At dusk Mercury lingers on the west-northwestern horizon and will follow the setting sun. Jupiter and its satellite moons lie below the Gemini Twins, Castor and Pollux, in the northwest. Aim binoculars to the dim Beehive star cluster to the left of the Twins. Procyon, Orion’s Little Dog, snoozes low in the west. Capella steers Auriga, the Charioteer, toward the northwestern horizon. Leo, the Lion, strides into the west. The Big Dipper edges toward the northwest. Its bowl faces downward toward Polaris, the North Star. Bright Arcturus, the Herdsman, sparkles overhead beyond the tip of the Big Dipper’s handle. The stellar necklace, Corona Borealis, shimmers near the east side of Arcturus. Corvus, the Crow, flies across the southwest.
Bright Mars glows high in the southeast in Virgo. The bright moon floats 2 degrees from Spica in Virgo, the Spring Maiden. Saturn, encircled in icy rings, rises in the southeast in Libra.
About 9:30 p.m., huge Scorpius crawls above the southeastern horizon. Antares, a red super-giant star, is the heart beating in the Scorpion’s torso. Hercules brings Vega, in Lyra, the Harp, and the Summer Triangle higher in the northeast. Vega, the second-brightest star in the northern celestial hemisphere, is reported to have been the North Star in 12,000 B.C.
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The Ring Nebula lies in the constellation Lyra below Vega. Pegasus, the Winged Horse, lifts higher in the east. Late evening, the Sagittarian Teapot, center of our Milky Way Galaxy, shimmers in the southeast. Capricornus, the Sea Goat, appears in the southeast.
Dim blue Neptune rises in the southeast by 1 a.m. in Aquarius and sails across the south before dawn. Fomalhaut twinkles low in the southeast.
At about 5:30 a.m., on its circumpolar path, Capella rises in the northeast. Blue-green Uranus lies to the left of brilliant Venus, the Morning Star. The Teapot follows Scorpius across the southwest. Westbound Hercules leads Vega and the Summer Triangle overhead. Cygnus, the Swan, soars within the Triangle. The Royal Family arrives in the northeast.
By nightfall the bright moon leads Scorpius higher in the southeast.
The Honey Moon is full at 12:11 a.m. The bright moon rises in the southeast at dusk and sets in the west at dawn.
Weather permitting, Southern Cross Astros will arrange high-tech equipment to view evening planets at Bill Sadowski Park on Southwest 176th Street west of Old Cutler Road in Palmetto Bay. Bring chairs, bug repellent containing DEET, binoculars and telescopes. No lights, litter, alcohol or pets.
Compiled by Barb Yager, Southern Cross Astronomical Society, 305-661-1375, scas.org.