Southern Cross Stargazer for July 7-13, 2013



By nightfall, huge Scorpius crawls into the south. Bright supergiant Antares, red heart, beats in the Scorpion’s torso. The Sagittarian Teapot (center of our Milky Way Galaxy) drifts across the southeast. In the southwest, silver Saturn turns eastward. Sixty-two satellite moons orbit the icy-ringed planet in Virgo.

The stars of Libra twinkle between Saturn and Scorpius. Spica, in Virgo, follows Corvus, Crow, toward the southwest horizon. Brilliant Venus, Evening Star, rises higher in the northwest and sets mid-evening. Leo, Lion, crouches low in the west. Bright Arcturus, Herdsman, wanders westward. The stellar necklace, Corona Borealis, twinkles overhead. The Big Dipper edges into the northwest. Its bowl always faces Polaris, North Star. The Little Dipper’s handle appears attached to Polaris. Hercules brings Vega, in Lyra the Harp, toward the Zenith.

Optical equipment reveals two sets of double stars with companion stars in Lyra. Vega leads the vast Summer Triangle higher in the northeast. Cygnus, Swan, soars within the Triangle. Colorful double stars mark the eye of the Swan. Late evening, Capricornus, Sea Goat, appears in the southeast.

Before midnight, dim blue Neptune sails higher in the southeast in Aquarius. Pegasus, Winged Horse, rises in the east. The Royal Family arrives in the northeast.


New Moon occurs 3:14 a.m.


In evening dusk, aim binoculars to the young moon with dark Earthshine 7 degrees below Venus in the northwest.


By 6 a.m., winter star clusters rise in the east. The Seven Sisters (Pleiades cluster) shimmer above Aldebaran in the V-shaped Hyades cluster. Bright Jupiter glows 5 degrees below ruddy Mars lower left of the Hyades cluster. Aries, Ram, chases Pegasus toward the Zenith. Capella guides Auriga, Charioteer, higher in the northeast. The Royal Family reigns in the north. Blue-green Uranus floats across the southeast in Pisces, Fish. Neptune drifts across the south. Vega leads the Summer Triangle westward.

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

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