Southern Cross Stargazer for March 31-April 6, 2013



At Easter sunrise service by 6:30 a.m. Mercury shimmers low in the southeast until it is lost in sunrise about 7:30 a.m. Vega leads the vast Summer Triangle overhead. Cygnus, Swan, soars within the Triangle. Deneb, the Swan’s tailfeather, is the Triangle’s northern point star. Altair, the southern point star of the Triangle, twinkles in the east. Silver Saturn glows in Libra above Spica, in Virgo, in the west-southwest. The waning moon leads huge Scorpius toward the southwest.

Ruddy Antares, a red supergiant, is the heart in Scorpion’s torso. The Sagittarian Teapot (center of our Milky Way Galaxy) follows Scorpius. Bright Arcturus sparkles west of Zenith. The Big Dipper swings low in the northwest.


The delicate Seven Sisters (Pleiades star cluster) lead bright Jupiter westward against the stars of Taurus, Bull. Aldebaran (Bull’s red eye) winks from the V-shaped Hyades (Bull’s face). About 10:30 p.m. aim telescopes to Io, Jupiter’s closest satellite moon, disappearing behind the right edge of the sunlit planet. By 11:04 p.m. Europa, another satellite moon, cruises across Jupiter.


Last quarter moon occurs 12:37 a.m. In the predawn, the moon floats above the Teaspoon, upper left of the Sagittarian Teapot in the southeast. In morning twilight Mercury descends lower in the southeast.


At dusk, Comet PanSTARRS fades near the right side of the Andromeda Galaxy low in the northwest. Bright Capella guides Auriga, Charioteer, into the northwest. Leo, Lion, crawls overhead. Mid-evening, the Big Dipper hangs in the north. Its bowl always faces Polaris, North Star. The Little Dipper’s handle appears attached to Polaris. Fiery Arcturus sparkles in the east. The Gemini Twins and the Beehive cluster drift westward. Orion, Hunter, strides across the southwest, followed by Procyon, Little Dog. Brilliant blue Sirius sparkles in Orion’s Big Dog in the south, followed by the Pups. By 10 p.m. Corvus, Crow flies ahead of Spica, in Virgo in the southeast followed by Saturn a half-hour later.

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

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