Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

This Month's Star Chart

By Sydney Observatory

Your maps of the night sky for May and June.

HIGHLIGHTS IN MAY 2019
The best time to view the Moon with a small telescope or binoculars is a few days either side of its first quarter phase on the 12th. Mars is low in the north-western sky after sunset in the constellation Taurus (the Bull). Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, can be found in the west, forming a part of Canis Major (the Great Dog). High in the sky this month are the constellations of Cancer (the Crab), Leo (the Lion), and Virgo (the Maiden). Crux (the Southern Cross) is well placed for observation as it is now high in the south-east. The Eta Aquariids meteor shower will occur this month. Look for it in the eastern sky in the early morning on the 6th.

HIGHLIGHTS IN JUNE 2019
This month marks the beginning of winter with the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year in the Southern Hemisphere, happening on the 22nd. Mercury is low in the north-western sky after sunset in the constellation Gemini on the 22nd. You may also see Mars just below Mercury. Jupiter can be found high in the east, within the constellation of Ophiuchus (the Serpent Bearer). Prominent in the sky this month are the constellations of Leo (the Lion), Virgo (the Maiden), Libra (the Scales), Scorpius (the Scorpion) and Centaurus (the Centaur). Crux (the Southern Cross), can be found high in the sky
in the same upright-orientation that we see on the Australian flag. Crux can easily be located as it is always adjacent to the so-called Pointer stars of Centaurus.