Southern Cross Stargazer for July 13-19, 2014



By nightfall, eastbound Mars snuggles 1.3 degrees with the star Spica in Virgo in the west-southwest. Great view in binoculars and cameras. They set late evening.

Corvus, the Crow, glides onto the southwestern horizon. Silver Saturn, encircled with sunlit icy rings, leads huge Scorpius higher in the southeast. Bright Antares, a red supergiant, is the heart beating in the Scorpion’s torso. Antares is about 300 times larger than our sun.

The Sagittarian Teapot (center of our Milky Way Galaxy) rises in the southeast close behind Scorpius.The stellar teaspoon glistens above the Teapot’s handle.

Show the family the southern summer night sky aglitter with spectacular clusters and nebulas visible in binoculars. Leo, the Lion, stalks the western horizon. The Big Dipper swings into the northwest. Its bowl always faces Polaris, North Star. Bright Arcturus, the Herdsman, sparkles in the west followed by the stellar necklace Corona Borealis overhead. Hercules leads Vega, in Lyra the Harp, and the vast Summer Triangle higher in the northeast. Cygnus, the Swan, soars within the Triangle. Mid-evening the Royal Family arrives in the northeast: King Cepheus, Queen Cassiopeia, their daughter Andromeda with the Andromeda Galaxy and Perseus. Pegasus, the Winged Horse, lifts higher in the east. Capricornus, the Sea Goat, wanders across the southeast.The bright moon and dim blue Neptune rise in the southeast in Aquarius. Fomalhaut twinkles below Neptune.

About midnight blue-green Uranus appears in the east in Pisces, Fish.


Tonight the moon glows near Neptune in the southeast.


At dawn, the moon lies near Uranus. Last Quarter Moon occurs at 10:08 p.m.


Before 6 a.m winter constellations twinkle across the eastern sky. Aries, the Ram, chases Pegasus, Winged Horse, overhead. The delicate Seven Sisters (Pleiades cluster) lead Taurus, the Bull, higher in the east-northeast. Ruddy Aldebaran (the Bull’s red eye) winks from the V-shaped Hyades cluster (Bull’s face.). Brilliant Venus, Morning Star, glows 6 degrees above Mercury. Capella guides Auriga, Charioteer, higher in the northeast.

The Gemini Twins peer over the northeastern horizon. Orion, the Hunter, snoozes on the eastern horizon. The Royal Family reigns in the north. Vega leads the Summer Triangle lower in the northwest.

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

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