July’s clear nights provide an excellent opportunity to become familiar with the night sky. One of the best ways to do so is to download a monthly sky description from the Sydney Observatory website, go outside with the drink of your choice and an mp3 player and then settle down comfortably to watch the sky and listen to the description.
If you like you can ‘subscribe’ to the Observatory’s monthly sky description.
July is a great time to start. In the early evening the Southern Cross is at its highest in the south, the bright planet Jupiter is almost overhead and the constellation of Scorpius the Scorpion, a favourite signpost of the Australian winter sky, is high in the eastern sky. And on the evening of Saturday 22 August there will be the fine sight low in the west of the red planet Mars next to the bright star Regulus (see diagram above).