Download the full resolution January 2007 sky map below
In the audio guide for January 2007 – which is particularly rich in information, with much to see in the night sky – Sydney Observatory curator of astronomy, Dr Nick Lomb tells us that the best time to look at the night sky this month is when there is no Moon or the Moon is not too bright – from 11 January when the Moon is at last quarter to 26 January when the Moon is at first quarter and starting to be bright again.
The Moon will be full on 4 January, and at 7am Eastern Daylight Saving Time on that date it is perihelion – the time when the Earth is closest to the Sun.
In January the Southern Cross, which has been difficult to see for several months because of its low position in the sky, becomes easily visible again at about the 9 o’ clock position – horizontal with the two pointer stars, Alpha and Beta Centauri below.
Nick also tells us where to look for the Milky Way and also for two other galaxies, the Magellanic Clouds, which are quite visible in places away from city lights where the night sky is dark – as you may well be on your holidays.
Constellations visible this month include Taurus and Orion; and star clusters visible are Hyades and Pleiades (or the Seven Sisters – interestingly known as seven sisters or seven women by a number of peoples in the world, including by some Australian Aboriginal peoples).
Two planets can be seen in January: Saturn, low down in the eastern sky an hour or so after dark, and Venus, low down in the western sky immediately or soon after dark – the brightest object in the night sky.
To hear all the detail about the above highlights in the southern night sky in January as well as a lot more background information, just click the audio link below.
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.