It is said in the time of Galileo, the Milky Way shone brightly enough to cast a shadow. Now who can ever see the broad band of our galaxy in the night sky? We hide it with bright city lights, go inside our house and flip switches. We no longer honor the night sky.

Ancient cultures measured time by the Moon's phases, the days of each cycle counted out. They knew when the Moon would wax and wane. Who today is aware whether the Moon is crescent, full or gibbous? We no longer honor the night sky.

On a retreat with preteen students, far enough from city lights to see the cosmos, on a night when bright Venus cast a shadow, we asked them to turn off their flashlights, let their eyes adjust,

Trust their steps in starlight.
We honored the night sky.

Juliane Mc Adam, retired middle school language teacher, CA


                                    1922 - 2022





SCAS Stargazer

SEPTEMBER 2023 - Compiled by Barb Yager

Lunar Timetable

Last Quarter Moon Image
Last Quarter Moon September 6th @ 6:21 pm
New Moon Image
New Moon September 14th @ 9:40 pm
First Quarter Moon Image
First Quarter Moon  September 22nd @ 3:22 pm
Full Moon Image
Full Moon September 29th @ 5:58 am


The popular free SOUTHERN CROSS OBSERVATION DECK HAS RE-OPENED in MIAMI-DADE  BILL SADOWSKI Park! Come visit with us  7:30-10 p.m. Saturday's weather permitting. Bring `scopes & binocs, chairs, family, friends, colleagues, students, and bug repellent. Our SCAS Astros have introduced thousands to the awesome beauty of our seasonal night skies since 1986. Please dim headlights at the Park entrance SW 176 St./SW 79 Ave. 1/2 mile west of Old Cutler Road, Palmetto Bay  33157. The small parking lot is near the deck. Face masks are optional.  Check the SCAS Facebook for weather/Holiday cancellations.
For astrophotography instruction visit our free D'AURIA outdoor observatory, Saturdays from dusk -10 P.M. 23325 SW 217 Avenue, Homestead 33031. Park outside the gate. No white lights, lanterns, lasers. litter, alcohol, or pets at both sites. For membership open www.scas.org
ENJOY SCAS PUBLIC STAR PARTIES:        Weather permitting!
Saturday evenings dusk- 10 p.m.
SCAS Observation Deck in Miami-Dade Bill Sadowski Park SW 176 St./SW 79 Ave. Palmetto Bay 33157  free
D'Auria Observatory  23325  SW 217 Ave.dusk-10 p.m.  astrophotograqphy information  free
No white lights, lanterns, lasers, litter, alcohol, or pets at either location.


No Major Meteor Showers this monrth


Open the link: News and Information about Meteor Showers

Here are some tips on how to maximize your time looking for meteors and fireballs during any meteor shower:

  • Get out of the city to a place where the city and artificial lights do not impede your viewing
  • If you are out viewing the shower during its peak, you will not need any special equipment. You should be able to see the shower with your naked eyes.
  • Carry a blanket or a comfortable chair with you - viewing meteors, just like any other kind of stargazing is a waiting game, and you need to be comfortable. Plus, you may not want to leave until you can't see the majestic celestial fireworks anymore.


In case you missed it......

October 2022 Sky & Telescope p. 62 features photos of our two famous SCAS astronomers. The late Don Parker, M.D., renowned Mars astrophotographer, and the late Tippy D'Auria, founder of our annual Winter Star Party were in a group of professional astronomers, editors, and photographers who drove to the Florida Keys in June 2001 to hopefully capture Martian flares of light. All were members of the Assoc. of Lunar & Planetary Observers.  The intriguing article begins on P. 59.



Discovered by a Japanese  astronomer mid August, the brightening comet may be visible low in the ENE  around dawn.
With daily updates, the comet is expected to be closest to Earth 9/12 at 78 million miles from Earth. The comet's perihelion will occur 9/17 at 27 million miles from the Sun.  Check daily updates.  Currently in the constellation Cancer the comet will zip into Leo  mid-September and into Virgo late this month.  On September 11th it could reach 4.9 magnitude in the sickle of Leo, Lion.  About 9/15 Comet Nishimura will transition into the evening sky near Denebola,  the tail of the Lion in the ENE.  If the comet survives a close pass by the Sun  9/17 it will be visible in binoculars.
It could fade by early October.
-Guy Ottewell & Stellarium

05-  The  eastbound comet will zip 4 degrees above Algol in Perseus and enter Auriga by the 15th. 

Open the link: News and information about Bright Comets





When night skies gradually improve in clarity as the Monsoon season winds down, our SCAS Observing sites will open to members and the public.
D`AURIA OBSERVATORY- 23325 SW 217 Ave. Homestead 33031 opens 7:30 -10 p.m. for astrophotography assistance and general observing.
S. CROSS OBSERVATORY, MiamiDade Bill Sadowski Park 8-10 p.m.  SW 176 St./SW 79 Ave..
Palmetto Bay 33157  for equipment assistance. and grand tour of the night sky if weather permits.
In our 37th year at the Park offering  successful astronomy education for the public.
No white lights, lasers, flashlights, lanterns, litter, alcohol or pets at both sites   Free.
We operate by starlight !   


Recently, member Dan Zuckerman replaced and upgraded his ham equipment. He was chatting with folks in Europe.  
Do we have some retired, or new SCAS ham operators who would like to establish a SCAS radio dept?  
It could become very convenient, or necessary in certain future conditions. Consider the astronomy information shared and maybe international SCAS members!
Contact me (Barb) if you wish to link up with Dan.  barbyager@aol.com.


We are meeting with the ZooMiami staff to schedule safe solar viewing events at their main entrance 2400 SW 152 St. later this year.
Interested to join our new solar team? Contact me: barbyager@aol.com. If you have solar equipment or want to help leave your name and phone on the email of Past President Dr. Lester Shalloway  drlester3@aol.com so we will have a healthy group for the partial solar eclipse Saturday, October 14 and other solar events. The Sun is exploding in its very active cycle.

Radio hams are trying new methods to detect early strong solar flares.
Recently some powerful solar energy shifted the frequency of government radio stations that broadcast time by atomic clocks.

Check Spaceweather.com and open the link  News and Information of Meteor Showers for latest daily NASA info and stunning images.
                                                EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS!




In July, Vega rises in the NE early evenings and dominates our summer evening skies until late fall. It sparkles in the constellation Lyra the Harp but is the lead star in the vast Summer Triangle. A variable star, its brightness fluctuates as it rotates every 12.5 hours. Vega is the 2nd brightest summer star compared to red giant Arcturus (located below the Big Dipper). Vega is 455 million years old. About July 1st, Vega will cross the meridian at Midnight. In 210,000 years Vega will become the brightest star in the summer night sky.
Astrophotography began in 1840 when John William Draper took a daguerro-type image of the Moon. Vega was the first star photographed by astronomers at Harvard College Observatory, Boston in August 1872.
In 2005, the Spitzer space telescope revealed infra red images of a dust band around the star.


Aim to the south to capture the famous globular cluster that contains millions of stars. An awesome sight   it's visible about 20 degrees above the southern horizon briefly early evening.


01-  Pioneer 11 completed its first Saturn flyby in 1979.
03- Viking-2 landed on Mars  1976.
23- Neptune was discovered in 1846.  The ice planet ended its  first recorded solar orbit in 2011..






ISS - Miami Track


Monday 11th 5:52 A.M. NW - SE 86 degrees max 5r minutes.
Monday 11th 8:51 P.M SW - NNE 55 degrees max 5 minutes.

Open the Link: News and Information about ISS passes over Miami.

                     Have something interesting and astronomy related you would like to contribute, send a brief 1-2 paragraph
 article to our Stargazer editor: barbyager@aol.com

Clear Sky Clock




 Mars (sets early)  Saturn  Jupiter  Neptune (opposition)   2 comets a.m.   Equinox


01-  At dusk Mars lingers on the western horizon.   Saturn rises in the SE  by sunset.  Jupiter rises in the east about 10 p.m.  Fomalhaut and its star system twinkle on the SE horizon.
03-  Late evening  the Moon hangs 5 degrees above  Jupiter in the east.
06- LAST QTR. MOON occurs at  6:21 p.m.
14- NEW MOON  oiccurs  9:40 p.m.
16- Spica, in Virgo the Spring Maiden, lingers low in the SW.  Mars, the Warrior planet, slides off the western horizon toward the Sun.
20- Huge Scorpius crawls across the SW. Aim equipment to the crater-covered crescent MOON and dark Earthshine. The MOON lies 4 degrees from ruddy Antares (red supergiant hundreds of times larger than our Sun). Antares is known as the red heart beating in the Scorpion's torso.
23- Tonight  the MOON lies in the Sagittarian Teapot (center of our Milky Way Galaxy) .  The tilted Teapot pours onto the Scorpion's tail.  They set early.  
AUTUMNAL EQUINOX  occurs. See morning segment.
26- The bright MOON and silver Saturn are 3 degrees apart. in the SE.  
29- The HARVEST MOON is full in the predawn.









The BIG DIPPER  swings into the NW.   The colorful double stars twinkle from the curve in the handle.  Bright ARCTURUS (red giant)  sparkles low in the west.
Ruddy ANTARES  glistens in huge SCORPIUS low in the SW, closely followed by the Sagittarian  TEAPOT in the south.  CAPRICORNUS , Sea Goat plods across the south..
Silver SATURN floats high above Fomalhaut in the SE in Aquarius.  HERCULES leads VEGA and the vast SUMMER TRIANGLE overhead. The  GREAT SQUARE OF PEGASUS  rises ARIES, RAM jumps over the eastern  horizon.  The  ROYAL FAMILY appears in the NE.










Saturn,  Venus, Jupiter Uranus, Mercury  

2  Comets    Neptune  opposition   Eqjuinox   ISS   Harvest  Moon


01-  MOON drifts 1.4 degrees  below Neptune 3 a.m.
01-05-  Eastbound COMET HARTLEY at dim 8th magnitude cruises 3 degrees above Algol, in  Perseus, 
05-  The MOON floats  4 degrees above blue-green Uranus  3 degrees  right of the delicate 7 Sisters (Pleiades cluster) at 5 a.m. in the ENE.  Bright Jupiter glows to the left of brilliant Venus--Morning Star. 
Look for COMET  NISHIMURA  in the constallation Cancer in the NE at dawn.
11-  At dawn the waning thin MOON lies 3 degrees left of the Beehive cluster.  Could make an intriguing image. 
12-  Venus  shines  7 degrees below the Beehive cluster in Cancer.  the old thin MOON leads Leo, Lion  higher in the east.  Mercury appears on the eastern horizon.  
COMET  NISHIMURA  will be closest to Earth  by 78 million miles.  By mid-month the Comet will zip into the head of Leo, Lion in the east.  
15-  The Comet will  cruise by the Lion's tail into the evening sky.  Late in the month, if the Comet survives, it will slide into Virgo.  It may be visible in binoculars.  Check daily updates. 
17- The Comet  will reach perihelion,  27 million miles  from the Sun. 
19- NEPTUNE  OPPOSITE THE SUN at 7 a.m.  the ice planet will rise in the SE at sunset,  arrive at the meridan by Midnight and set in the WSW at  dawn.  V enus will be brightest  at -4.8 magnitude at dawn. 
22-  Mercury  reaches highest point, 10 degrees, above the Eastern horizon. 
19-  At 7 a.m. Neptune lies opposite the rising Sun. Tonight it rises in the SE at sunset and will be closest to Earth.
At dawn Venus will be its brightest -4.8 magnitude.
22- Mercury climbs to its highest altitude, 10 degrees above the eastern horizon.
29- The bright HARVEST MOON becomes full at 5:58 a.m.  Tonight  the MOON will rises in the east at sunset and set in the west at dawn. 




The Royal Family swings into the NW: King Cepheus, Queen Cassiopeia, daughter Andromeda and Perseus, Hero.  
Aries, Ram butts its head on the western horizon. Orion, Hunter, chasses Taurus, Bull  westward. Procyon, Orion's Little Dog, follows Orion.  
Blue Sirius sparkles in Orion's Big Dog in the SW.  The Pups  trail across the south.  Bright Capella guides Auriga  toward the NW.  
The Gemini Twins: Castor & Pollux  stride overhead.  The Beehive cluster shimmers in Cancer below the Twins.  Leo, Lion crawls higher in the east.  
Spica, in Virgo, rises in the east.  The Big Dipper appears in the NE. Bright Arcturus, red giant, sparkles in the ENE.