Southern Cross Stargazer for May 19-25, 2013



In the evening dusk, look to the northwest where a rare line-up of planets glisten in Taurus, the Bull, near the horizon: bright Jupiter (top), brilliant Venus (middle) and Mercury (bottom). They set early. The Gemini Twins Castor and Pollux stand on the northwest horizon. Capella guides Auriga, the Charioteer, on the right of the Twins. The dim Beehive star cluster (200 stars) follows the Twins. Leo, the Lion, crawls westward.

Procyon, Orion’s Little Dog, twinkles low in the west. Brilliant blue Sirius (nearby star) sparkles in the southwest and sets by mid-evening. Corvus, the Crow, flies ahead of Spica in Virgo in the south. The stunning globular star cluster Omega Centauri shimmers low in the south, below Corvus. Silver Saturn, encircled by its icy rings, drifts into Virgo in the south. Bright Arcturus rises higher in the east.

The Big Dipper hangs in the north. Its bowl always faces Polaris, the North Star. The tip of the Little Dipper’s handle is Polaris. By mid-evening, Hercules leads Vega, in Lyra the Harp, higher in the northeast. Huge Scorpius peers over the southeastern horizon.


Tonight the bright moon floats between Saturn (left) and Spica (right).


About 3 a.m. dim Neptune rises in the southeast in Aquarius. Fomalhaut twinkles below Neptune. Before dawn, blue-green Uranus appears in the southeast in Pisces, the Fish. Pegasus, the Winged Horse, climbs higher in the east. Westbound Hercules leads Vega and the vast Summer Triangle overhead. Scorpius crawls lower in the southwest, followed by the Sagittarian Teapot. The Summer Milky Way (River of Stars) arches from the Teapot to the Triangle. Capricornus, the Sea Goat, wanders across the south.


Mid-evening, the bright full moon leads Scorpius above the southeastern horizon.


The Blossom Moon is full at 12:25 a.m. By nightfall, brilliant Venus, the Evening Star, dances with Mercury 1.5 degrees apart, 3 degrees below descending Jupiter near the northwestern horizon. Stunning views in binoculars and cameras! They set early.

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

Read more Lifestyle stories from the Miami Herald

  • What do you recommend?

    “The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton — it’s a book built around characters and plots inspired by astrological principles. It’s a neo-Victorian murder mystery and a mere 832 pages long, and it made 28-year-old Catton the youngest person to win the coveted Man Booker Prize. The voice is natural, easy to understand and ambitious; she’s a novelist who is seeking to reclaim the authorial, a writer who seeks to entertain and enlighten.”

 <span class="cutline_leadin">The Boom:</span> How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World. Russell Gold. Simon & Schuster. 384 pages. $26.


    Book considers the pros and cons of fracking

    Author considers both sides of the controversial issue.

  • Southern Cross Stargazer for April 20-26

    By nightfall Spica follows fiery Mars, in Virgo, higher in the east. Telescopes reveal the white ice cap shrinking in the Martian summer and subtle dark details on the iron-rich red Martian desert. Binoculars enhance the planet’s bright color. Mars sets in the west about dawn and will remain bright for a few weeks.

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