Southern Cross Stargazer for April7-13, 2013



Dawn breaks about 6 a.m. The old crescent moon rises above Mercury 2 degrees above the east-southeastern horizon. Brightening Saturn, in Libra, follows Spica, in Virgo, into the west-southwest. Huge Scorpius crawls into the southwest followed by the Sagittarian Teapot. Binoculars will reveal intriguing deep-sky objects shimmering from the center of our Milky Way Galaxy in the south. The Lion crawls westward. Arcturus, a red giant star, sparkles in the northwest. The Big Dipper swings low in the northwest. Hercules leads Vega, in Lyra the Harp, and the vast Summer Triangle overhead. Cygnus, Swan, soars within the Triangle. Capricornus, Sea Goat, climbs into the southeast. In the predawn next week a new dim, green Comet Lemmon may be visible in Pisces rising in the east.


New moon occurs at 5:35 a.m.


By nightfall the young crescent moon floats below the Seven Sisters (Pleiades star cluster) in the west. Bright Jupiter glows in Taurus, Bull above Aldebaran,(Bull's red eye) in the V-shaped Hyades cluster (Bull's face). Capella guides Auriga, Charioteer, into the northwest. The dim Beehive cluster lies overhead. The Gemini Twins: Castor and Pollux drift westward. Orion, Hunter, strides into the west. The Great Orion Nebula ( a stellar nursery) glows from Orion's sword. Procyon, Little Dog, follows Orion. Brilliant blue Sirius (a nearby star) sparkles in Orion's Big Dog, trailed by the Pups in the south.

Canopus radiates rainbow colors from Argo, ancient ship on the southern horizon. From the east, Leo, Lion, climbs overhead. The Big Dipper hangs in the north. Its bowl always faces Polaris, North Star. The tip of the Little Dipper’s handle appears attached to Polaris. The Dippers are best viewed away from intense city lights. Mid-evening, Arcturus sparkles in the east. kite-shaped Corvus, Crow flies higher in the southeast. Spica twinkles in the southeast. Silver Saturn rises in the east about 10:30 p.m.


By 8:15 p.m. aim binoculars and cameras to the crescent moon with dark Earthshine in the west, floating between the Hyades cluster (left) and the Pleiades (right). See Open for great solar, aurora and celestial photos.

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

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