Southern Cross Stargazer for June 30-July 6, 2013

 

Sunday

Last quarter moon occurs at 12:54 a.m.

After sunset, aim binoculars/cameras to brilliant Venus, Evening Star, in the northwest. The Beehive star cluster shimmers 3 degrees upper left of Venus. The Gemini Twins, Castor and Pollux, hug the northwestern horizon and set early. Leo, Lion, crawls lower in the west.

Corvus, Crow, flies ahead of Spica and silver Saturn in Virgo in the southwest. The stars of Libra follow Saturn. Huge Scorpius clears the southeastern horizon. Ruddy Antares, the red heart, beats in the Scorpion’s torso. The Sagittarian Teapot (center of our galaxy) closely follows Scorpius. Capricornus, Sea Goat, appears on the southeastern horizon.

Hercules leads Vega, in Lyra the Harp, and the vast Summer Triangle higher in the northeast. Arcturus, Herdsman, sparkles overhead. Corona Borealis, Northern Crown, follows Arcturus. The Big Dipper edges into the northwest. Its bowl faces Polaris, North Star. The tip of the Little Dipper’s handle is Polaris. Late evening, dim blue Neptune rises in the southeast in Aquarius. Pegasus, Winged Horse, appears in the east.

Wednesday

By 6 a.m. the waning moon rises to the right of the Seven Sisters (Pleiades star cluster) in the east.

Thursday

Before 6 a.m., the crescent moon floats between two star clusters in the east: Seven Sisters (top) and the V-shaped Hyades (below). In binoculars, compare the red tones of Aldebaran in the Hyades to ruddy Mars lower left of Aldebaran. Bright Capella leads Auriga, Charioteer, higher in the northeast. The Royal Family arrives in the northeast.

Blue-green Uranus drifts across the southeast in Pisces, Fish. Vega leads the Summer Triangle westward. Cygnus, Swan, soars within the Triangle. The tilted Sagittarian Teapot “pours” onto the stinger tail of the Scorpion in the southwest. The Summer Milky Way arches from the Teapot to the Triangle.

Friday

At 11 a.m. Earth is farthest from the sun that it will get this year, 94.5 million miles.

Saturday

At dawn aim binoculars to the old moon rising to the lower right of Mars in the east. Bright Jupiter appears 7 degrees below Mars.

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

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