Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

This Month's Star Chart

By Sydney Observatory

Your map of the night sky this month.

HIGHLIGHTS IN JULY 2018

The best time to look at the Moon with binoculars or telescopes is within a few days either side of first quarter on the 20th. This month there are three bright planets in the evening sky: Jupiter in the north in the constellation Libra, Saturn in the northeast in the constellation of Sagittarius and Venus, in the constellation of Leo. During the months of winter, the constellations of Scorpius (the Scorpion) and Crux (the Southern Cross) are high in the sky. The Southern Cross is easily located using the two nearby pointer stars, which themselves are a part of Centaurus (the Centaur). The brighter of the pointers, Alpha Centauri, is the closest star system to our own, and it was recently discovered that there is a planet orbiting one of the stars in this system.

HIGHLIGHTS IN AUGUST 2018

The best time to look at the moon with a small telescope or binoculars is a few days either side of its first quarter phase, which falls on the 18th. This month there are four bright planets in the evening sky: Jupiter in the north in the constellation Libra, Saturn in the northeast in the constellation of Sagittarius, Mars in the east in the constellation of Capricornus and Venus, in the constellation of Virgo. High in the sky are the constellations Sagittarius (the Archer), Scorpius (the Scorpion) and Crux (the Southern Cross). When viewing the night sky from a dark location, it may be possible to see the white glow of our own galaxy, the Milky Way.