Observations

February 2007 night sky guide and podcast

February 2007 night sky map
Download the full resolution February 2007 sky map below

Dr Nick Lomb, Sydney Observatory Curator of Astronomy tells us that February is a good month to see the constellations of the Southern Cross, Orion and Gemini.

Planets visible in February include Saturn and Venus. Through a small telescope you can see the rings and disk of Saturn – a particularly spectacular sight in the north-east sky just to the left or west of Regulus. Venus can be seen in February, shortly after dark in western sky.

On 7 February, Uranus can be seen through a telescope or binoculars less than two Moon widths away from Venus. It is too faint to be seen with the unaided eye – but Venus provides a pointer to help you find this usually difficult to find and see planet.

On 19 February, a beautiful sight to look out for in the night sky is the thin crescent Moon just below and to the left of Venus.

Nick tells you how and where to find these planets, stars and constellations, and also gives a host of other interesting astronomical information. For example, the brightest star in the constellation of Leo (the Lion) is Regulus (Little King), which is 77 light years away from us. Regulus has a companion star which in 1867 was found to be a double star. So Regulus is known as a triple star. The companion double star is believed to take more than 130,000 years to orbit Regulus.

The night sky map (reached from the link below) 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.

pdf icon February 2007 sky map

Read the transcript.

7 responses to “February 2007 night sky guide and podcast

  • what are the three planets that rise early in the East at around 5pm – a good hour before sunrise? I viewed them this morning in Tamworth as I was walking.
    I am hazarding a guess that they are Jupiter, Mars and Mercury with Mercury closest to the horizon.

    • Hello Ken. You are almost right. They are Jupiter and Mercury close together with Jupiter being the brightest while it is Mars closest to the horizon. They should be a spectacular sight to see. Over the next few days Mercury will move closer to the horizon, passing close to Mars on 2 March 2009.

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  • Daniel you don’t have to look further. The sky in Melbourne or Adelaide or Perth is little different from that in Sydney. Hence the sky map and podcast are applicable in all those cities and basically throughout Australia. Keep looking up!

    Nick Lomb

  • Hi, Does anyone know if there is a sky guide like this for Melbourne? I have searched high and low and cant seem to find anything. Sydney you are lucky!

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