Southern Cross Stargazer for March 17-23



In evening twilight dim Comet PanSTARRS cruises 10 degrees above the western horizon. The comet lies above the setting sun and is visible until Earth slowly rotates eastward, blocking the western view of the comet. Binoculars are best for comet viewing. The moon nudges bright Jupiter by 1.5 degrees against the stars of Taurus, Bull. Two satellite moons of Jupiter will swing briefly behind the planet. At 10:51 p.m. Europa disappears followed by Io 1 hour and 23 minutes later. Aim telescopes as they reappear 68 minutes later on the opposite edge of Jupiter. Ruddy Aldebaran (Bull’s red eye) winks from the V-shaped Hyades cluster (Bull’s face) lower left of Jupiter.The delicate Seven Sisters (Pleiades cluster of 500 young blue stars) shimmer to lower right of Jupiter.

Aries, Ram, lands on the western horizon. Bright Capella guides Auriga, Charioteer, toward the northwest. The Big Dipper rises in the northeast. The Gemini Twins drift overhead. The Beehive cluster follows the Twins. Leo, Lion, climbs higher in the east. Procyon, Little Dog, follows gigantic Orion, Hunter into the southwest. Brilliant blue Sirius (nearby star) sparkles in Orion’s Big Dog trailed by the Pups in the south. Canopus radiates rainbow colors low in the south. About 11 p.m. Corvus, Crow flies higher in the southeast followed by Spica, in Virgo, and silver Saturn, in Libra.


First quarter moon occurs 1:27 p.m.


Spring arrives at 7:02 a.m. The Vernal Equinox occurs when the northbound sun crosses the equator, rises due east and sets due west. Night and day hours are about equal for several days. Comet PanSTARRS cruises 10 degrees above the setting sun in the west.


Program: Southern Cross Astros will arrange hi-tech equipment for a Spring Star Party from 7-10 p.m. at Fruit & Spice Park, 24801 SW 187th Ave., Homestead. The free Family Night includes tram rides through the moonlit park, youngsters can pet the friendly Arctic wolf, refreshments at a low cost and a view of the star-studded western sky. 305-661-1375


Before dawn, bright Arcturus sparkles west of Zenith. The Big Dipper swings into the northwest. The Lion crawls westward. Saturn follows Spica across the southwest. Huge Scorpius slides into the southwest followed by the Sagittarian Teapot in the south. Mercury appears on the east-southeastern horizon. Vega leads the vast Summer Triangle toward the Zenith.

Compiled by Barb Yager, Southern Cross Astronomical Society, 305-661-1375,

Read more Lifestyle stories from the Miami Herald

The work 'IMAG_NE' by Australian artist Emma Anna, coming to Boca Raton this fall, on display in Sydney, Australia in 2008.

    Florida notes

    It’s the season to see Key Deer

    Dear to the hearts of many are the miniature deer that exist only in the Florida Keys. Fully grown, these Key Deer stand only two to three feet high, but resemble their bigger siblings in every respect: Stags grow a full set of antlers, does charm with their limpid eyes.

  • Carolyn Hax

    Carolyn Hax: Siblings not pitching in when mother needs them

    Dear Carolyn: I am the youngest of five siblings. We lost my dad almost a year ago. My parents were married for 60 years, and my mom is lost without my dad.

 <span class="cutline_leadin">Color splash:</span> By Mara Hoffman


    It’s a wrap: Beach bikini showcase went swimmingly

    The annual swim extravaganza came to town offering a designer preview of what next season’s beaches will look like. In a word: hot!

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category