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 the link below). We also provide an audio guide of the month’s night sky, presented by one of Sydney Observatory astronomy experts (this link also below). You can listen online, or download the audio onto your ipod or mp3 player.
Dr Nick Lomb, Sydney Observatory curator of astronomy, guides us through the highlights of the southern night sky which, for the month of August, include the constellations: Scorpius, Sagittarius, Lyra and Crux (the Southern Cross); and the planet Jupiter (including, with a small telescope, its four Galilean moons).
Nick also provides information about the total eclipse of the Moon (when the Moon moves into the Earth’s shadow) on the evening of Tuesday 28 August.
One of Nick’s helpful tips this month is that if you are planning to use our sky chart, below, or the more detailed information and chart in the book, ‘Australian night sky guide’, then, it’s a good idea to cover your torch with red cellophane, as white light adversely affects your adaptation to the dark.
For more about what you’ll see in the southern sky in August, 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.