ON A clear night, look for the Milky Way arching up from the North-Eastern Horizon culminating almost overhead before falling away in the direction of the South-Western Horizon.

As it does so, it highlights the constellations of Perseus and Cassiopeia. High above your head it shows up Cygnus and Lyra, then on the descending trajectory it passes by Aquila and Hercules.

Deneb is the brightest star in Cygnus and is a blue/white supergiant star. Its distance is still a matter of debate, but my guess is during the next 12 months things will become much clearer now the James Webb Telescope is fully operational.

Penarth Times: PICTURE: Camera Club member Lawrence Mears

As for now, we think it is at least 1,500 light-years away. This star marks the tail of the swan, but another way to recognise the constellation is by its other name the Northern Cross.

With Deneb at one end of the cross look for the stars that designate the intersection.

The one in the middle is called Sadr and although it appears fainter than Deneb, is really a searchlight, because it lies 1,800 light-years away and is made up of three stars although a telescope is needed to see the other two.

Sadr is not that old and is thought to be about 12 million years old, yet it is 12 times the mass of our Sun and has a radius at least 150 times that of the Sun.

To put this in perspective, our Sun has a radius of 432.450 miles, and it has approximately 333,000 times the mass of the Earth.

Moving to the bottom of the cross or, if you prefer, the neck of the swan is one of the night-time gems of the sky.

Penarth Times: PICTURE: Camera Club member Paul Murphy

Albireo is a lovely double star, consisting of one yellow star the other being blue. A small telescope is needed to split them, but if you get the chance do take a look.

Albireo is 420 light-years away. (Light travels at 186.000 miles per second)

If you have binoculars the whole constellation is worth looking at because it contains several prominent star-clusters.

Down towards the Southern Horizon the giant planets Saturn and Jupiter will now demand your attention.

Saturn is in the constellation of Capricorn and binoculars will show it is anything but star-like.

A small telescope is enough to confirm this planet has the “wow” factor due to its system of rings. To its left even brighter still is Jupiter in Pisces.

Binoculars will show it as a flattened globe and if they are held very steady or, better still mounted on a tripod, its four Galilean Moons will be seen.

Watch night after night as they change positions relative to each other and Jupiter itself.

A telescope will show detail on Jupiter.

Penarth Times: PICTURE: Camera Club member Nadezna Mandhari

First quarter Moon is on September 3, and full on September 10. The last quarter occurs  September 17. On September 8 the Moon is near Saturn and by the 10th is between Saturn and Jupiter.

Another event involving our Moon takes place on September 14 when it occults the giant planet Uranus.

The planet will only look like a star in Binoculars and its reappearance will be a little easier to spot, because it will be on the dark limb of the Moon, concentrate looking at about the ‘three o’clock’ direction around 11.20 pm.

Set up and start your watch at least 20 minutes before the expected time so you are ready for the moment Uranus snaps into view.

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