Southern Cross Stargazer
The Honey Moon is full at 7:23 a.m. At 7:12 a.m. the moon will be 221,824 miles from Earth, its closest visit of the year. Abnormal high tides may occur. At dusk the moon rises in the southeast above the Sagittarian Teapot, drifts along its southernmost transit and sets in the southwest about 6:45 a.m.
Mercury descends low in the northwest. Brilliant Venus, encased in hot sunlit clouds, rises 4 degrees above Mercury. The Gemini Twins twinkle to the upper right of the planets. The dim Beehive star cluster lies 8 degrees above Venus. Capella guides Auriga, Charioteer, onto the northwestern horizon. Leo, Lion stalks the western horizon. The Big Dipper edges into the northwest. Its bowl always faces Polaris, North Star. The Little Dipper’s handle appears attached to Polaris. Arcturus, a red supergiant, sparkles overhead. Corona Borealis, a stellar necklace, shimmers near Arcturus.
Kite-shaped Corvus, Crow, leads Spica and silver Saturn across the southwest in Virgo. Mid-evening, huge Scorpius climbs higher in the southeast. Antares, red heart beats in the Scorpion’s torso. The Sagittarian Teapot closely follows Scorpius across the southeast. Capricornus, Sea Goat, appears in the southeast. Hercules leads Vega, in Lyra the Harp, and the vast Summer Triangle higher in the northeast. Cygnus, Swan, soars within the Triangle. About midnight Pegasus, Winged Horse, lifts above the eastern horizon. Dim blue Neptune rises in the southeast in Aquarius.
Mercury follows the setting sun. Brilliant Venus, Evening Star, aligns with the Gemini Twins, Castor and Pollux, low in the northwest.
After midnight, the Bootes Meteors radiate from Arcturus overhead. The slow meteors have an unpredictable hourly rate. The waning moon floats 6 degrees from Neptune.
Blue-green Uranus rises in the southeast about 1:30 a.m. in Pisces, Fish. By 6 a.m. the delicate Seven Sisters (Pleiades star cluster) lead Taurus, Bull and the V-shaped Hyades higher in the east-northeast. Ruddy Mars appears lower left of the Hyades. Capella twinkles in the northeast.
Compiled by Barb Yager, Southern Cross Astronomical Society, 305-661-1375, scas.org
Earlier in this space, last week’s Stargazer column was inadvertantly posted under this week’s date. This is the correct column for the week of June 23-29.