Southern Cross Stargazer for Oct. 12-19, 2013



At dusk brilliant Venus glows in the neck of huge Scorpius in the southwest. They set mid-evening. Silver Saturn lies 5 degrees above brighter Mercury low in the southwest. The tilted Sagittarian Teapot pours onto the Scorpion’s stinger tail. Capricornus, Sea Goat, wanders into the southwest. Blue-green Uranus, in Pisces the Fish, follows dim blue Neptune, in Aquarius, across the south. Grus, Crane, stretches its stellar neck above the southern horizon. Fomalhaut twinkles below Neptune. Cetus, Whale, swims along the southeastern horizon.

Aries, Ram, chases Pegasus, Winged Horse, toward the Zenith. Vega, in Lyra the Harp, leads the vast Summer Triangle westward. Cygnus, Swan, soars within the Triangle and becomes the Northern Cross as it pivots into the northwest. Ruddy Arcturus, Herdsman, sparkles in the west. Mid-evening, the Royal Family — King Cepheus, Queen Cassiopeia, daughter Andromeda and Perseus, Hero — reign in the north. The delicate Seven Sisters (Pleiades cluster) lead Taurus, Bull and Aldebaran in the V-shaped Hyades cluster above the eastern horizon. Bright Capella guides Auriga, Charioteer above the northeastern horizon. About midnight bright Jupiter appears in the east below the Gemini Twins.


By 6 a.m. ruddy Mars dances with the star Regulus, their closest distance 0.9 degrees apart, in Leo, Lion in the east. The “bowl” of the Big Dipper appears in the northeast.The Royal Family swings into the northwest. Orion, Hunter, strides across the Zenith, aimed at westbound Taurus, Bull. Procyon, Little Dog, follows Orion. Brilliant blue Sirius sparkles in Orion’s Big Dog in the south-southeast. Bright Jupiter glows overhead. The Gemini Twins lead the Beehive cluster higher in the east. The Pleiades and Hyades clusters drift toward the northwest.


Before dawn breaks, ruddy Mars and Regulus meet 1.1 degrees apart in the east.

At dusk, brilliant Venus glows 1.5 degrees above Antares, red heart, in Scorpius in the southwest.


The Hunter’s Moon is full at 7:38 p.m. and rises in the southeast at dusk.

• Southern Cross, in a free program at 8 p.m., presents actor Robert Dawson, who portrays Johannes Kepler, in costume, in the FIU Physics lecture hall CP-145, Modesto Maidique campus. Free SCAS programs include prizes, refreshments. Park in the campus Red garage on the west side of Southwest 109th Avenue and Eighth Street. Follow the SCAS signs to CP-145. Information: 305-661-1375

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

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