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. We also provide an audio guide of the month’s night sky, presented by one of Sydney Observatory astronomy experts – this month, Nick Lomb, the Museum’s Curator of Astronomy. You can listen online, or download the audio onto your ipod or mp3 player. Links to the audio and the star map are below.
In Nick’s tour of the night sky this month, he recommends looking out for the planets Mars and Saturn, and the constellations Virgo (the Maiden), Corvus (the Crow), Scorpius (the Scorpion) and Crux (the Southern Cross). Nick tells us some fascinating stories about some of the brightest stars in the sky and about some of the stars that we see which are, in fact, double stars. And he tells us where to look to see the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds – though you’ll need to be in a location away from city lights to be able to see them.
For much more information and detail in star charts for months from December 2007 until December 2008 inclusive, plus information about the Sun and twilight and the Moon and tides, and a host of other fascinating astronomical information, we recommend you purchase (only $16.95 and available now) the 2008 Australian sky guide by Sydney Observatory’s Dr Nick Lomb. Available online and at Sydney Observatory and Powerhouse Museum shops.
The free monthly night sky map PDF (below) shows the stars, constellations and planets visible in the night sky from anywhere in Australia. 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.