous moon will interfere with viewing.

Q&A

Q: As I watched the eclipse, I wondered if you could see a solar eclipse from another planet? — R.J., Canton

A: Not a total eclipse as we can see, with the sun’s disk perfectly covered by our moon and the corona visible.

You would see the sun — and a lot of surrounding sky — completely covered by a large moon, where the sun would also appear smaller, like on Jupiter (if you could stand on it, which you can’t, because it’s gas).

If you stood on Mars, you might see one of its two tiny moons “transiting” the sun — a small black form, traveling across the sun’s disk — as we saw the transit of Venus back in 2004.

At least within this system, we are the only ones to be able to view just the exquisite corona of the sun … but only for the next 600 million years, when the moon will be too far away to create an eclipse.

Programs

The Universe at Large is presented at 1 p.m. Saturdays, and The Dark at 2 p.m. Sundays, with weekday shows at 1 p.m. through Labor Day. The planetarium is included with admission to the museum. Children must be 5 years or older to attend.

The planetarium also offers an astronomy program for adults only on the first Monday of every month at 2 p.m. The Night Sky show is presented, followed by a 30- to 45-minute open lecture/discussion, driven by the interests and questions of the audience.

For more information visit the planetarium’s blog on the museum’s website, or call 330-455-7043.

David L. Richards is director of the Hoover-Price Planetarium at the McKinley Presidential Library and Museum, 800 McKinley Monument Drive NW, Canton, www.mckinleymuseum.org. He can be reached at 330-455-7043, email hooverpriceplanetarium@hotmail.com or read his blog at https://hooverpriceplanetarium.wordpress.com/.