Space: Watch the Florida Sky making way for winter stars
Florida Travel Guide to Star Trails
by Linda Jacobson
On Florida mornings you can almost “feel” Fall approaching. We’re on the edge of it. Yes, Florida has seasons and they make their first appearance right around the start of September when the Popash leaves begin falling, and the Pine Lilies start to bloom along our Florida trails.
Changes come to the sky as well, with the Summer Triangle of bright stars Vega, Deneb and Altair appearing overhead in the form of a triangle of bright stars (see star chart). Looking to the West, as twilight approaches, are the Planets Mars and Saturn ahead of the Constellation of Scorpio to the Southwest, which actually does look like it’s namesake.
This apparent sky movement is making way for the bright Winter stars Aldebaran in Taurus on our East Horizon, along with bright red giant star Betelgeuse in Orion just peeking through the trees at 3:10am, so before sunrise you have a good opportunity to greet the Winter Constellation of Orion while still being in Summer.
Jupiter is making an appearance to the East around 1:30 a.m. in the constellation of Pisces. Jupiter is beautiful through a telescope and with even a small one that you might have on hand, you can see four of its 63 moons and watch them as they slowly move around the planet over a period of a few hours.
If you want to download a star chart for this month, print out this black and white star chart to help you find the stars.
Exploring a Florida Sky
To explore the night sky further, consider visiting a Planetarium. Planetariums offer a variety of programs for all ages. Some work with local Astronomy Clubs to offer Public Observing Nights through Telescopes! The SouthEastern Planetarium Association called SEPA Domes, lists its member Planetariums.
What is your stargazer tip for this time of the year?
Linda Jacobson is a Blogger in Lehigh Acres, Florida who divides her time between the stars and nature trails. Her Backyard Universe blog is located at AstronomyGal.