Southern Cross Stargazer for Dec. 22-28, 2013

 

Sunday

At nightfall radiant Venus, Goddess of the Evening, glows brightest in Capricornus. She sets in the southwest about 7:30 p.m. Dazzling winter stars blanket the eastern sky. The delicate Seven Sisters (Pleiades star cluster) lead the stellar parade. Taurus, Bull climbs higher in the east. A red giant star Aldebaran (Bull’s red eye) winks from the V-shaped Hyades cluster (Bull’s face). Bright Capella, a double star, guides Auriga, Charioteer, into the north-northeast.

The Royal Family reigns in the north: King Cepheus, Queen Cassiopeia, daughter Andromeda and Perseus. Andromeda is our closest galaxy. Binoculars reveal a myriad of clusters in the north and eastern sky.

Bright Jupiter glows beside the Gemini Twins, Castor and Pollux, in the northeast. Four closest satellite moons Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto dance around storm-banded Jupiter. The dim Beehive star cluster shimmers below the Twins.

In the east, gigantic Orion, Hunter, chases the Bull overhead. The Great Orion Nebula (huge gas cloud where stars are born) glows from Orion’s sword. Spectacular in telescopes! Procyon, Little Dog, follows Orion. Brilliant blue Sirius (nearby star with a companion white dwarf star) sparkles in Orion’s Big Dog in the southeast.

Cetus, Whale, swims across the south. Phoenix spreads its wings on the southern horizon. Outer planets blue-green Uranus in Pisces, Fish, follows blue Neptune in Aquarius, across the southwest. Fomalhaut twinkles below Neptune. Aries, Ram, chases Pegasus, Winged Horse, westward. The Northern Cross stands within the vast Summer Triangle on the northwestern horizon.

Wednesday

Ruddy Mars rises in the east, in Virgo, around midnight followed by Spica 12 degrees below the red planet. Corvus, Crow, flies across the south. At dawn, silver Saturn, in Libra, drifts 20 degrees above the southeastern horizon. Huge Scorpius peers over the southeastern horizon.

Leo, Lion crawls westward. Bright Arcturus, Herdsman, sparkles in the east. The Big Dipper hangs in the north. Its bowl always faces Polaris, North Star. Polaris is the tip of the Little Dipper’s handle. Last Quarter Moon occurs 8:48 a.m. Christmas morning.

Friday

At dawn the waning moon rises in the southeast near Spica in Virgo.

Saturday

By 6 a.m. a thin crescent moon, with dark Earthshine, leads Saturn higher in the southeast.

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

Read more Lifestyle stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">Tigerman</span>. Nick Harkaway. Knopf. 352 pages. $26.95.

    Fiction

    ‘The Sergeant’ finds a bold alter ego in Nick Harkaway’s ‘Tigerman’

    A British civil servant on an island destined for destruction finds a bold alter ego in this comic masterpiece.

  •  
Diver Frank Notte gets ready to go over the side of the St. Nicholas VII and demonstrate old-fashioned sponge harvesting on the Anclote River in Tarpon Springs.

    Tarpon Springs

    Dive into Greek culture on the Florida coast? Opa!

    First we saw a few bubbles. Then so many that the water seemed to boil. Next appeared a bulbous brass helmet, big as a beach ball, trailing a long rubber hose. A human hand clasped the side of the wooden boat. A minute later, the diver had climbed back aboard the St. Nicholas VII. Clad in traditional early-20th-century diving getup, he appeared to have stepped directly from a Jules Verne novel.

  •  
Gena Barr, outreach coordinator for the University of Miami Health System's Division of Adolescent Medicine, demonstrates how she conducts a urine sample test that determines the presence of STDs. Barr, 39, has been working at the UM clinic since 2004. “I just wanted to help people in the community," she said, adding that the clinic, which primarily serves domestic abuse victims, gave her the opportunity.

    Healthcare

    STDs are on the rise in Miami-Dade

    Cases of chlamydia and syphilis have doubled in the last seven years, causing concern and speculation about the increase

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

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