Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

This Month's Star Chart

By Sydney Observatory

Your maps of the night sky for July and August.

READING THE CHARTS
The star charts shos the stars and constellations visible in the night sky for Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Adelaide and Perth for
July and August at about 7.30pm (local standard time). For Darwin and similar northerly locations, the chart will still apply, but some stars will be lost off the southern edge while extra stars will be visible to the north. Stars down to a brightness or magnitude limit of 4.5 are shown on the star charts.

To use these star charts, rotate them so that the direction you are facing (north, south, east or west) is shown at the bottom. The centre of the chart represents the point directly above your head, called the zenith point, and the outer circular edge represents the horizon.

HIGHLIGHTS IN JULY 2019
The best time to look at the Moon with binoculars or telescopes is within a few days either side of first quarter on the 9th. This month there are two bright planets in the evening sky: Jupiter in the northeast in the constellation Ophiuchus and Saturn in the east in the constellation of Sagittarius. 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 2019
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 8th. This month
there are two bright planets in the evening sky: Jupiter high in the north in the constellation Ophiuchus and Saturn in the northeast in the constellation of Sagittarius. 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.