Southern Cross Stargazer for Aug. 3-9, 2014


First Quarter Moon occurs at 8:50 p.m. and floats 6 degrees to the right of silver Saturn — encircled in sunlit icy rings — in the south-southwest. Ruddy Mars grows dim about 8 degrees to the right of the moon. The planets set late evening.

Corvus, the Crow, lands on the southwestern horizon. Huge Scorpius crawls across the south. Bright Antares, red heart, beats in the Scorpion’s torso. Antares, a red supergiant, is hundreds of times larger than our sun.

The Sagittarian Teapot (center of our Milky Way Galaxy) shimmers close behind Scorpius. From a very dark site, binoculars will reveal a portion of the Summer Milky Way the resembles steam rising from the Teapot’s spout. The stellar Teaspoon glistens above the Teapot’s left handle.

Beautiful deep sky objects blanket the southern sky. Capricornus, the Sea Goat, wanders across the southeast. Hercules brings Vega, in Lyra the Harp, and the great Summer Triangle onto the Zenith. Cygnus, the Swan, soars within the Triangle. Bright Arcturus, the Herdsman, sparkles in the west. The Big Dipper swings into the northwest. At mid-evening, the Royal Family arrives in the northeast. Pegasus, the Winged Horse, rises in the east. Dim Neptune sails across the southeast in Aquarius. Fomalhaut twinkles low in the southeast. Before midnight blue-green Uranus appears in the southeast in Pisces, the Fish.

This week, from late evening until dawn, early Perseid meteors may be visible. Some “fireballs” were imaged recently by The Perseid Shower will be most active next week but a full moon will interfere


Tonight the bright moon floats above the Sagittarian Teapot.


By 6 a.m., Venus, brilliant Morning Star, glows below the Gemini Twins in the east-northeast. Bright golden Jupiter emerges below them. Capella guides Auriga, Charioteer, higher in the northeast. The Seven Sisters (Pleiades cluster) lead Taurus, Bull, higher in the east-northeast. Aldebaran, (Bull's red eye) winks from the V-shaped Hyades cluster (Bull's face). The Little Dog sits on the eastern horizon. Orion, Hunter, awakens in the east. Uranus follows Neptune into the southwest. Vega leads the Summer Triangle across the northwest. The Royal Family reigns in the north. Aries, Ram, chases Pegasus across the Zenith.


Tonight the second SuperMoon is closest to Earth by 221,765 miles.

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