November 2008 night sky guide and podcast

To help you learn about the southern night sky, Sydney Observatory provides a star map or chart for each month of the year. We also provide an audio guide of the month’s night sky, presented this month by Geoffrey Wyatt, Sydney Observatory Senior Astronomy Educator. You can listen online, or download the audio onto your ipod or mp3 player. Links to the audio and the star map are below.

Geoff points out some of the highlights to look out for in the sky this month, including the constellations Scorpius, Sagittarius (or the Teapot) and Capricornus. Geoff also discusses the influence of ancient mythologies on how we’ve pictured star patterns over the centuries. He suggests we look out for the dazzlingly bright planet, Venus, on the border of the constellations Scorpius and Sagittarius, very early in November in the western sky shortly after sunset. And as the month goes by, Venus will be seen close to Jupiter, low in the western sky after sunset.

There is much more in the audio podcast – or you can read it in the transcript (links below).

For much more information and detail in star charts for months from December 2008 until December 2009 inclusive, plus information about the Sun and twilight and the Moon and tides, and a host of other fascinating astronomical information, you can purchase 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.

November 2008 night sky map

Read the transcript.

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