After sunset brilliant Venus dominates the western sky. Regulus, the “elbow” of reclining Leo, Lion, approaches Venus. They set mid-evening. Silver Saturn drifts eastward away from Spica. They are both in the south in Virgo and set in the west around midnight. Corvus, Crow, flies across the southwest. The stars of Libra twinkle left of Saturn.
Huge Scorpius crawls toward the south. Bright Antares, the red heart, beats in the Scorpion’s torso. Binoculars enhance the redness of Antares, a supergiant much larger than our sun. The Sagittarian Teapot closely follows Scorpius. Capricornus, Sea Goat, appears on the southeastern horizon. Hercules strides toward the Zenith and brings Vega, in Lyra the Harp, and the vast Summer Triangle higher in the northeast. Cygnus, Swan, soars within the Triangle. Corona Borealis, stellar necklace, twinkles overhead.
Westbound ruddy Arcturus, Herdsman is guardian of the Big Bear (Big Dipper) in the northwest. Arcturus sparkles beyond the handle of the Big Dipper. The bowl of the Big Dipper always faces Polaris, North Star. The tip of the Little Dipper’s handle is Polaris. Celestial Birds of Summer glide across the evening sky: the Swan in the northeast, the Wild Ducks cluster above the Teapot, the Crow flies lower in the southwest. Mid-evening, dim blue Neptune sails higher in the southeast in Aquarius. Pegasus, Winged Horse, stands on the eastern horizon. Late evening, the Royal Family arrives in the northeast.
First quarter moon occurs at 11:18 p.m. The moon floats .03 degrees from Spica in the south.
Tonight the moon drifts 3 degrees from Saturn.
At dusk Venus is 5 degrees from Regulus in the west. The bright moon leads Scorpius into the south.
By 6 a.m. bright Jupiter rises to 1.5 degrees below ruddy Mars in Gemini, low in the northeast. Binoculars reveal the M-35 star cluster half a degree above Mars. The Seven Sisters (Pleiades) and Hyades clusters shimmer above them. Capella twinkles in the northeast. The Royal Family reigns in the north. Aries, Ram, chases Pegasus to the Zenith. Vega leads the Summer Triangle in the northwest. Blue-green Uranus, in Pisces, follows Neptune across the south.
By nightfall Venus glows 2 degrees from Regulus in the west.
Compiled by Barb Yager, Southern Cross Astronomical Society, 305-661-1375, scas.org