Southern Cross Stargazer for Aug. 17-23, 2014



Last Quarter Moon occurs 8:26 a.m.

By nightfall (8:30 p.m.) eastbound Mars fades as it approaches westbound Saturn, both in Libra in the southwest. They set about 11 p.m. Telescopes reveal the subtle pastel bands on Saturn, white patches of storms in its polar region, the dark Cassini Division (dark narrow space between the sunlit icy rings), and Titan, largest satellite moon.

Spica twinkles in Virgo low in the southwest. Huge Scorpius crawls across the south, closely followed by the Sagittarian Teapot (center of our Milky Way Galaxy). Capricornus, the Sea Goat, wanders toward the south. Mid-evening, dim blue Neptune sails high across the southeast above Fomalhaut in Aquarius. Pegasus, the Winged Horse, rises higher in the east. The Royal Family arrives in the northeast. Hercules leads Vega, in Lyra the Harp, and the vast Summer Triangle overhead.

Near Vega, the nebula M-57 resembles a small smoke ring surrounding a tiny white dwarf star, visible in telescopes. Cygnus, the Swan soars within the Triangle. The eye of the Swan is a colorful double star. The Summer Milky Way (River of Stars) arches from the Teapot to the Triangle. Ruddy Arcturus, Herdsman, a red giant star, sparkles in the west. The Big Dipper swings across the northwest. By 11 p.m. blue-green Uranus rises in the southeast in Pisces, the Fish.


Brilliant Venus rises about 4:30 a.m. in the east-northeast. A few remaining Perseid Meteors may be seen. By 6 a.m. a rare planetary conjunction occurs. Jupiter, King of the Planets rises to dance 1/2 degree with Venus, Morning “Star.” Superb photos! Still visible Tuesday. The next Jupiter-Venus rendezvous will occur in the evening June 30, 2015.

Gemini Twins drift above them. The Beehive cluster in Cancer shimmers 1 degree left of Venus. Capella guides Auriga, Charioteer, higher in the northeast. The Royal Family reigns in the north.

The delicate Seven Sisters (Pleiades cluster) lead Taurus, Bull higher in the east. Ruddy Aldebaran (Bull’s red eye) winks from the V-shaped Hyades cluster (Bull’s face).

The waning crescent moon floats above Aldebaran. Gigantic Orion, Hunter, climbs higher in the east. Procyon, Little Dog, follows Orion. Brilliant Sirius sparkles in Orion’s Big Dog low in the southeast. Vega leads the Summer Triangle lower in the northwest.


Before dawn, the old crescent moon leads Jupiter and Venus above the east-northeast horizon.


Before sunrise the moon forms a triangle with rising Jupiter and descending Venus near the horizon. Stunning views in binoculars/camera.

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

Read more Lifestyle stories from the Miami Herald

B Resort & Spa opened in Orlando in June, after a former hotel at the site was redone top to bottom.

    Bed check: Orlando

    B Resort & Spa: The place to ‘B’ at Downtown Disney

    A stay at the new B Resort near Downtown Disney feels more like a South Beach vacation than a visit to amusement park central.

  • Ask Nancy

    How to find a doctor who makes house calls

    Q. My mom is 82. Her mobility has become limited in the past year, and it has become difficult to take her to appointments with her doctor, who doesn't make house calls. Do you have a list of physicians who specialize in geriatric care and that make house calls? Perhaps you have other suggestions?

 <span class="cutline_leadin">THE ZOMBIES:</span> The Walking Dead returns to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando.

    Around Florida

    Celebrating Halloween at the theme parks

    With Halloween about six weeks away, Florida’s theme parks are ready to launch their celebrations — and one already has.

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