To help you learn about the southern night sky, Sydney Observatory provides a night sky star map or chart for each month of the year (see below). We also provide a complementary audio guide of the month’s night sky (also below), presented by one of Sydney Observatory astronomy experts. You can listen online, or download the audio onto your ipod or mp3 player.
Geoff Wyatt, Sydney Observatory manager and senior astronomy educator, tells us that April is a good month to see the constellations of the Southern Cross, Canis Major, Orion, Taurus and Leo.
A highlight early on the morning of Monday 2nd April if you have a pair of binoculars (7 x 50 would do – and easier if they’re on a tripod) is the opportunity to see four planets: Mercury, Uranus, Mars and Neptune.
If you miss Mars on the 2nd April, on the 14th you’ll be able to see Mars just underneath a waning crescent Moon.
For more about what you’ll see in the southern sky in April, listen to the podcast or read the transcript.
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.
Read the transcript.