By nightfall (7:30 p.m.), eastbound rusty Mars resembles a small ember low in the southwest. Silver Saturn, in Libra, slides lower in the southwest and sets early. Huge Scorpius crawls along the southwestern horizon. Bright Antares, red heart beats in the Scorpion’s torso. The tilted Sagittarian Teapot pours onto the Scorpion’s stinger tail. Capricornus, the Sea Goat, wanders into the southwest. Grus, the Crane, stretches its starry neck above the southern horizon.
Dim, blue Neptune, in Aquarius, sails high above the star Fomalhaut in the south and blue-green Uranus floats across the southeast in Pisces, the Fish. Cetus, tge Whale, swims along the southeastern horizon. The Great Square of Pegasus, the Winged Horse, soars toward the Zenith, followed by Aries, the Ram. The Royal Family reigns in the north: King Cepheus, Queen Cassiopeia, daughter Andromeda and Perseus. Hercules leads Vega, in Lyra the Harp, and the vast Summer Triangle westward. Cygnus, the Swan, becomes the Northern Cross.
The Summer Milky Way (River of Stars) arches across the west, from the Teapot to the Triangle. Bright Arcturus, the Herdsman, sparkles low in the west. The Big Dipper swings near the northwestern horizon. Before midnight, winter stars appear in the east-northeast. The delicate Seven Sisters (Pleiades cluster) dance ahead of Taurus, the Bull. Ruddy Aldebaran (the Bull’s red eye) winks from the V-shaped Hyades cluster (Bull’s face).
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The bright waning moon floats in Taurus. Capella guides Auriga, Charioteer, above the northeastern horizon.
Last Quarter Moon occurs 3:12 p.m. The moon rises after midnight.
About 6 a.m. the moon floats 8 degrees to the right of the dim Beehive star cluster in Cancer, the Crab, in the east. The Gemini Twins: Castor and Pollux drift above the moon.
Bright Jupiter leads Leo, Lion higher in the east. The Big Dipper appears in the northeast. The Royal Family drifts toward the northwest. Capella leads the Charioteer across the north. Taurus gallops westward pursued by Orion, the Hunter, in the southwest. Procyon, Little Dog, follows Orion. Brilliant blue Sirius sparkles in Orion’s Big Dog in the south. Canopus radiates rainbow colors low in the south from the ancient ship Argo.
About 7:30 p.m., aim binoculars/telescopes to Mars in the southwest. Dim Comet Siding-Spring, 8th magnitude, cruises 1 degree (81,000 miles) below Mars. Information/photos on Spaceweather.com. Open the first link on the list re: comets, meteor showers, sprites and solar explosions.
Compiled by Barb Yager, Southern Cross Astronomical Society, 305-661-1375, scas.org