The parade of planets is slowly moving west with many of our favorites being visible not long after sunset.
By midnight giant Jupiter will be high in the sky to the southeast and well placed for some fine viewing of its cloud features and the Galilean moons with small to medium-sized telescopes.
Saturn is not too far behind Jupiter and should be visible above the southeastern horizon not too long after sunset. By midnight it should be high enough in the southeastern sky for some good naked eye and telescopic viewing.
Mars is trailing Saturn and should be easily visible above the east-northeastern horizon at midnight.
Venus is the only remaining early morning planet visible above the east-northeastern horizon, about 30 minutes before sunrise. It is losing ground above the horizon as it heads for conjunction with the Sun in mid-October. Tiny Mercury is still lost to our view.
The Moon will be first quarter on the 3rd, full on the 10th, last quarter on the 17th, and new on the 25th. Looking to the southeast on the 7th and 8th, about 45 minutes after sunset, the nearly full Moon will bracket the planet Saturn, first to the right and then to the left of the ringed planet.
On the 11th, and looking high to the southeast around midnight, the nearly full Moon can be found less than 5 degrees below Jupiter. Looking to the east-northeast on the 17th, around midnight, the last quarter Moon will be just to the left of Mars.
Looking southwest on the 29th, about 45 minutes after sunset, the crescent Moon will be just above the bright red star Antares in the constellation Scorpius. On the 22nd, autumn begins for the Northern Hemisphere at 7:04 p.m. MDT.
There will not be a first Saturday star party at the Etscorn Campus Observatory this month.
Jon Spargo is part of the New Mexico Tech Astronomy Club.