This week at dusk, the young moon glides along a stairway of planets in the southwest. Aim binoculars on the young crescent moon with dark Earthshine 10 degrees above dim Mars, in Capricornus the Sea Goat, near the southwestern horizon. Neptune sails lower in the southwest, in Aquarius. Blue-green Uranus lies in Pisces, Fish, in the southwest. Fomalhaut twinkles left of Mars. They set about 7 p.m. Bright Jupiter, in Taurus, Bull, glows high in the east above Aldebaran (red eye of the Bull) in the Hyades cluster (Bull’s face).
After sunset the moon floats six degrees above Neptune in the southwest.
By nightfall, the moon lies three degrees to the right of Uranus. Aries, Ram chases the Winged Horse (Great Square of Pegasus) westward. The Northern Cross lies in the northwest. The delicate Seven Sisters (Pleiades star cluster) dance overhead. Capella guides Auriga, Charioteer, into the north. The Royal Family reigns in the north. Gigantic Orion, Hunter, rises in the east. Procyon, Little Dog, follows Orion. Mid-evening brilliant blue Sirius (nearby star) sparkles in the southeast in Orion’s Big Dog. The Gemini Twins bring the Beehive cluster higher in the northeast. About 10 p.m. Leo, Lion appears on the eastern horizon. The Big Dipper rises in the northeast. Brilliant Canopus, in Argo the ancient ship, radiates rainbow colors low in the south.
Silver Saturn rises in the southeast, in Libra, about 2:30 a.m. and follows Spica, in Virgo, across the south. Bright Venus, Morning Star, glows on the southeastern horizon. Huge Scorpius climbs higher in the southeast. Antares, red heart, beats in the Scorpion’s torso. Vega rises in the northeast. Ruddy Arcturus sparkles high in the east. The Lion crawls westward. The Beehive cluster follows the Gemini Twins lower in the northwest. Jupiter sets in the west before dawn.
Speaker: Southern Cross Astros host speaker James R. Webb, FIU astronomer, at 8 p.m. in the FIU Physics Building CP-145 lecture hall, main campus. His topic: Black hole ... dead ahead! He will discuss the black hole, much larger than our sun, expanding in the center of our Milky Way Galaxy. Webb initiated the fund-raising project for the campus observatory now under construction. SCAS free programs include prizes and refreshments. Park in the campus Red Garage Southwest 109th Avenue at Eighth Street and follow SCAS signs to CP-145. 305-661-1375, scas.org
Compiled by Barb Yager, Southern Cross Astronomical Society, 305-661-1375, scas.org