Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

This Month's Star Chart

By Sydney Observatory

Your maps of the night sky for January and February.

HIGHLIGHTS IN JANUARY 2019
The best time to view the Moon with a small telescope or pair of binoculars is a few days either side of its first quarter phase on the 14th of January. Mars is high in the north-western sky after sunset in the constellation of Pisces. Prominent in the sky this month, are the constellations of Canis Major (the Great Dog) which includes Sirius – the brightest star in the sky, Orion (the Hunter), which includes the recognisable southern hemisphere asterism of the “Saucepan”. Crux (the Southern Cross) is low in the south-eastern sky and can be located by looking for the two adjacent Pointer stars in the constellation of Centaurus (the Centaur).

HIGHLIGHTS IN FEBRUARY 2019
The best time to view the Moon is a few days either side of its first quarter phase on the 13th February. Mars is in the north-western sky after sunset and moves from the constellation Pisces to Aries on the 13th. Prominent in the sky this month are the constellations of Canis Major (the Great Dog) which includes Sirius – the brightest star in the sky, Orion (the Hunter), which includes the recognisable southern hemisphere asterism of the “Saucepan”. Crux (the Southern Cross) is low in the south-eastern sky although it can be easily confused with the false cross. Crux can be located by looking for the two adjacent Pointer stars in the constellation of Centaurus (the Centaur).