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.
Allan Kreiuter, Sydney Observatory astronomy educator, tells us that May is a great month for stargazing, because the summer rains and humidity have gone, giving the best chance for clear skies.
Among astronomical highlights for the month, on Sunday 6th and Monday 7th May, if the skies are clear you should be able to see meteor showers associated with the Eta Aquarids. Planets to look out for this month are Saturn and Venus, and constellations visible include the Southern Cross, Scorpius and Orion.
For more about what you’ll see in the southern sky in May, 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.