Southern Cross Stargazer for Aug. 25-31, 2013



In twilight brilliant Venus, Evening “Star,” glows high in the west 6 degrees from Spica in Virgo. Silver Saturn, surrounded by its sunlit icy rings, drifts away from Spica in the southwest and sets mid-evening. Corvus, Crow, lands on the southwestern horizon. Huge Scorpius crawls toward the southwest. Ruddy Antares, red heart, beats in the Scorpion’s torso. Binoculars reveal two delicate star clusters shimmering above the Scorpion's stinger tail.

The Sagittarian Teapot, center of our Milky Way Galaxy, contains myriad mysterious deep sky objects visible in the south in binoculars and telescopes. They set late evening. Capricornus, Sea Goat, wanders across the southeast. Westbound Hercules leads Vega, Lyra the Harp and the vast Summer Triangle overhead. Cygnus, Swan, soars within the Triangle. The Summer Milky Way (River of Stars), visible from a dark rural site, arches from the Teapot to the Triangle. Corona Borealis, stellar necklace, twinkles behind bright Arcturus, Herdsman, in the west. The Big Dipper swings low in the northwest. Its bowl always faces Polaris, North Star, also the tip of the Little Dipper’s handle. Late evening, the Great Square of Pegasus (Winged Horse) rises higher in the east. The Royal Family arrives in the northeast.


Dim blue Neptune rises in the east-southeast in Aquarius opposite the setting sun. Our farthest planet will be closest and brightest for a few weeks. Neptune will sail across the south all night and set in the west at dawn. The star Fomalhaut twinkles below Neptune. By 10 p.m. blue-green Uranus appears in the east in Pisces, Fish.


Last quarter moon occurs at 5:35 a.m.

By 6 a.m. the waning moon floats between two star clusters: Seven Sisters (Pleiades) top and V-shaped Hyades cluster (below) in Taurus, Bull. Bright Jupiter and its satellite moons glow high in the east to the right of the Gemini Twins, Castor and Pollux. Dim ruddy Mars rises in the northeast directly below the Gemini Twins. Capella guides Auriga, Charioteer, into the north. The Royal Family reigns in the north: Queen Cassiopeia, King Cepheus, daughter Andromeda and Perseus, Hero. Gigantic Orion, Hunter, climbs higher in the east taking aim at Taurus, Bull, overhead. Procyon, Little Dog, follows Orion. Brilliant blue Sirius sparkles in Orion’s Big Dog in the southeast. Uranus follows Neptune across the southwest. The Summer Triangle sets in the northwest.


In the predawn, the old crescent moon floats near bright Jupiter in the east. Alpha Aurigid meteors may be visible radiating from the northeast

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

Read more Lifestyle stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category