Southern Cross Stargazer for July 21-27, 2013



By nightfall brilliant Venus, Evening Star, glows 1 degree above Regulus (elbow) of Leo, Lion stalking the western horizon. They set by mid-evening. Silver Saturn drifts east from Spica in the south-southwest. Both are in Virgo and set around midnight. Corvus, Crow, flies onto the southwestern horizon. The stars of Libra twinkle in the south. Huge Scorpius crawls into the south. Antares, a bright supergiant, is the red heart in the Scorpion’s torso. The Sagittarian Teapot (center of our galaxy) closely follows Scorpius. From the edge of the solar system dim Pluto hides above the Teapot. Binoculars reveal star clusters, nebulas, etc. shimmering in the dense center of our Milky Way Galaxy.

Capricornus, Sea Goat, rises in the southeast. Overhead, Hercules leads Vega, in Lyra the Harp, and the vast Summer Triangle higher in the northeast. The three point stars of the Triangle: Deneb north, Altair south and bright Vega west. Cygnus, Swan, soars within the Triangle. The Summer Milky Way (River of Stars) arches from the Teapot to the Triangle. Corona Borealis, stellar necklace, follows ruddy Arcturus, Herdsman, westward. The Big Dipper swings into the northwest. Its bowl aligns with Polaris, North Star — the tip of the Little Dipper’s handle. Mid-evening dim Neptune sails across the southeast in Aquarius. Late evening Queen Cassiopeia arrives in the north-northeast, lower left of Deneb. Pegasus, Winged Horse, lifts higher in the east. The Royal Family arrives in the northeast.


About 6 a.m. the full moon sets in the west. Aim binoculars to the east-northeast. Dim ruddy Mars dances 0.8 degrees from bright golden Jupiter above Mercury. Three planets rise in Gemini. Capella guides Auriga, Charioteer, higher in the northeast. The Royal Family reigns in the north. The Gemini Twins appear in the northeast. The Seven Sisters (Pleiades star cluster) shimmer above Aldebaran in the Hyades cluster in Taurus, Bull. Orion, Hunter, snoozes on the eastern horizon. Aries, Ram, chases Pegasus toward the Zenith. Blue-green Uranus floats across the southeast in Pisces, Fish. Neptune lies above Fomalhaut in the south. Vega leads the Summer Triangle into the northwest.

The Thunder Moon is full at 2:16 p.m. At dusk the bright moon rises in the southeast in Capricornus.


Florida International University and Southern Cross astronomers host the annual Key West event starting at 8 p.m. in the CP-145 lecture hall, Physics Building, Modesto Maidique campus. Astronomy program and update of the FIU campus observatory with free Key lime pies, sodas, prizes, Margaritaville music in CP-145 and Star Party on the observation deck. Park in the Red campus garage west side of Southwest 109th Avenue and Eighth 8 Street and proceed across the patio of the new medical building to CP-145. Accessible to the disabled. No reservations. Call FIU at 305-348-3964.

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

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