Download the full resolution December 2006 sky map below
Sydney Observatory senior astronomy educator Geoff Wyatt tells us that December is a good month, astronomically speaking, for early risers. From about midnight on 15 December, if the sky is clear you should be able to see the Geminid meteor shower low down in the northern sky. And on 19 December, from about 4.30am, Mars and Jupiter are visible (though a little difficult to see), just poking up above the Sun; they are very close to the Moon – very low in the east/south-east.
For those of us who’d rather enjoy the evening sky, Venus is visible shortly after sunset, low in the west; after the Moon, it is the brightest object in the night sky.
Geoff also explains how to find the Southern Cross this month – that is, the real Southern Cross, not the False Cross or the Diamond Cross; and tells us how some Aboriginal communities interpret the Southern Cross.
The night sky map shows the stars, constellations and planets visible in the night sky from Sydney, Australia, and will also be usable at any other place in Australia. Special directions are given to help you locate the Southern Cross, also called Crux, for any time of the year. The locations of two nearby galaxies, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) and the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), are also given. Each month’s chart is placed online at the end of the previous month.
The monthly star maps are provided as PDF or portable document format files. To view PDF star charts you will need to download and install Adobe Acrobat Reader if it’s not on your computer already.