At dusk Venus glows in Pisces, the Fish, in the southwest until about 8 p.m. Dim rusty Mars, in Pisces, lingers above Venus. Neptune lies 1 degree above Venus. Fomalhaut twinkles below Neptune. Blue-green Uranus joins them in the southwest. Bright Jupiter rises in the east by 8:30 p.m. Surrounded by its four closest satellite moons, the King of the Planets escorts Leo, the Lion, higher in the east. Jupiter approaches its closest pass by Earth.
The Big Dipper rises higher in the northeast. The Gemini Twins: Castor and Pollux climb toward the Zenith. Capella steers Auriga, Charioteer, across the north. The delicate Seven Sisters (Pleiades cluster) lead Taurus, the Bull, to the Zenith. Ruddy Aldebaran (Bull’s red eye) winks from the V-shaped Hyades Cluster (Bull’s face). The Royal Family: King Cepheus, Queen Cassiopeia, their daughter Andromeda and Perseus, Hero pivot into the northwest. Aries, the Ram, chases Pegasus, Winged Horse, lower in the west.
Greenish Comet Lovejoy speeds away from the Seven Sisters cluster overhead toward the northwest.
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The Wolf Moon is full at 6:09 p.m. By sunset the bright moon rises in the east.
By 6 a.m. Jupiter leads the Lion lower in the west. Corvus, the Crow, flies across the southwest followed by Spica in Virgo, SpringMaiden.
Silver Saturn rises about 2:30 a.m. and leads huge Scorpius above the southeastern horizon. Antares, a red supergiant, is the heart beating in the Scorpion’s torso. The lid of the Sagittarian Teapot becomes visible on the southeastern horizon. Vega, in Lyra, the Harp, leads the vast Summer Triangle above the northeastern horizon. The Big Dipper hangs in the north. Bright Arcturus sparkles overhead.
Jupiter rises opposite the setting sun and sets in the west at dawn. The King of the Planets drifts closest to Earth and will be brightest for a few weeks. Telescopes reveal the closest four satellite moons orbiting the huge planet.
A Wolf Moon Star Party is planned for 7-10 p.m. Friday at the Fruit & Spice Park, 24801 SW 187th Ave., Homestead. Admission is free. The special event includes moonlit tram rides in the park, campfire, a chance to pet the big white Arctic Wolf and the opportunity to use Southern Cross high-tech equipment to view Comet Lovejoy, Orion’s Nebula, Venus, Jupiter, Wolf Moon, star clusters and more.
Compiled by Barb Yager, Southern Cross Astronomical Society, 305-661-1375, scas.org