Southern Cross Stargazer for June 29-July 5, 2014


In the evening dusk, check Jupiter as it descends onto the west-northwestern horizon. The sunlit crescent moon with dark earthshine floats a few degrees left of the King of the Planets, and the Gemini Twins hover near the right side of Jupiter. Aim binoculars to the dim Beehive star cluster about 12 degrees directly above Jupiter.

Leo, Lion, stalks his path across the west. Telescopes reveal the dim southbound comet PANSTARRS cruising down across the Lion's head. Spica follows 7 degrees behind Mars. Both are in Virgo in the south. Corvus, Crow, flies across the southwest.

The Big Dipper swings into the northwest. The stellar necklace, Corona Borealis, twinkles a few degrees east of bright Arcturus, Herdsman overhead. Binoculars reveal colorful double stars in the curve of the Dipper's handle. Hercules leads Vega and the Summer Triangle higher in the northeast.

Silver Saturn, wrapped in glowing rings of ice, drifts into the south in Libra. Huge Scorpius clears the southeastern horizon. Bright Antares beats in the Scorpion's torso. The Sagittarian Teapot closely follows Scorpius.

Aim binoculars to the collection of deep sky clusters, nebulas, etc., shimmering in the center of our Milky Way Galaxy in the south. Capricornus, Sea Goat, rises in the southeast. About 11:30 p.m.. dim blue Neptune appears in the southeast in Aquarius. Pegasus, Winged Horse, peers over the eastern horizon.


By 5:30 a.m., the delicate Seven Sisters lead Taurus, Bull, higher in the east-northeast. Brilliant Venus, Morning Star, glows near ruddy Aldebaran in the V-shaped Hyades cluster (Bull's face). Capella rises in the northeast.

The Royal Family arrives in the northeast: King Cepheus, Queen Cassiopeia, daughter Andromeda and Perseus. Pegasus lifts higher in the east. Vega leads the Summer Triangle westward. Cygnus, Swan, soars within the Triangle. The Teapot follows the Scorpion across the southwest.

The Summer Milky Way arches from the Teapot to the Triangle. visible overhead from a dark rural area. The Sea Goat wanders into the southwest. Neptune sails high across the south. Blue-green Uranus floats across the southeast in Pisces, Fish.


At 8 p.m. Earth is its farthest distance from the sun, 94.5 million miles. At dusk, Jupiter hovers near the northwestern horizon and follows the setting sun.


First quarter moon occurs at 7:59 a.m.


First Quarter moon occurs at 7:59 a.m.

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