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The Southern Sky Guide
Thi rd Edi Ti on
Both novice and advanced skywatchers will value this comprehensive and easy-to-use guide
to the brilliant and ever-changing sights of the southern sky by night.
Readers are introduced to the many and varied objects in the sky and their movements and
changing appearances, as well as the ancient myths and legends entwined around the
groupings of stars.
Featured in this book are two groups of sky charts, designed so that readers can move easily
between them. The 24 Skyviews show the appearance of the whole night sky every two weeks
(or at each hour of sidereal time). The 20 Sky Charts show particular areas of the night sky
in detail and are accompanied by explanatory text.
This new edition features:
• digitallyre-drawnSkyviews,SkyChartsandmapofthesurfaceoftheMoon
• atableofplanetpositionsupto2017.
David Ellyard is an award-winning freelance science writer and broadcaster with a life-long
passion for astronomy.
Wil Tirion is a Dutch celestial cartographer and is widely regarded as the leading exponent
of his art in the world.
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_00.indd 1 7/5/08 11:30:09 AM
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_00.indd 2 7/5/08 11:30:09 AM
The
Southern Sky
Guide
Thi rd Edi Ti on
david Ellyard and Wil Tirion
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_00.indd 3 7/5/08 11:30:10 AM
CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo
Cambridge University Press
The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 8RU, UK
First published in print format
ISBN-13 978-0-521-71405-1
ISBN-13 978-0-511-47858-1
© David Ellyard and Wil Tirion 2008
2008
Information on this title: www.cambridge.org/9780521714051
This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the
provision of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part
may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press.
Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy
of urls for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this publication,
and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain,
accurate or appropriate.
Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York
www.cambridge.org
eBook (EBL)
paperback
ThE panorama of ThE niGhT Sky 1
Starting with the stars 1
Star stories 1
The stars by name 6
Brighter and fainter stars 6
How far away are the stars? 6
Stars of many colours 7
Sizes and distances in the sky 8
More than one at a time 8
Stars that change 8
The heavens in motion 9
mapping the sky 9
The line around the middle 9
The grid of the sky: (a) declination 12
The grid of the sky: (b) right ascension 12
Sun and moon 12
The ecliptic and the zodiac 12
Sky change throughout the year 13
The moving Moon 13
Eclipses 14
The face of the Moon 14
The planets 14
The movements of the outer planets 14
The movements of the inner planets 16
Which planet? 16
The waltz of the planets 16
Satellites, comets, meteors, minor planets 17
a variety of sights 17
Stars get together 17
The Milky Way 18
Nebulae, dark and bright 18
Nebulae beyond 18
ThE SkyviEWS 21
Using the Skyviews 21
The Skyviews 1–24 23
ThE niGhT Sky in dETail 47
Using the Sky Charts 47
The Sky Charts 1–20 48
appEndixES 89
a: Using binoculars and telescopes 89
B: planet positions 90
indEx 97
liST of TaBlES
Table 1. The 88 constellations 2–3
Table 2. The 25 brightest stars 7
Table 3. Main meteor showers 17
Table 4. Choosing the right Skyview 21
Table 5. Planet positions 2008–2017 91–95
liST of illUSTraTionS
Constellations 4–5
Whole-sky map 10–11
The main features of the surface of the Moon 15
The Skyviews 23–46
The Sky Charts 48–87
v
ConTEnTS
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_00.indd 5 7/5/08 11:30:10 AM
vi
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1
When the night sky is dark and clear, it presents a daz zling
spec ta cle. Myriads of stars, glowing patches of gas, a planet or
two, the Moon in its phases, perhaps a meteor shower, an
eclipse of the Moon or even a comet, all such sights are there
for the taking by anyone who cares to look up.
Even when dimmed by city lights and smog, the night sky
is worth a long look. The pano rama is con stantly chang ing,
with the view never quite the same, even on suc ces sive nights.
There is always some thing of inter est, some sight to appre­
ciate, whether you are viewing with binoc u lars, a small tele­
scope, or just with your unaided eyes.
Astronomy, the science of the stars, is perhaps the most
ancient form of method i cal human knowl edge. To track the
paths of the celes tial lights today is to retrace the steps of the
frst observ ers many thou sands of years ago.
Starting with the stars
Most of the things we see in the night sky are stars, vast balls
of glowing gas similar to our Sun but so far away from us that
they are reduced to mere points of light, scat tered mostly at
random across the heavens. The unaided human eye can detect
about 6000 stars under dark, clear con di tions, but less than
half of those are visible at any one time.
For thou sands of years, sky watch ers in various cul tures have
been group ing the stars together into unchang ing pat terns
know as constellations or ast er isms (both expres sions come
from Greek or Latin words for ‘star’). These change their posi­
tions and orien ta tions in the sky through out the night and the
year, but their shapes do not vary notice ably. You can always pick
them out and together they (and the brighter stars in them)
form a grid of famil iar ref er ence points across the night sky.
Nowadays, 88 con stel la tions are off cially rec og nised. Many
other con stel la tions have been devised over the cen tu ries but
have now fallen into disuse. All con stel la tions have names, and
the older and more spec tac u lar ones have myths and legends
asso ciated with them in many cul tures. The best known of
these stories are drawn from the mythol ogy of ancient Greece
and Rome, tales of gods, mon sters, heroes and great deeds.
Star stories
For example, the story of Andromeda, the maiden chained
to the rock, is recounted in no less than six con stel la tions.
Among the stars we fnd Andromeda herself, the monster
Cetus sent to devour her, her rescuer Perseus, her parents
Cepheus and Cassiopeia, and the won der ful winged horse
Pegasus (even though it was only periph eral to the
Andromeda story).
The leg en dary quest of the Argonauts for the Golden Fleece
has many memo ri als in the sky. In addi tion to their ship, the
mighty Argo itself, now broken into its Keel (Carina), Sail
(Vela), Poop (Puppis) and Compass (Pyxis), we also fnd the
won der ful ram that pro vided the feece (Aries), some of the
Argonauts (Gemini the Twins, Hercules and Orpheus the
Musician, through his harp Lyra), and even the centaur Chiron
(Centuarus) who tutored the expe di tion leader Jason.
There are still more, if you take the fgure of Ophiuchus,
the man holding a serpent, to be Aescalepius, the ship’s doctor
on the Argo, or the north ern fgure of Draco to be the serpent
that guarded the sacred grove where the Fleece hung, or Taurus
to be one of the fre breath ing bulls with horns of brass that
Jason had to tame. Strangely, Jason himself is not on show.
There are some vivid scenes. Orion the Hunter, accom pa­
nied by his two dogs (Canis Major and Canis Minor), is in
trouble with a charg ing bull (Taurus), and is unknow ingly
tram pling on a hare (Lepus). Ophiuchus has his hands full
with the serpent. The two cen taurs are pre oc cu pied; Centaurus
is fght ing a wolf (Lupus) and Sagittarius the Archer has an
arrow aimed at the fear some Scorpion. Leo recalls the Nemean
Lion slain by the mighty Hercules as one of his 12 labours,
and Cancer the Crab that bit his heel while he was bat tling
with the many headed Hydra (and was crushed as a result).
In the sky, Hercules has his foot on the head of a Dragon. So
the struggle goes on.
The posi tions of some of the star groups are sig nif cant.
Crater the Cup, Corvus the Crow and Hydra the Water Snake
lie close together because of the story they share (see text to
Sky Chart 8). Orion, so the legend goes, met his end when
stung by the Scorpion. As a result, they are on oppo site sides
of the sky, one rising while the other sets.
Libra the Scales, lying between Virgo the Young Maiden and
Scorpius, has links to both. As the Goddess of Justice, Virgo
weighed the evi dence on the scales near at hand. But in some
old lists, Libra was not its own con stel la tion but the greatly
enlarged claws on the Scorpion coming close behind. In one
region of the sky, all the star groups have to do with water.
Most likely, this served as a cal en dar, indi cat ing when the rains
would come.
Not all the con stel la tions are so excit ing. Many are quite
dull, espe cially those more recently named in south ern skies
which could not be seen from the Middle East in ancient
times. Among these we fnd many sci en tifc instru ments!
Constellations vary greatly in size and many are surprisingly
THE PANORAMA OF THE NIGHT SKY
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large, though this is perhaps not so surprising when we
realise only 88 cover the whole sky. The largest of all (though
not otherwise spectacular) is Hydra at more than 1300 square
degrees, six or seven times bigger than your hand at arm’s
length. Virgo is not far behind, and half a dozen are 1000
square degrees or more. At the other end of the scale, the
Southern Cross is less than 70 square degrees in size, and half
a dozen thumbs will hide it.
2
Table 1. The 88 constellations
Size(square Monthwhen Goto
Propername Meaning degrees) 25brighteststars highestat8p.m. Chart
Andromeda The Chained Maiden 722 November 13
Antlia The Air Pump 239 April 8
Apus The Bird of Paradise 206 July 3
Aquarius The Water­Carrier 980 October 12
Aquila The Eagle 652 Altair August 19
Ara The Altar 237 July 3
Aries The Ram 441 December 13
Auriga The Charioteer 657 Capella February 15
Bootes The Herdsman (or 907 Arcturus June 17
Waggoner or Ploughman)
Caelum The Engraving Tool 125 January 1
Camelopardalis The Giraffe 757
Cancer The Crab 506 March 15
Canes Venatici The Hunting Dogs 465 June 17
Canis Major The Big Dog 380 Sirius, Adhara February 7
Canis Minor The Little Dog 183 Procyon February 7, 15
Carpricornus The Sea­Goat 414 September 11
Carina The Keel (of Argo) 494 Canopus March 2
Cassiopeia (mother of Andromeda) 598
Centaurus The Centaur 1060 Rigil Kentaurus May 3, 9
(Alpha Centauri),
Hadar (Beta Centauri)
Cepheus (father of Andromeda) 588
Cetus The Sea Monster (or Whale) 1231 November 5
Chamaeleon The Chamaeleon 132 April 2
Circinius The Pair of Compasses 93 May 3
Columba The Dove 270 February 6
Coma Berenices Berenice’s Hair 386 May 17
Corona Australis The Southern Crown 128 July 4, 11
Corona Borealis The Northern Crown 179 June 18
Corvus The Crow 184 May 9
Crater The Cup 282 April 8
Crux The (Southern) Cross 68 Acrux, Mimosa, Gacrux May 3
Cygnus The Swan 804 Deneb September 19
Delphinus The Dolphin 189 September 19
Dorado The Gold­Fish 179 February 1
Draco The Dragon 1083
Equuleus The Colt 72 September 19, 20
Eridanus The River 1138 Achernar December 1, 6
Fornax The Furnace 398 December 1, 5
Gemini The Twins 514 Pollux, Castor February 15
Grus The Crane 366 October 4
Hercules 1225 July 18
Horologium The Clock 249 December 1
Hydra The Female Water­Snake 1303 April 8, 9
Hydrus The Male Water­Snake 243 December 1
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A full list of the 88 con stel la tions, the mean ings of their
names, their bright est stars, their sizes, their posi tions in the
sky and on the maps in this book is given in Table 1. Pages 4–5
provide a frst look at the better­known and more spec tac u lar
star groups in the form of dia grams marking their shapes and
more notable stars. More details on these (and more on the
stories asso ciated with them) can be found along side the Sky
Charts later in this book (pages 48–87).
3
Table 1. (cont.)
Size(square Monthwhen Goto
Propername Meaning degrees) 25brighteststars highestat8p.m. Chart
Indus The Indian 294 September 4
Lacerta The Lizard 201 September 20
Leo The Lion 947 Regulus April 16
Leo Minor The Lesser Lion 232 April 16
Lepus The Hare 290 January 6
Libra The Scales 538 June 9, 10
Lupus The Wolf 334 June 3
Lynx The Lynx 545 March 15
Lyra The Harp 286 Vega August 19
(Mons) Mensa The Table Mountain 153 February 1, 2
Microscopium The Microscope 210 September 4
Monoceros The Unicorn 482 February 7
Musca The Fly 138 May 3
Norma (et Regula) The Level (and Square) 165 July 3
Octans The Octant 291 All months 3, 4
Ophiuchus The Man with the Serpent 948 July 10
Orion The Hunter 594 Rigel, Betelgeuse January 6
Pavo The Peacock 378 October 4
Pegasus The Winged Horse 1121 October 20
Perseus (rescuer of Andromeda) 615 December 14
Phoenix The Phoenix 469 November 1
Pictor The Painter’s Easel 247 February 1
Pisces The Fish 889 November 4, 13
Piscis Austrinus The Southern Fish 245 Fomalhaut October 12
Puppis The Poop (of Argo) 673 February 2, 7
Pyxis The Compass (of Argo) 221 March 2
Reticulum The Reticule 114 December 1
Sagitta The Arrow 80 August 19
Sagittarius The Archer 867 August 11
Scorpius The Scorpion 497 Antares, Shaula July 10
Sculptor The Sculptor’s Chisel 475 November 5
Scutum The Shield 109 July 12
Serpens The Serpent 637 July 10, 11
Sextans The Sextant 314 April 8
Taurus The Bull 797 Aldebaran January 6, 14
Telescopium The Telescope 252 August 4
Triangulum The Triangle 132 December 13
Triangulum Australe The Southern Triangle 110 July 3
Tucana The Toucan 295 November 1, 4
Ursa Major The Great Bear 1280 April 16
Ursa Minor The Little Bear 256
Vela The Sail (of Argo) 500 March 2
Virgo The Young Maiden 1294 Spica May 9
Volans The Flying Fish 141 February 2
Vulpecula The Fox 268 September 19
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_01.indd 3 7/5/08 11:30:37 AM
4
+10o
+30o
5
h
2
h
+30o
+10o
+10o
–30o
9
h
7
h
1
h
3
h
–30o
0o
6
h
5
h
+60o
+30o
3
h
0
h
–10o
–30o
12
h

6
0
o
–30o
12
h
15
h 0o
+30o
0
h 22
h
S
S
S
S
S
TAURUS, ARIES
Best visible: December – January
CETUS
Best visible:
November – January
PEGASUS
Best visible:
October – November
LUPUS, CENTAURUS, CRUX
Best visible:
April – August
PERSEUS, ANDROMEDA
Best visible: December
VELA, CARINA, PUPPIS
Best visible: January – May
CORVUS, CRATER
Best visible:
March – June
CANCER, GEMINI
Best visible:
January – March
CANIS MINOR, ORION,
CANIS MAJOR, LEPUS
Best visible: January – March
E
C
L
I P
T
I C
E C
L I P T I C
E CL I P T I C
Aldebaran
Pleiades
Betelgeuse
Algol
Rigil Kentaurus
Hadar
Mimosa
SCORPIUS
LIBRA
HYDRA
VELA
AQUARIUS
PISCES
ANDROMEDA
CARINA
TAURUS
PISCES
PEGASUS
ARIES
PERSEUS
ANDROMEDA
PERSEUS
ANDROMEDA
PISCES
CETUS
ORION
GEMINI
TAURUS
ARIES
CANIS
MAJOR
CRUX
CENTAURUS
VELA
PUPPIS
CARINA
VIRGO
HYDRA
HYDRA
HYDRA
CRATER
CORVUS
TAURUS
PUPPIS
PISCES
CANIS MINOR
ORION
TAURUS
LEO
HYDRA
ARIES
ORION
CANIS MINOR
CANIS
MAJOR
LEPUS
CETUS
GEMINI
CANCER
LUPUS
CENTAURUS
PEGASUS
CRUX
Acrux
Canopus
Acrux
Adhara

6
0
o

3
0
o
12
h
9 h
6
h
S
S
S
S
Pollux
Castor
Procyon
Betelgeuse
Procyon
Rigel
Sirius
Mira
Adhara
AQUARIUS
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_01.indd 4 7/5/08 11:30:40 AM
5

2
0
o
+
2
0
o
1
4
h
1
2
h
0o
+30o
12
h 10
h
S
S
LEO
Best visible:
March – May
AQUARIUS
Best visible:
September – November
PISCES
Best visible:
October – December
PISCIS AUSTRINUS, GRUS
Best visible:
August – December
VIRGO
Best visible:
April – June
BOOTES
Best visible:
May – July
Arcturus
Arcturus
Spica
Regulus
VIRGO
CANCER
HYDRA
LEO
BOOTES
LIBRA VIRGO
VIRGO
LUPUS
OPHIUCHUS
SCORPIUS
LIBRA
CORVUS
GRUS
PISCIS AUSTRINUS
PISCES
AQUARIUS
CRATER
HYDRA
–30o
+
10o
18
h
1
6h
S
OPHIUCHUS, SERPENS
Best visible:
June – August
CAPRICORNUS, SAGITTARIUS
Best visible:
July – October
SERPENS
CAUDA
SERPENS
CAPUT
OPHIUCHUS
LEO
VIRGO
BOOTES
CAPRICORNUS
SAGITTARIUS
SCORPIUS
LEO
CANCER
VIRGO
CENTAURUS
AQUARIUS
AQUARIUS
ARIES
CETUS
PISCES
CAPRICORNUS
PISCIS AUSTRINUS
PEGASUS
ANDROMEDA
AQUARIUS
SCORPIUS SAGITTARIUS
SAGITTARIUS
–10o
–40o
21
h
1
8 h
+20o
+50o
14
h
16
h
S
S
S
0o
–30o
12
h
9
h
S
HYDRA ( + Corvus, Crater)
Best visible:
March – May
SCORPIUS, LIBRA
Best visible: May – August
0o
0o
–30o
–30o
–50o
+30o
23
h
23
h
21
h
21
h
23
h
2
h
–10o
–40o
15
h
18
h
S
S
S
Fomalhaut
Fomalhaut
Antares
Regulus
Spica
E
C
L
I
P
T
I
C
E
C
L
I P
T
I C
E
C
L
I P
T
I C
E
C
L
I
P
T
I
C
E CL I P T I C
E
C
L
I P
T
I C
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_01.indd 5 7/5/08 11:30:40 AM
The stars by name
The night sky is a friendly place. You can greet many of the
stars by name. At least 100 of the brighter stars have proper
names, mostly Greek, Latin or (par tic u larly) Arabic in origin.
For example, Fomalhaut means ‘the mouth of the fsh’, and
Rigel means ‘the foot’ (of Orion). Antares means ‘the rival of
Ares’, because its red colour is similar to that of the planet Ares
(now called Mars). Regulus in Leo the Lion means ‘little king’
and Deneb is ‘the tail’ of Cygnus the Swan. It is ftting that
Sirius, the bright est of the night­sky stars, has a name meaning
‘the spark ling one’. Many of these names have become very
garbled over the cen tu ries and their origins are hard to fnd.
Astronomers do not use these names much, espe cially as
only the brighter stars have them. Instead they follow a prac tice
popu lar ised in the early seven teenth century by the German
astron o mer Johann Bayer, though the system dates back to
Ptolemy. They attach the letters of the Greek alpha bet (alpha,
beta, gamma, delta, epsilon, and so on) to the stars in a con stel­
la tion in general order of bright ness. After the letter comes the
name of the con stel la tion in the pos ses sive (or gen i tive) form.
When the Greek letters run out (which does not take long in
most con stel la tions) ordi nary Roman letters are used.
For example, Antares (which marks the heart in the strik­
ing con stel la tion of Scorpius the Scorpion) is off cially
Alpha Scorpii. Rigel, Betelgeuse and Bellatrix in Orion the
Hunter are respec tively Alpha, Beta and Gamma Orionis.
Regulus is Alpha Leonis and so on. The bright est star in a
con stel la tion is usually called alpha, but this is not always
the case. For example, Pollux in Gemini the Twins is brighter
than his brother Castor but is ranked as Beta Geminorum.
The discrepancy is some times due to stars varying in bright­
ness over the years, as with Betelgeuse in Orion, which is
now notice ably fainter than Rigel.
The two ‘pointers’ that indi cate the way to the Southern
Cross are known both as Rigil Kentaurus (‘the foot of the
Centaur’) and Hadar (for ‘ground’) and as Alpha and Beta
Centauri, being the bright est stars in the con stel la tion of
Centaurus the Centaur. The Southern Cross itself is known as
Crux Australis. Its fve main stars in order clock wise, begin­
ning at the bottom, are Alpha Crucis (also called Acrux), Beta
Crucis (Mimosa), Gamma Crucis (at the top), Delta Crucis
and Epsilon Crucis.
TheGreekalphabet
A o alpha N v nu¯
B µ be¯ta E ( xı ¯
! y gamma O o omicron
A o delta H r pı ¯
I e epsı ¯lon ! p rho¯
Z ( ze¯ta l o ; sigma
H q e¯ta T r tau
O 0 the¯ta Y u upsı ¯lon
! t io¯ta 4 ç phı ¯
K k kappa X ¡ chı ¯
A X lambda + | psı ¯
M µ mu¯ U e o¯ mega
Another naming system was begun by English Astronomer
Royal John Flamsteed in 1725. This numbers the stars in a
con stel la tion by posi tion, usually by increas ing right ascen­
sion (see page 12), for example, 61 Cygni. Brighter stars will
have several names. Betelgeuse is 58 Orionis as well as Alpha
Orionis. There are other naming systems for var i able stars and
for double stars, usually based on various cat a logues.
Brighter and fainter stars
Not all the stars look the same. They differ, not only in their
posi tions in the sky, but also in their colours and bright nesses.
The bright ness of a star is indi cated by its mag ni tude, making
use of a system going back nearly 2000 years to the Greek
astron o mer Ptolemy. He divided the bright nesses of the
naked­eye stars into six levels, with the bright est stars being
of the frst mag ni tude. Those stars are roughly two and a half
times brighter than the more numer ous second mag ni tude
stars, which are in turn two and a half times brighter than the
even more plen ti ful third mag ni tude stars. This means that a
frst mag ni tude star is six times brighter than a third mag ni­
tude star, and 100 times brighter than a sixth mag ni tude star,
the faint est visible without aid.
Nowadays this system had been extended. Magnitudes can
be sub di vided, so that 2.3 is just fainter than 2.2, and just
brighter than 2.4. First mag ni tude stars are those brighter
than 1.5 (there are 21 of these), second mag ni tude objects are
brighter than 2.5, and so on. Originally, the bright ness of stars
was judged by the expe ri enced eye; modern instru ments
assess bright ness to one hun dredth of a mag ni tude.
Very bright objects have neg a tive mag ni tudes, such as the
Sun (minus 27), the Moon (minus 12), some planets (for
example, Venus can reach minus 4) and even some of the
bright est stars (for example, Sirius is now off cially listed as
mag ni tude minus 1.5). The system works for fainter stars as
well, with the faint est stars detect able with the largest tele­
scopes being of mag ni tude 27. (That makes them more than
10 billion times fainter than Alpha Centauri, the brighter of
the two point ers to the Southern Cross!)
How far away are the stars?
To be precise, what we have dis cussed so far is a star’s appar­
ent mag ni tude, that is, how bright it seems to be from Earth.
That depends not only on how bright a star actu ally is but also
on how far away it is. For example, the two Pointers (Alpha
and Beta Centauri) look to be about equal in bright ness. But
Beta is in fact 10,000 times brighter than Alpha and 100 times
further away.
The common measure of dis tance in deep space is the
light year. This is the dis tance travelled by a ray of light (cov­
er ing 300,000 km every second) in a year, and is equal to
roughly 10 tril lion (10 million million) kilo me tres. The
nearest bright star to us (other than the Sun) is Alpha
Centauri, the brighter of the two Pointers to the Southern
Cross. This is a little over 4 light years away. Sirius is 9 light
years distant, Canopus 74 light years, Spica 220 light years,
6
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_01.indd 6 7/5/08 11:30:41 AM
Antares 520 light years. About 25 stars lie within 12 light
years of the Sun.
The most distant frst mag ni tude stars, such as Rigel in the
con stel la tion of Orion the Hunter or Deneb in Cygnus the
Swan, are 1400 or 1500 light years away. To be seen so clearly
at such a dis tance they must be immensely bright, much
brighter in reality than our Sun. The measure of intrin sic
bright ness is abso lute mag ni tude, which means how bright
the star would appear to be if it was 33 light years away. Our
Sun has an abso lute mag ni tude of 4.8, while Rigel rates at
8.1. The dif fer ence of 13 mag ni tudes makes Rigel 60,000
times brighter than the Sun in reality. If Rigel were as close as
Alpha Centauri, it would out shine the Moon.
The varying dis tances to the stars have another impli ca tion.
It means that the various star pat terns as we see them from
Earth are often purely a matter of chance and depend on our
viewing point. From else where in our stellar neigh bour hood,
the Southern Cross may not look like a cross at all. Nor are the
pat terns eter nally endur ing. The seem ingly ‘fxed’ stars are
actu ally hur ry ing through space at many kilo me tres per
second. Even their great dis tances from us will not hide that
move ment if we are willing to wait a few thou sand years.
Stars of many colours
Across the sky, we fnd stars of many colours. Green and
purple stars may be rare but many stars have a red, orange or
yellow tinge, or a hint or more of blue. Nowadays, we under­
stand that colour indi cates how hot the surface of the star is.
Stars cooler than our Sun are redder in colour (for example,
Aldebaran in Taurus the Bull, or Gamma Crucis), and stars
hotter than our Sun are bluer in colour (for example, Sirius
or Beta Centauri).
We also now know the link between a star’s colour and its
intrin sic bright ness. For at least 90 per cent of stars, the
brighter they are, the hotter (and there fore bluer) they are.
Such stars are also bigger and heavier than the dimmer, cooler,
redder stars. They also have shorter lives. Our Sun has been
shining for over 5 billion years and has some billions of years
of life left yet. In contrast, very large, hot, blue stars exhaust
their fuel in only a few million years. Most of the stars redder
than the Sun (and there fore smaller than it) are too dim to be
seen with the unaided eye.
There are excep tions. A class of stars known as giants are
both brighter and redder (or at least yel lower) than our Sun.
This is even truer for the super giants. Both Betelgeuse and
7
Table 2. The 25 brightest stars
Name Constellation Apparentmag. Distance(l.y.) Absolutemag.
Sirius Canis Major 1.46 8.6 1.4
Canopus Carina 0.72 74. 2.5
Rigil Kentaurus Centaurus 0.27 4.3 4.1
Arcturus Bootes 0.04 34. 0.2
Vega Lyra 0.03 25. 0.6
Capella Auriga 0.08 41. 0.4
Rigel Orion 0.12 1400. 8.1
Procyon Canis Minor 0.38 11.4 2.6
Achernar Eridanus 0.46 69. 1.3
Betelgeuse Orion 0.50 (var) 1400. 7.2
Hadar Centaurus 0.61 (var) 320. 4.4
Acrux Crux 0.76 510. 4.6
Altair Aquila 0.77 16. 2.3
Aldebaran Taurus 0.85 (var) 60. 0.3
Antares Scorpius 0.96 (var) 520. 5.2
Spica Virgo 0.98 (var) 220. 3.2
Pollux Gemini 1.14 40. 0.7
Fomalhaut Piscis Austrinus 1.16 22. 2.0
Becrux (Mimosa) Crux 1.25 (var) 460. 4.7
Deneb Cygnus 1.25 1500. 7.2
Regulus Leo 1.35 69. 0.3
Adhara Canis Major 1.50 570. 4.8
Castor Gemini 1.57 49. 0.5
Gacrux Crux 1.63 (var) 120. 1.2
Shaula Scorpius 1.63 (var) 320. 3.5
Note: var = variable.
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_01.indd 7 7/5/08 11:30:41 AM
Antares are cool and red (at 3000 degrees their surface tem­
per a tures are half that of the Sun) but they are vast in size and
bright ness, 10,000 times or more the bright ness of the Sun
and perhaps 500 times its diam e ter. Placed where the Sun is
they would engulf the inner planets, includ ing Mars. These
behe moths are stars in old age.
Another group of stars, the white dwarfs, are both hot and
dim. They are also small and rep re sent the remains of once much
brighter and bigger stars. Their inner fres have gone out.
Sizes and distances in the sky
It is useful early on to fnd a simple way to indi cate the appar­
ent dis tances between stars in the sky and the sizes of the
con stel la tions. The usual measure is in degrees with 90 degrees
from the horizon to the zenith (the highest point in the sky,
directly over head) and 90 degrees between the four main
points in the compass (say from north to east).
Your hands are a good rough guide to dis tances. The hand
spread out at arm’s length meas ures about 20 degrees from the
tip of the thumb to the tip of the little fnger. Across the
clenched fst (includ ing the thumb) totals about 10 degrees at
arm’s length. A fst plus a span makes up 30 degrees, the size
of many a large con stel la tion, such as Leo or Orion or Scorpius.
For smaller sep ar a tions, use the thumb (about 2 degrees) or
the little fnger (about 1 degree), again at arm’s length.
It is easy to over es ti mate the sizes of objects in the night
sky. The Moon, for example, is only half a degree across, and
is easily covered by the little fnger at arm’s length. Its appar­
ently larger size near the horizon is an illu sion, as use of the
little fnger will quickly show.
For small dis tances, we break down each degree into
60 minutes (of arc) and each minute into 60 seconds. The
Moon is there fore about 30 minutes or 1800 seconds of arc
across. We need these small meas ures to describe, for example,
the sep ar a tions of double stars (page 8), which are usually
meas ured in seconds of arc, or the sizes of nebulae (pages
18–19), which usually amount to some tens of minutes of arc.
Minutes of arc are denoted by the symbol ', seconds by '.
More than one at a time
Most stars have some addi tional point of inter est. For instance
many are multi ple stars, two or more stars revolv ing about a
common centre. Of the 25 stars within 12 light years of our
Sun, 17 belong to double or even triple star systems. Our Sun,
having no com pan ion, is in the minor ity.
Alpha Centauri, the nearest star to the Sun, is a triple. Two of
its com po nent stars are close and similar, being both Sun­like.
The third, a dim red star called Proxima Centauri, is suf f ciently
far away from the other two to be notice ably closer to us. The
most spec tac u lar multi ple stars are those in which the com po­
nent stars are about equal in bright ness but dif fer ent in colour.
To the naked eye, nearly all these multi ples appear to be
single stars, but in many cases binoc u lars or a small tele scope
can dis tin guish the sep ar ate stars. The closer together the stars
are the larger the tele scope needed to sep ar ate them.
Under ideal con di tions, a pair of good binoc u lars with
50 mm lenses will be able to sep ar ate a pair of sixth mag ni­
tude stars only two and a half seconds of arc apart (a second
of arc is about 2000th of the appar ent angular diam e ter of the
Moon). A tele scope of 120 mm aper ture will sep ar ate a pair
only 1 arc second apart. The stars are harder to split if they are
unequal in bright ness, or if they are much fainter or brighter
than the sixth mag ni tude.
There are some notable naked­eye doubles, such as Theta
Tauri and Epsilon Lyrae. The latter is a good test of keen sight,
while each com po nent is itself double, with a small tele scope
needed to resolve them.
Various astron o mers have assem bled cat a logues of multi­
ple stars. Three drawn on in this book are those of Dunlop
(sig nifed by a Greek delta), Struve (Sigma) and Herschel (h).
The Dunlop list con tains many south ern stars.
Stars that change
Other stars provide fas ci na tion by varying in bright ness, by a
little or a lot, reg u larly or unpre dict ably. About 3 per cent of all
naked­eye stars are var i ables. You can tell a var i able star from
its name. The letters R to Z are put in front of the name of the
con stel la tion, and if more names are needed, the system uses
the pre fxes RR to RZ, SS to SZ and so on. For example, RR Lyrae
is a var i able star (and a famous type of var i able star at that).
These var i able stars are of several types.
About 20 per cent of var i able stars are eclips ing var i­
ables. These are double stars so aligned that one of the pair
passes frst in front of and then behind the other. The way the
bright ness of the com bined light of the two stars varies depends
on their rel a tive bright nesses. If one is very much brighter than
the other, there will be one deep minimum in the ‘light curve’
(when the dim star hides the bright one) and one shallow
maximum (when the bright star is in front).
This is the case with the most famous such star, the ‘demon
star’ Algol (Beta Persei). This varies in mag ni tude from 2.2 to
3.5 every three days. In the case of Beta Lyrae, the stars are
more even in bright ness and the light varies more grad u ally
over the whole period.
Far more common (more than 60 per cent of all var i ables)
are single stars that pulsate in some way, mostly in and out.
For such pul sat ing var i ables, the amount of change and the
time taken cover a wide range and have a range of causes.
For Mira­type stars (of which Omicron Ceti, the ‘won der­
ful star’ is the proto type), a typical range of mag ni tudes is 4
to 11 (that is, from a naked­eye object to one invis ible even
in binoc u lars), with the vari a tions taking any thing from 80
to 1000 days. Mira­type stars are red giants or super giants and
make up one ffth of all var i ables.
For Cepheids (of which Delta Cephei is the proto type),
bright ness will swing by two mag ni tudes in between one and
135 days. Though quite rare (less than 1 per cent of all var i­
ables) Cepheids are of par tic u lar inter est, since the time taken
for the swing is directly related to the star’s abso lute bright­
ness. This has let astron o mers use them as ‘stan dard candles’
to plot dis tances in the uni verse. Cepheids are super giant blue
8
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_01.indd 8 7/5/08 11:30:42 AM
and white stars, which appear to infate and defate in size by
about 10 per cent. RR Lyrae stars are similar to Cepheids, but
the vari a tions take two days at most.
Flare stars or novae sud denly increase in bright ness by a
factor of a thou sand or more, and then fade away once more
into obscur ity. Many other stars are irreg u lar var i ables or semi­
reg u lar at best. Betelgeuse is an example. That makes their
swings hard if not impos sible to predict and there fore more
impor tant to track. Amateur astron o mers can play a sig nif cant
role here.
The heavens in motion
The heavens do not stand still. Throughout the night, the posi­
tions of the stars change rel a tive to the horizon and the zenith,
though not rel a tive to each other (that is, the con stel la tions
hold their shapes). Generally speak ing, stars frst appear some­
where along the eastern horizon and slowly move west wards
across the sky. They are highest in the sky when cross ing the
median, that is, the line north and south passing right over­
head (through the zenith). Some hours later, the stars in ques­
tion will set at some point on the western horizon.
Even 10 minutes of observ ing, using your hands to mark
the posi tion of a bright star rel a tive to some nearby object
such as a tree or build ing, will show that the stars are on the
move. Since the heavens turn over roughly once a day, the stars
shift by some 15 degrees every hour. That is about one and a
half fst widths at arm’s length. This grand motion, like so
many in the night sky, is only appar ent, since it is actu ally the
Earth that is turning from west to east.
For stars high in the south ern sky, the turning of the earth
shows as a steady clock wise move ment of the stars around a
fxed point known as the south celes tial pole (‘south pole’
for short). This point lies due south and at an angle above the
horizon equal to the observer’s lat i tude. For an observer at
35 degrees south lat i tude, the pole lies 35 degrees above the
south ern horizon. For observ ers further north, it is lower in
the sky, for those further south, it is higher.
The south ern stars appear to circle the pole at the same
15 degrees per hour rate, amount ing to a 90 degree or right
angle shift every six hours. This means that, if a star such as
Achernar lies due east of the pole at six in the evening, it
would be above the pole at mid night and due west of it at six
in the morning.
The north celes tial pole, visible to people in Europe, North
America and North Asia but below the horizon for us, is
marked by a bright ish star called Polaris (or the Pole Star),
which marks the end of the tail of the con stel la tion of the
Little Bear (Ursa Minor). There is no southern ‘pole star’. The
nearest star to the South Pole (Sigma Octantis) is quite faint
(as its name would suggest), but the pole is quite easy to fnd
using some of the nearby bright stars.
A line extended through the long bar of the Southern
Cross passes very close to the Pole, which lies some four
cross­lengths (about 27 degrees) from Acrux. A line passing
at right angles between the Pointers also fnds the Pole. So the
Pole lies where the two lines (through the Cross, between the
Pointers) intersect. A point on the horizon directly below the
Pole marks due south. Skywatchers have no excuse for being
lost if the south ern stars are visible.
Mapping the sky
To help us get to know the night sky better, skywatch ers have
been making maps and charts of the heavens for thou sands of
years, just as explor ers and geog ra phers have done with the
surface of the Earth we live on. The map on pages 10–11 is an
example. It shows the whole sky in four pieces, with the
brighter stars (down to mag ni tude 3) and the boun dar ies of
the 88 con stel la tions marked. The numbers in boxes refer to
Sky Charts 1 to 20 in the third part of this book, which show
the night sky in much greater detail.
The Earth is a sphere (more or less) and the con ti nents and
seas lie on its surface (more or less). The stars are very dif fer­
ent. They lie at vastly varying dis tances from us, and we can
map them only by ima gin ing that they are attached to the
inside of a vast ‘celestial sphere’ (size unknown) centred on
the Earth (Indeed, until a few hundred years ago, most people
thought that really was the case!).
Trying to make maps on fat­plane paper of the inside of
this celes tial sphere meets the problem faced by car tog ra phers
on Earth. The job cannot be done without dis tort ing the
picture, espe cially away from the equator. Some maps show
Greenland bigger than Australia, which is not the case. We have
kept the dis tor tion down by drawing sep ar ate maps for the
regions of sky around the north and south celes tial poles.
One aspect of the maps is puz zling. With north at the
bottom of the map, and south at the top, the right­hand end
should mark the west. On a map of the Earth that would cer­
tainly be true. Instead, the right­hand end indi cates the east.
The dif fer ence arises from the fact a map of the surface of the
Earth is drawn from the outside looking in. Sky maps are
drawn from the inside of the celes tial sphere looking out. This
reverses some of the direc tions.
The line around the middle
If Map A were a map of the Earth, the line across the middle
of the rec tan gu lar chart (marked 0 degrees) would be the
equator. On this map it marks the celes tial equator, an imag­
i nary line across the night sky, 90 degrees from each of the
celes tial poles (that is, running around the widest part of the
celes tial sphere).
Where the celes tial equator lies in the sky depends on
where you are. For observ ers on the Earth’s equator, it passes
right over head from east to west. If you were at the south
(geo graphic) pole, it would lie along the horizon, with the
south celes tial pole right overhead.
Throughout the south ern hemi sphere, the celes tial equator
still cuts the horizon due east and west, but passes across the
north ern sky, missing the zenith by an amount equal to the
observer’s lat i tude. Thus for an observer at 35 degrees south
9
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_01.indd 9 7/5/08 11:30:42 AM
10
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DECEMBER JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH APRIL MAY MAY NOV NOVEMBER OCTOBER JUNE JULY AUGUST SEPTEMBER
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CANCER
CANES VENATICI
CANES
VENATICI
CANIS MAJOR
CANIS MINOR
CAPRICORNUS
CARINA
CARINA
CASSIOPEIA
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CENTAURUS
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CEPHEUS
CETUS
CHAMAELEON
CIRCINUS
CIRCINUS
COLUMBA
COLUMBA
COMA BERENICES
CORONA AUSTRALIS
CORONA
AUSTRALIS
CORONA BOREALIS
CORVUS
CRATER
CRUX
CRUX
CYGNUS
CYGNUS
DELPHINUS
DORADO
DORADO
DRACO
DRACO
DRACO
EQUULEUS
ERIDANUS
ERIDANUS
ERIDANUS
FORNAX
GEMINI
GRUS
GRUS
HERCULES
HERCULES
HOROLOGIUM
HOROLOGIUM
HYDRA
HYDRA
HYDRUS
HYDRUS
INDUS
INDUS
LACERTA
LMi
LACERTA
LEO
LEO MINOR
LEPUS
LIBRA
LUPUS
LUPUS
LYNX
LYNX
LYRA
LYRA
MENSA
MICROSCOPIUM
MICROSCOPIUM
MONOCEROS
MUSCA
NORMA
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OCTANS
OPHIUCHUS
ORION
PAVO
PAVO
PEG
PERSEUS
PERSEUS
PHOENIX
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PICTOR
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SCULPTOR
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AUSTRALE
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CE L E ST I AL E QUAT OR
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Adhara
Achernar
Achernar
Aldebaran
Altair
Antares
Acrux
Hadar
Arcturus
Betelgeuse
Canopus
Canopus
Capella
Capella
Castor
Pollux
Deneb
Deneb
Fomalhaut
Polaris
Procyon
Regulus
Rigel
Rigil Kentaurus
Sirius
Vega
Spica
Algol
Algol
Mira
Mimosa
Mimosa
ANDROMEDA
CASSIOPEIA
CETUS
PEGASUS
PHOENIX
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SCULPTOR
TUCANA
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E CL I P T I C
Map A. Whole-sky map
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_01.indd 10 7/5/08 11:30:44 AM
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CRUX
CYGNUS
CYGNUS
DELPHINUS
DORADO
DORADO
DRACO
DRACO
DRACO
EQUULEUS
ERIDANUS
ERIDANUS
ERIDANUS
FORNAX
GEMINI
GRUS
GRUS
HERCULES
HERCULES
HOROLOGIUM
HOROLOGIUM
HYDRA
HYDRA
HYDRUS
HYDRUS
INDUS
INDUS
LACERTA
LMi
LACERTA
LEO
LEO MINOR
LEPUS
LIBRA
LUPUS
LUPUS
LYNX
LYNX
LYRA
LYRA
MENSA
MICROSCOPIUM
MICROSCOPIUM
MONOCEROS
MUSCA
NORMA
NORMA
OCTANS
OPHIUCHUS
ORION
PAVO
PAVO
PEG
PERSEUS
PERSEUS
PHOENIX
PHOENIX
PICTOR
PICTOR
PISCES
PISCIS AUSTRINUS
PUPPIS
PUPPIS
PYXIS
RETICULUM
RETICULUM
SAGITTA
SAGITTARIUS
SAGITTARIUS
SCORPIUS
SCORPIUS
SCULPTOR
SCUTUM
SERPENS CAUDA
SERPENS CAPUT
SEXTANS
TAURUS
TELESCOPIUM
TELESCOPIUM
TRIANGULUM
TRIANGULUM
AUSTRALE
TUCANA
TUCANA
URSA MAJOR
URSA MAJOR
URSA MAJOR
URSA MINOR
VELA
VELA
VIRGO
CE L E ST I AL E QUAT OR
E
C
L
I P
T
I C
VIRGO
VOLANS
VULPECULA
Adhara
Achernar
Achernar
Aldebaran
Altair
Antares
Acrux
Hadar
Arcturus
Betelgeuse
Canopus
Canopus
Capella
Capella
Castor
Pollux
Deneb
Deneb
Fomalhaut
Polaris
Procyon
Regulus
Rigel
Rigil Kentaurus
Sirius
Vega
Spica
Algol
Algol
Mira
Mimosa
Mimosa
ANDROMEDA
CASSIOPEIA
CETUS
PEGASUS
PHOENIX
PISCES
SCULPTOR
TUCANA
CE L E ST I AL E QUAT OR
E CL I P T I C
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_01.indd 11 7/5/08 11:30:45 AM
lat i tude, the celes tial equator crosses the north ern sky
35 degrees away from the zenith, or 55 degrees above the
north ern horizon. Some notable stars, such as the ‘belt stars’
of Orion (see Sky Chart 6) or those of Virgo (Sky Chart 9), lie
very close to the celes tial equator, and can there fore show you
where it can be found.
The dotted line on the map, curved so that it is some times
north and some times south of the celes tial equator, is the
eclip tic, which marks the annual path of the Sun against the
back ground of the stars. The eclip tic cuts the equator in two
places, known as the equi noxes, and reaches its maximum
dis tances north and south of the equator (23
1
⁄ 2 degrees) at
two other points, known as the sols tices. Along the way, the
eclip tic passes through 12 con stel la tions, pop u larly called the
Signs of the Zodiac. See pages 12–13 for more on these
impor tant matters.
Also shown curving north and south of the equator (but
going much further north and south than the eclip tic does)
is a broad and patchy band of light with the popular name of
the Milky Way. See page 18 for more on this.
The grid of the sky: (a) declination
On maps of the Earth, we fnd our way around by using the
grid of lines marking lat i tude and lon gi tude. The same is true
with maps of the sky, with a few dif fer ences. Distance north
and south of the celes tial equator, the equiv a lent of lat i tude
on Earth, is known as dec li na tion (dec. for short) and
increases from zero degrees on the equator to 90 degrees at
the poles. We do not speak of north or south in describ ing
dec li na tion. Instead, dec li na tion north of the celes tial equator
is listed as pos i tive, dec li na tion south is neg a tive. On most of
the star maps in this book, lines of dec li na tion are spaced
10 degrees apart.
Declination tells a lot about how the stars appear in the
night sky. Stars lying close to the celes tial equator (such as
the Belt Stars of Orion or some of the stars of Virgo) always
rise and set due east and west and are above the horizon for
around 12 hours at a stretch. Stars north of the equator
(that is, with pos i tive dec li na tions) rise north of east, set
north of west and are visible for less than 12 hours from
rising to setting. Arcturus, Vega or the stars of Gemini are
exam ples.
The further north the stars (the more pos i tive their dec li­
na tion) the lower they are in the sky (even when cross ing the
merid ian) and the briefer their appear ances. The most
north erly stars will not rise at all when viewed from south of
the equator. Your lat i tude sets the limit. From our popular
viewing spot at 35 degrees south, stars with more than
plus 55 degrees dec li na tion are always out of sight. These
include famous north ern con stel la tions such as the Big and
Little Bears.
Stars south of the equator (that is, with neg a tive dec li na­
tions) rise south of east, set south of west and are above the
horizon for at least 12 hours at a time. Fomalhaut, Canopus
or the stars of Scorpius dem on strate this. The further south a
star lies (that is, the more neg a tive its dec li na tion) the longer
it stays in view. Many never set. From 35 degrees south lati­
tude, stars south of minus 55 degrees dec li na tion are always
in view (if the sky is clear). So we can always see the Southern
Cross and the Pointers, though you will fnd them in dif fer ent
parts of the sky depend ing on the time of the night and the
year.
The grid of the sky: (b) right ascension
The celes tial equiv a lent of lon gi tude, the posi tion of an object
east or west of a fxed point, is right ascen sion (RA for short).
There are some major dif fer ences from ter res trial lon gi tude.
Right ascen sion is meas ured in hours, not degrees, though
each hour is equiv a lent to 15 degrees. Unlike lon gi tude,
which is meas ured both east and west, right ascen sion
increases in only one direc tion, that is, to the east, running
from zero hours to 24 hours in one circuit of the sky.
The start ing point for the meas ure ment of lon gi tude
(zero degrees) on Earth is the Greenwich Observatory in
London. On the celes tial sphere the meas ure ment of right
ascen sion starts where the eclip tic cuts the celes tial equator
near the western end of the con stel la tion of Pisces the Fish
(one of the signs of the zodiac: see page 13). This point is
called the vernal equinox. During its yearly migra tion along
the eclip tic, the Sun reaches this point around 21 March,
which is the start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.
A line north and south across the sky passing through the
vernal equinox there fore marks zero hours of right ascen sion.
Similar lines through the other equinox and the two sol tices
mark 12, 6 and 18 hours of right ascen sion. On Map A and
on most maps in this book RA is marked every hour.
At any time only half the total sky area shown on the map
will be visible, the sector cov er ing six hours of right ascen sion
either side of the stars then cross ing the merid ian. The dates at
the bottom of Map A indi cate the month of the year when the
stars on each line of right ascen sion will be on or close to the
merid ian (that is, highest in the sky) at nine in the evening.
Sun and Moon
Dominating the sky by day and night are the two bright est
extra­terrestrial objects, the Sun and the Moon. Their move­
ments deter mine how much of the rest of the uni verse we are
per mit ted to see. For instance, the stars are not fully visible
until the rota tion of the Earth has taken the Sun a suit able dis­
tance (some 18 degrees) below the horizon and the sky has
grown dark. At lat i tudes around 35 degrees, this point in time
(known as the end of astro nom i cal twi light) is not reached
until more than an hour after sunset.
The ecliptic and the zodiac
The Sun also appar ently con trols which stars and con stel la­
tions will become visible once it sets. While the stars behind
the Sun will not be visible in its glare, you can fgure out
12
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_01.indd 12 7/5/08 11:30:46 AM
where the Sun is among the stars by looking at the stars that
rise just before the Sun rises, or set just after it sets. The yearly
journey of the Earth around the Sun causes the Sun, as seen
from Earth, to move against the back ground of the stars,
tracing out the eclip tic.
Astronomers long ago divided the stars along this path into
12 con stel la tions, and each of these is now assigned a stretch
of sky 30 degrees long. The number of these special constel­
lations equals the number of months in the year, and they
make up the 12 signs of the zodiac, which means ‘the proces­
sion of the animals’. All but one of these con stel la tions rep re­
sent living things. In the order they are usually given, they are:
Aries the Ram, Taurus the Bull, Gemini the Twins, Cancer the
Crab, Leo the Lion, Virgo the Young Maiden, Libra the Scales,
Scorpius the Scorpion, Sagittarius the Archer, Capricornus the
Sea­Goat, Aquarius the Water­Carrier, Pisces the Fish.
The Sun takes a month to pass through each zodiac con­
stel la tion, and during that month the Sun is said to be ‘in’ that
con stel la tion. In this regard, a slow shift is evident in the
machin ery of the cosmos, known as the pre ces sion of the
equi noxes. Nowadays, the Sun is among the western stars of
Pisces around March 21 at the start of the north ern spring. But
2000 years ago this impor tant date was marked by the Sun
moving into Aries, one sign to the east. The astrol o gers and
casters of horo scopes still allo cate the sign of Aries to the
month begin ning 21 March.
Nowadays, the summer sol stice (Midsummer’s Day) north
of the equator arrives when the Sun enters Gemini. But 2000
years ago, the sol stice lay in Cancer (hence the now out dated
term Tropic of Cancer). Two thou sand years earlier still, at the
height of Babylonian astron omy (and astrol ogy), the sol stice
was hosted by Leo. This is a likely origin of the asso ci a tion
between the lion and royalty (for more on this see the text to
Sky Chart 16).
Sky change throughout the year
The move ment of the Sun along the eclip tic places it about
1 degree further east rel a tive to the sur round ing stars each day.
Conversely, the stars are about 1 degree further west rel a tive to
the Sun every day. Since the posi tion of the Sun con trols our
reck on ing of time (traditionally, noon or twelve midday on
the clock marks the time when the Sun is highest in the sky),
this shift causes the stars to rise and set earlier each day (accord­
ing to the clock) by about four minutes. This difference gives
rise to the concept of ‘sidereal time’. That is, time according
to the stars rather than to the Sun. You can explore this in more
detail on pages 21–22.
The net result of all this is a slow change in the appear ance
of the night sky through out the year, on top of the faster
change which occurs hourly through out the night. From
week to week, new stars and con stel la tions are found rising
in the east as the Sun goes down while those near the western
horizon are stead ily swal lowed up by the sunset.
Four minutes a day makes two hours a month and six hours
in three months. So stars which are rising in the east at sunset in
January will be cross ing over head at sunset in April. In July they
will be setting with the Sun and will not be visible again in the
night sky for a few months, and then only in the ‘small hours’.
This move ment also affects stars high in the south ern sky,
stars that never set. At a given time each evening, those stars
will be found posi tioned about 1 degree further clock wise.
One degree a day amounts to 90 degrees in three months. So
the Southern Cross, which is high in the south­east in the
early evening in May, will be high in the south­west three
months later. In November it will be low in the south­west
(and almost upside­down), while an early February evening
will fnd it low in the south­east but rising.
The moving Moon
The move ments of the Moon, and the changes in its appear­
ance, are the most obvious of all the night sky hap pen ings. For
this reason many ancient cal en dars were based on the Moon;
the Hebrew and Islamic cal en dars still are, with each month
(‘moonth’) begin ning with the very frst appear ance of the
Moon as a thin cres cent after sunset. The move ment of the
Moon among the stars of the zodiac is the result of its orbit
of the Earth from west to east (the same direc tion as the Earth
turns on its own axis).
The monthly cycle beings with the Moon invis ible against
the glare of the Sun (the strict meaning of the term New
Moon). Within a day or two it appears as a thin cres cent
(what is com monly called ‘a new moon’) close to the western
horizon after sunset. As the days go by, the Moon moves
stead ily east among the stars, along a line lying close to the
eclip tic. Each night it is posi tioned about 12 degrees (a little
more than a fst width at arm’s length) further east, taking
about two and a half days to pass through each zodiac sign.
At the same time, its rising occurs about 50 minutes earlier
each day, amount ing to a change of 24 hours in the full month,
and its appear ance alters as it passes through its cycle of phases.
Since one side of the Moon is fully lit at any time, the chang ing
phase of the Moon is the result of a chang ing rela tion ship in
space between the Moon, the Sun and the Earth. This rela tion­
ship, driven mostly by the Moon’s monthly orbit of the Earth,
permits us to see a chang ing amount of the lit face.
The cycle of phases begins at New Moon when the Moon
is on the sunward side of the Earth and we can see only the
side in dark ness. Day by day, the Moon moves further away
from the Sun in the sky, and its cres cent broad ens (a waxing
cres cent). Worth looking for on a very young Moon is the
effect of earth shine. Light refected by the Earth onto the
unlit portion causes it to glow faintly (‘the Old Moon in the
Young Moon’s arms’). More than a few days after New Moon
this sight is lost in the growing glare of the sunlit portion
After seven days, the Moon reaches First Quarter, with the
left­hand half of its face lit, rising at noon and setting at mid­
night. Another seven days as a waxing gibbous moon brings
it to Full Moon, rising as the Sun sets and setting as it rises.
The Moon then lies oppo site the Sun in the sky, and its lit face
is fully visible.
Thereafter the gibbous moon wanes, reach ing Last Quarter
after another seven days. The right­hand side is lit and Moonrise
13
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_01.indd 13 7/5/08 11:30:46 AM
occurs at mid night. Seven more days as a waning cres cent brings
another New Moon. Just before it becomes new, the Moon is
visible as a thin cres cent low in the eastern sky before dawn.
The major impact of the Moon on night sky viewing
comes from the light it sheds, which can dom i nate the light
of the stars. Fainter sights such as the Milky Way are lost in its
glare. The best time to view the stars is when the Moon is
absent or merely a thin cres cent. For early evening sky watch­
ing, that means the period from a few days after Full Moon
through until a day or two after New Moon.
Eclipses
From time to time as the Moon orbits the Earth, it passes
through our shadow. Such an eclipse of the Moon (or lunar
eclipse) can occur only at Full Moon, though at most Full
Moons there is no eclipse, as the Moon passes above or below
the cone of shadow the Earth casts into space. If the eclipse is
total (that is, the Moon passes through the centre of the Earth’s
cone of shadow), the Moon darkens to a strik ing coppery­red
colour. Superstitious people in ancient times referred to the
Moon ‘turning to blood’. On other occa sions, only some of
the Moon will be blacked out. Lunar eclip ses can be seen from
wherever the Moon is above the horizon at the time of the
eclipse, which nor mally lasts several hours.
The equiv a lent pos sibil ity at New Moon is for an eclipse
of the Sun (or solar eclipse) with the Moon passing directly
in front of the Sun and cutting off its light for a few minutes.
Since these are obvi ously daytime events, they do not concern
us here, other than to say that during a total solar eclipse, the
sky does darken enough for the stars to appear. In any one
year, up to half a dozen eclip ses of the Sun and the Moon will
occur, though few if any will be total.
The face of the Moon
Even with the naked eye, the mottled face of the Moon is
inter est ing. The view through binoc u lars or a small tele scope
turns the inter est into fas ci na tion. The most obvious mark ings
are large dark areas called by the ancients the mare or ‘seas’,
for so they thought them to be. We now know them to be vast
almost smooth plains of vol canic rock, but the old names
persist. A fertile imag i na tion can turn them into the fea tures
of the face of the ‘man in the Moon’ or into other images
(such as a rabbit) in other cul tures.
Though smaller, some of the craters and moun tain ranges
are strik ing, espe cially when close to the ter mi na tor, the line
divid ing the lit and unlit por tions of the Moon. Along this
line, an observer on the Moon would see the Sun rising or
setting, and the low Sun casts long shadows, greatly enhanc­
ing the relief. The high lands are very old; the craters formed
more recently by the impact of aster oids or comets.
Because the Moon spins on its axis in the same time inter­
val as it orbits the Earth, it always keeps the same face turned
towards us. From Earth we cannot see most of the ‘far side’ of
the Moon. However, space craft have sent back images of the
hidden side, showing it to be much like the face we see
though with many fewer mare. It is not correct to call the far
side the ‘dark side’, since through out the month, it receives as
much light as the side we see.
Map B iden tifes the main mark ings on the Moon’s surface,
as revealed at Full Moon. The craters carry mostly the names
of famous people, such as ancient and modern astronomers
or other scientists, or philosophers. The largest of the craters
are a hundred kilometres or more across. The diagram is
oriented as the Moon is when seen high in the north ern sky
with the naked eye or with binoc u lars (that is, the North Pole
of the Moon is at the bottom). If the Moon is rising, turn the
chart clock wise (so that north is on the left). If the Moon is
setting, turn it anti­clockwise. If you are using a tele scope
(which inverts the view), turn the chart upside down.
The planets
From time to time, you will notice among the stars other points
of light that do not hold their posi tions as the regular stars do,
and which are there fore not marked on any star map. The
ancient Greek astron o mers called these ‘planetos’ or ‘wan der ing
stars’, from which comes our word planet. Five of these were
known in ancient times (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and
Saturn), and two more (Uranus and Neptune) have since been
found using the tele scope. Pluto, discovered in 1930, was long
regarded as the ninth planet but recently lost that status.
The ancients were puzzled by these objects and their often
strange beha vi our. They thought they were living things, even
man i fes ta tions of the Gods, and named them accord ingly. We
now know that planets are cold, rocky or gaseous spheres in
orbit around the Sun, as is our Earth. Two of the planets
(Mercury and Venus) are closer to the Sun than we are and orbit
it more quickly (the inner planets); the others lie outside the
Earth’s orbit and travel more slowly (the outer planets).
Some are larger than the Earth, some smaller. Like the
Moon, they shine only by the refected light of the Sun, unlike
the true stars which make their own light. A planet’s bright­
ness is a measure of its size (Jupiter is bright because it is big),
its near ness (Venus is bright because it is close) or the nature
of its surface (Venus again because it is covered with highly
refec tive cloud).
The movements of the outer planets
Generally speak ing, these planets behave as do the Sun and the
Moon. They appear to move east wards along paths that lie close
to the eclip tic, passing through the zodiac con stel la tions one
by one. Mars moves most quickly, taking just over two years to
com plete one circuit of the sky and spend ing two months in
each zodiac con stel la tion. Jupiter, with a 12­year journey
around the eclip tic, takes a year to pass through one sign. The
others travel more slowly still, with Saturn spend ing two and
a half years, Uranus seven years and Neptune 14 years.
This simple picture is com pli cated by retrograd ing. Over
a period of some months in every year a planet ceases its usual
14
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_01.indd 14 7/5/08 11:30:46 AM
east erly motion (that is, it becomes sta tion ary), moves back­
wards (that is, towards the west), stops again (becomes
sta tion ary a second time) and then resumes its east ward
course. The further away a planet is, the longer retrograd ing
lasts, but the smaller the dif fer ence it makes to the posi tion of
the planet. For Mars, retrograd ing lasts only two months, but
the out er most planets spend half the year moving back wards.
However, Mars swings through a couple of constellations as it
retrogrades, while Saturn rarely leaves the constellation it was
in when it became stationary.
This odd beha vi our is only appar ent, not actual. In reality,
the planets move stead ily onwards in their orbits at an almost
steady pace. Retrograding is due to the fact that the Earth,
moving more quickly in its orbit than the planets outside it,
over takes them ‘on the inside lane’, so that for a time they
appear to move back wards. You see the same thing when out
driving. As you pass another car, it appears to move back wards
rel a tive to the scenery.
Roughly halfway through its move back wards, the planet
reaches a point exactly oppo site the Sun in the sky (that is, it
comes to oppo si tion). At oppo si tion, the planet rises around
six in the evening and crosses the merid ian at mid night. The
outer planets are bright est and appear largest in a tele scope at
oppo si tion, as they are then closest to the Earth, though the
15
Map B. The main features of the surface of the Moon
MARE
TRANQUILITATIS
MARE
HUMORUM
MARE
CRISIUM
MARE
VAPORUM
SINUS
AESTUUM
MARE FRIGORIS
SINUS
IRIDUM
SINUS
RORIS
OCEANIS
PROCELLARUM
MARE
SERENITATIS
OCEANIS IMBRIUM
Blancanus
VALLIS
RHEITA
MARE
NECTARIS
MARE
FECUNDITATIS
MARE
NUBIUM
MARE
COGNITUM
MONTES
RIPHAEUS
M
O
N
T
E
S
A
L
P
E
S
V
A
L
L
IS
A
L
P
E
S
VALLIS
SCHRÖTERI
Scheiner
Clavius
Schiller
Phocylidus
Schickard
Longomontanus
Tycho
Wilhelm
Wurzelbauer
Cuvier
Faraday
Maurolycus
Fabricius
Walter
Werner
Regiomontanus
Purbach
Apianus
Playfair
G
Arzachel
Alpetragius
Alphonsus
Ptolemaeus
Herschel Hipparchus
Albategnius
Abulfeda
Tacitus
Catharina
Sacrobosco
Fracastorius
Santbech
Petavius
Colombo
Vendelinus
Langrenus
Goclenius
Gutenberg
Capella
Isidorus
Vlacq
Pitiscus
Fabricius
Metius
Rheita
Furnerius
Stevinus
Rabbi Levi
Piccolomini
Snellius
Zugat
Stöfler
Gauricus
Cichus
Pitatus
Mercator
Capuanus
Campanus
Vieta
Mersenius
Gassendi Bullialdus
Aliacensis
Mädler
Geminus
Franklin
Cepheus
Hercules
Bürg
Endymion
Strabo
Atlas
Posidonius
Reinhold
Copernicus
Condorcet
Procius
Plinius
Vitruvius
Macrobius
Cleomedes
Burckhardt
Ritter
Godin
Agrippa
Triesnecker
Lansberg
Cyrillus
Theophilus
Delambre
Apollonius
Firmicus
Tarantius
Maskelyne
Julius Ceasar
Sabine
Messala
Bianchini
Mairan
Struve
Seleucus
Herodotus
Aristarchus
Lambert
Euler
Eratosthenes
Manilius
Menelaus
Harpalus
Crüger
Grimaldi
Riccioli
Kepler
Marius
Wallace
Timocharis
Archimedes
Autolycus
Aristillus
Cassini
Pico
Plato
Eudoxus
Aristoteles
W. Bond
R
U
P
E
S

A
L
T
A
I
M
.
J
U
R
A
M
O
N
T
E
S

A
P
E
N
N
I
N
E
S
MONTES C
A
RPATES
S
E W
N
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_01.indd 15 7/5/08 11:30:47 AM
vari a tion is more notice able with Mars than with the more
distant planets.
About six or seven months after oppo si tion, the planet dis­
ap pears behind the Sun for a while and cannot be seen (that
is, it reaches con junc tion with the Sun). Before con junc tion,
the planet will be an evening star (that is, visible above the
western horizon after sunset). After con junc tion, the planet
becomes a morning star (visible in the east before dawn).
The movements of the inner planets
The move ments of Mercury and Venus against the back ground
of the stars are com pli cated by the fact that they never get very
far away from the Sun (Mercury a maximum of about
27 degrees, Venus a maximum of less than 50 degrees). These
planets there fore never come to oppo si tion and are never
visible in the mid night sky. They accom pany the Sun in its
yearly journey through the zodiac, being some times ahead
of the Sun in the sky (that is, with eastern elon ga tion),
and some times lagging behind (that is, with western
elongation).
The inner planets have two con junc tions with the Sun
during each orbit, one at which the planet passes the Sun on
the near side (infe rior con junc tion), the other with the
planet passing the Sun on the side away from the Earth
(super ior con junc tion). Between super ior con junc tion and
infe rior con junc tion, the planet is an evening star. Between
infe rior con junc tion and super ior con junc tion, it is a morning
star.
Like the Moon, Mercury and Venus both show phases
when viewed with tele scopes, moving from thin cres cent to
full disc and back again during each orbit. This, com bined
with great vari a tion in their dis tances from us, causes the
inner planets to vary greatly in appar ent size and bright ness.
Maximum bright ness occurs close to the time of maximum
elon ga tion east or west.
Which planet?
If you fnd a planet among the stars but are not sure which
one it is, the appli ca tion of a few simple rules will sort the
matter out
Mercury is never easy to fnd, since it stays close to the Sun
and to the twi light, and is there fore rarely seen against a dark
sky. The give away is its rapid move ment among the stars,
shift ing its posi tion mark edly from night to night rel a tive to
nearby stars. This is appro pri ate. The planet was named after
the feet­footed mes sen ger of the gods in ancient Roman
legend, and returns to the same posi tion in the sky (say to
maximum eastern elon ga tion, at which time it is highest in
the sky at sunset) every three months.
Venus on the other hand is very hard to miss, espe cially as
‘the evening star’, blazing in the west high above the sunset.
(Any planet can become an evening star, of course, but Venus
is the acme.) Showings of Venus as an evening star are spaced
about eight months apart. It rises up to three hours before the
Sun and sets up to three hours after, and so can clear the
twi light. At maximum mag ni tude it out shines every thing
other than the Sun and Moon, and can cast a shadow on a
moon less night. Its naming, after the Roman goddess of love
and beauty, seems most appro pri ate.
The dis tinc tive red or pink colour of Mars, the result of it
being covered by desert, was likened by the ancients to a drop
of blood and so it was named after the god of war. Unlike the
redder stars (such as Antares) with which it may be com­
pared, Mars moves among the stars, pushing east through one
zodiac sign every two months. At oppo si tion, small tele scopes
may glimpse it as a coloured disc, with perhaps smudgy dark
mark ings and a touch of white at the poles.
Jupiter is the largest planet and can get quite bright,
though not as bright as Venus. It is there fore easy to spot, espe­
cially in con stel la tions with dimmer stars. Its colour is almost
white, and its move ment is stately, as befts a planet named
after the king of the Roman gods. It takes a year to pass from
one zodiac sign to the next. In a small tele scope, Jupiter will
show as a dis tinct disc, with perhaps some streaky mark ings.
Saturn moves the most slowly of the naked­eye planets, so
sug gest ing a link to the Roman god of old age. It will be found
within the con fnes of a single zodiac con stel la tion for almost
three years. It may be found any where along the eclip tic, and
its off­white colour is an added source of iden tif ca tion. The
chief attrac tion of Saturn is its system of rings, which can be
seen in small tele scopes.
There is a fas ci nat ing link between the planets and the old
pseudo­science of alchemy, the fore run ner of modern
chem is try. In ancient lore, each hea venly object was linked to
one of the seven metals known at the time, and the same
symbol used for both the metal and the planet. So Mercury
was linked to the metal mercury, Venus to copper, Mars to iron
(its rusty redness helped there), Jupiter to tin and Saturn to
lead. The Sun (gold) and the Moon (silver) were also part of
this scheme.
We can also con tem plate the way the names of the planets
are imbed ded in our lan guage, such as in the days of the week
(for example, Saturday was orig i nally Saturn’s Day), and in
words like mer cu rial, vene real, martial, jovial (Jupiter was
also called Jove) and sat ur nine.
The waltz of the planets
The move ment of the various planets through the zodiac at
dif fer ent speeds pro duces an endless variety of events, easily
tracked with the naked eye. Among these are numer ous con­
junc tions, with planets drawing close to each other (often
within a few degrees), to bright stars (such as Regulus,
Pollux, Spica and Antares, which lie close to the eclip tic) or
to the Moon. Conjunctions with the Moon are most inter est ing
when the Moon is a cres cent, and there fore not overly bright.
At times three or even four planets will be found together in
the same part of the sky, and their move ments from week to
week or even night to night are fas ci nat ing to watch.
The Moon will some times occult a planet or star, that is,
pass in front of it. It is inter est ing to watch for the dis ap pear­
ance or re­emer gence of the object, again espe cially if the
16
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_01.indd 16 7/5/08 11:30:47 AM
Moon is a cres cent. Details of con junc tions, occul ta tions and
other events (such as eclip ses) can be found in pub li ca tions
com piled by astro nom i cal soci eties (such a listing is called an
ephem e ris) and on sale in astron omy supply shops.
You can also refer to Appendix B, which gives the posi tions
of four of the fve naked­eye planets each month for the next
ten years, together with details of some sig nif cant plan e tary
events.
Satellites, comets, meteors, minor planets
The solar system, the region of space con trolled by the
gravity of the Sun, con tains much more than the planets.
Many of these other objects are night­sky sights.
Satellites. All the planets except Mercury and Venus have
‘moons’ orbit ing them, though most of these are very faint
when viewed from Earth (mag ni tude 10 or fainter). The
easiest to pick out are the four largest sat el lites of Jupiter (Io,
Europa, Ganymede and Callisto). With mag ni tudes at oppo­
si tion between 4.6 and 5.7 these can be seen with the naked
eye if con di tions are right, and are an easy target for binoc u­
lars. They orbit Jupiter with periods of between one and a half
and 17 days, pro duc ing a con stantly varying dis tri bu tion of
bright points on either side of the planet. The pre dicted posi­
tions of the moons are pro vided in an ephem e ris.
The moons of Jupiter line up on either side of the planet
more often than you might expect. This is the result of the
strong gravity of Jupiter locking the orbits of the three inner
moons into a res o nance. Each time Ganymede com pletes one
orbit, Europa goes round exactly twice and Io exactly four
times.
Saturn’s bright est sat el lite, Titan (period 16 days), is
within reach of binoc u lars at maximum mag ni tude, 8.3, with
Rhea (period four and half days) also a pos sibil ity at
maximum mag ni tude, 9.7.
Comets. Comets are icy bodies trav el ling around the Sun
in long thin orbits, becom ing bright and devel op ing the char­
ac ter is tic tail when near the Sun. A few become spec tac u lar
naked­eye objects, but the arrival of those is unpre dict able. A
bright comet may take thou sands of years to return if it comes
back at all.
Of the reg u larly return ing comets, only the famous
Halley’s Comet is bright enough to make a real showing to
the naked eye, but a number of others are worth track ing
down with binoc u lars. Again, you should refer to an ephem­
e ris for details.
Meteor showers. As comets orbit the Sun, they leave behind
a trail of dust and small frag ments. When the Earth passes
through this trail, some of the rubble is swept up by gravity
and burns up in the Earth’s atmos phere, appear ing as bright
streaks of light across the sky. Such meteor showers (com­
monly dubbed ‘falling stars’ or ‘shoot ing stars’) emerge from
par tic u lar points in the night sky (their radi ants) at certain
times of the year. A list of the main showers is given in Table 3,
and ref er ence is made to them in the text beside the Sky
Charts. At the times of year the various showers occur, the
constellations hosting them do not rise until late, and so the
showers can normally be seen only in the small hours.
Minor Planets. Often called aster oids, these are small
rocky bodies orbit ing the Sun. There are most likely hun dreds
of thou sands of them, but most are small, a few hundred kilo­
me tres at most. Most lie between Mars and Jupiter in the
aster oid belt. The largest, Ceres, is only 1000 km across. The
bright est is Vesta, which can reach mag ni tude 5.2 and so be a
naked­eye sight on a clear dark night. More are visible with
binoc u lars or a small tele scope, and the loca tions of the
bright est among the stars are given in an ephem e ris.
A variety of sights
The night sky has more to offer than indi vid ual stars and
planets. Many other sights may be glimpsed with the naked
eye, but all beneft from the use of binoc u lars or a small tele­
scope (you will do even better with a large tele scope!).
Stars get together
In many areas of the sky, the stars cluster together, often pro­
vid ing a contrast with their varied colours. Some of these are
open clus ters, with ample space between rel a tively small
17
Table 3. Main meteor showers
Peakrate(average)
Normallimits Maximum perhour Radiant(RA/Dec)
Quarantids (in Bootes) Jan. 1–6 Jan. 3 60 15 hr 30 min/+50
Lyrids Apr. 19–25 Apr. 22 10 18 hr 10 min/+32
Eta Aquarids May 1–10 May 6 35 22 hr 20 min/01
Delta Aquarids July 15 – Aug. 15 July 29 20 22 hr 39 min/17
Perseids July 23 – Aug. 20 Aug. 12 75 3 hr 08 min/+58
Orionids Oct. 16–27 Oct. 22 25 6 hr 27 min/+15
Taurids Oct. 20 – Nov. 30 Nov. 5 10 3 hr 47 min/+14
Leonids Nov. 15–20 Nov. 17 10 10 hr 11 min/+22
Geminids Dec. 7–15 Dec. 13 75 7 hr 31 min/+32
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_01.indd 17 7/5/08 11:30:48 AM
numbers of stars. Such clus ters, which are com monly only 10
or 20 light years across at most, contain from as few as
10 stars to as many as 500, all orig i nally formed together
from the one gas cloud. The Pleiades or ‘Seven Sisters’ in
Taurus (there are actu ally more than 30 stars in this cluster),
Praesepe or ‘the Beehive’ in Cancer, and the Jewel Box, hard
by the Southern Cross, are all notable exam ples, but this book
will refer you to dozens of others.
Far more thickly packed with stars are the glob u lar clus­
ters, with up to a million stars crowd ing together like bees
around a honey pot. These clus ters are huge balls of stars, tens
or even hundreds of light years across, and the stars within are
on average about a light year apart. Globular clus ters are in
general both very old (con tain ing some of the most ancient
stars known) and very remote (many lying 10,000 or 15,000
light years distant). Omega Centauri (again close to the
Southern Cross) and 47 Tucanae near the Small Magellanic
Cloud are among the fnest such clus ters in the sky. We should
add that even through a telescope it is not easy to appreciate
the true form of a globular cluster; most of them look like
fuzzy stars.
The Milky Way
The Milky Way, best seen on a clear dark night, appears as a
faint band of light, winding its way around the sky and passing
through or close by a number of con stel la tions, includ ing
Crux, Vela, Carina, Canis Major, Orion, Auriga, Perseus, Cygnus,
Aquila, Sagittarius and Scorpius. Ancient observ ers thought it
was a stream of milk from the breast of some sky goddess and
used the term galaxy from the Greek for ‘milk’.
Since the time of Galileo (though some Greeks 2000 years
before guessed at the truth) we have known it is in fact made
up of bil lions of stars, so distant and so closely clus tered
together that the unaided eye cannot sep ar ate them. Binoculars
or a tele scope will quickly reveal many of those stars. The
Milky Way is widest and most dense between Scorpius and
Sagittarius, where the most distant observ able stars are about
30,000 light years away.
The appear ance of the Milky Way is the con se quence of the
Sun and its planets being located within a vast wheel­shaped
con gre ga tion of stars, now known as the Milky Way galaxy
(or simply ‘the galaxy’). The hub of this system lies beyond
the stars of Scorpius and Sagittarius, and the rest of the Milky
Way is simply the con se quence of looking across the galaxy
along its longest dimen sion. Modern reck on ing makes our
galaxy about 100,000 light years in diam e ter, about 10,000
light years thick in the centre, and about 3000 light years
thick out in the outer suburbs where we are (some 30,000
light years from the hub). It con tains at least 200 thou sand
million stars, 10 per cent of which are similar in size and
tem per a ture to our Sun.
The axis of the ‘wheel’ of our galaxy can be taken to cut
the celes tial sphere at the North Galactic Pole (NGP) and
South Galactic Pole (SGP) (just as the Earth’s axis cuts it at the
North and South Celestial Poles). The NGP lies in Coma
Berenices, the SGP in Sculptor. The Sun and its planets lie
slightly above the plane of the Milky Way, so we see more stars
(and more bright stars) looking south than looking north.
That is one reason why the skies of the Southern Hemisphere
are so bril liant!
Nebulae, dark and bright
Here and there along its length, the Milky Way is divided by
dark lanes and broken by patches appar ently devoid of stars,
for example, in the Scorpius/Sagittarius region and in Cygnus.
In truth, vast clouds of dust hanging in space block the light
from the stars of the Milky Way in these regions. Other such
dark nebulae (‘nebula’ is Latin for ‘a cloud’) include the Coal
Sack beside the Southern Cross and the spec tac u lar but elusive
(for small tele scopes anyway) Horsehead Nebula in Orion.
There are also a great many bright nebulae, patches and
wisps of glowing gas. Some of these are ‘star nurseries’,
patches of gas glowing pink from the energy of newly born
stars within them. The Great Nebula in Orion is one such star
nursery, as are the Trifd and Lagoon Nebulae front ing the
Milky Way near Sagittarius. Indeed, emis sion nebulae of this
kind are mostly found along the Milky Way, espe cially looking
towards the galac tic centre.
Some nebulae asso ciated with young stars are blue rather
than pink. This is the result of blue light from the young hot
stars being scat tered by clouds of dust. The blue wisps of gas
sur round ing the 50­million­year­old Pleiades form such a
refec tion nebula.
A warning about the colours. You will see them in photo­
graphs but, alas, not with your eye directly (even with binoc­
u lars). At low light levels, the human eye picks up little colour,
and most of the nebulae will appear white with a green ish
tinge. They are still worth seeking out.
A few nebulae mark the loca tions of stars in old age, ‘red
giant’ stars which have shed their outer layers to form glowing
rings of gas, some times mis lead ingly called plan e tary nebulae
(they have nothing to do with planets). The Ring Nebula in
Lyra the Harp is an example.
Others are ‘star cemeteries’, each marking the spot where
very large stars at the end of their brief violent lives have
blown them selves to pieces as super no vas. The Vela Nebula
and the Crab Nebula in Taurus lie in that cat e gory, though
both are hard to resolve into anything meaningful other than
in large telescopes. The Crab Nebula is the remnant of the
super nova recorded by Chinese astron o mers in 1054 AD.
Nebulae beyond
Still other nebulae are vastly larger and more distant, since we
now know that they are com plete star systems (gal ax ies) lying
beyond our own. The two Clouds of Magellan, which appear
as faint patches of light in the south ern sky, are the nearest of
these, being some 200,000 light years away. They are rel a­
tively small and are essen tially ‘satellites’ of our own Milky
Way galaxy. Binoculars will reveal the strik ing Tarantula
Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud, letting you glimpse
the spidery outline that provoked the name.
18
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_01.indd 18 7/5/08 11:30:48 AM
The Andromeda Galaxy, a naked­eye object in the north ern
sky, is the nearest of the large exter nal gal ax ies, being two
million light years distant. Such ‘island universes’, each con­
tain ing bil lions of stars, are thickly clus tered in certain areas
of the sky, most notably in the con stel la tions of Virgo, Coma
Berenices and Canes Venatici. Numbers of gal ax ies are also
found in Fornax, Sculptor, Leo and Perseus. These con stel la­
tions lie close to the Galactic Poles. Galaxies are not found near
the Milky Way as the dust clouds and thickly clus tered stars
hide them from view.
The various clus ters and nebulae have been cat a logued
several times. The oldest such effort was by the eight eenth­
century French comet­hunter Charles Messier, who noted
over 100 fuzzy objects likely to be con fused with comets. His
list is still often used. The Crab Nebula is M1, the Lagoon
Nebula M16, the Orion Nebula M42, Praesepe M44, the
‘Sombrero Hat’ galaxy M104. Most of the Messier objects are
in the north ern part of the sky.
More recent and more com pre hen sive is the New General
Catalogue (NGC) frst com plied over a hundred years ago with
thou sands of entries. Objects listed with an N followed by a
number are from the NGC. Other letter–number combina­
tions in this book indicate other catalogues.
19
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S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_01.indd 20 7/5/08 11:30:48 AM
Using the Skyviews
The fol low ing 24 Skyviews rep re sent the night sky at dif fer ent
times of the year and dif fer ent times of the night. Since the
stars on show in the night sky change noticably from hour to
hour during the night and week to week through out the year,
it is vital that you choose the right Skyview to use.
Each Skyview has been drawn to cor re spond with a certain
side real time. Sidereal time is set by the stars, rather than by
the posi tion of the Sun, as in ordi nary solar time. Whereas a
solar day is the period between two noons, that is, between
two pas sages of the Sun across the merid ian, a side real day is
the time between two suc ces sive ‘tran sits’ of the vernal
equinox, or indeed of any par tic u lar star.
Since the east erly motion of the Sun along the eclip tic
causes the stars to rise earlier each day by about four minutes
21
the SkyviewS
table 4. Choosing the right Skyview (by hour and date of observation)
Localtime(h)*
Date 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 00 01 02 03 04 05 06
Jan. 5 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
21 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Feb. 5 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
20 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Mar. 7 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
22 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Apr. 6 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
22 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
May 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
June 6 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
22 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
July 7 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 1
22 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 1 2
Aug. 6 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 1 2 3
22 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 1 2 3 4
Sep. 6 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 1 2 3 4 5
21 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 1 2 3 4 5 6
Oct. 6 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
21 19 20 21 22 23 24 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Nov. 6 20 21 22 23 24 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
21 21 22 23 24 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Dec. 6 22 23 24 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
21 23 24 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
* Subtract one hour from these times during periods of daylight saving.
by the clock, a side real day is shorter than a solar day by four
minutes. Put another way, the sidereal clock runs faster than
the solar clock, gaining four minutes a day. Over the year, the
difference builds up to a whole day. A year contains 365¼
solar days but 366¼ sidereal days. Put another way, the side­
real clock runs faster than the solar clock, gaining four
minutes a day.
To work out the side real time cor re spond ing to your day
and time of observ ing, and there fore deter mine which
Skyview to use, you can refer to Table 4.
Or you can apply the fol low ing simple rule:
Work out your solar time on a 24­hour clock and add
four minutes for each day (or two hours for each month)
that has passed since last 21 September. (On 21 September
the solar and side real clocks read the same time.)
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_02.indd 21 7/5/08 11:31:33 AM
An example: to work out si dereal time at 6 pm on 15 April,
convert 6 pm to a 24­hour clock, which gives 18 hours. Add
13 hours (two hours for each of the 6½ months since last 21
September). That totals 31 hours, or 7 hours when reduced
by 24 hours. So side real time at 6 pm on 15 April is 0700
hours and there fore Skyview 7 is the one to use.
To make it easy to decide which Skyview is the right one
to use in the early evening (a time you will often be looking
at the night sky), each Skyview has a two­week period listed
above it (for example, January: weeks one and two). This means that
particular Skyview accurately displays the layout of the night
sky at 9 pm (taking account of daylight saving if it is in
operation) in the middle of the stated fortnight (and will be
very close to right throughout the whole period). In other
words, for each Skyview, the side real time given is reached at
9 pm (2100 hours) in the middle of the given period (either
the seventh or twenty­frst day of the month). The Skyview
and cal cu la tion given above let you use the Skyviews at any
time of the night.
The turning of the Earth causes the posi tions of the stars and
other objects rel a tive to the horizon and the zenith to change
sur pris ingly quickly and notice ably. You need to be ready to
move on to the next Skyview after obser va tion for one hour.
Each Skyview shows the whole sky visible at the given side­
real time. The outer rim rep re sents the horizon. The Skyview
should be turned so that the direc tion in which you are
looking is at the bottom. Therefore, if you are looking south,
the Skyview should be turned upside­down.
The Skyviews are drawn for only one lat i tude, namely
35 degrees south. Most of the main pop u la tion centres in the
Southern Hemisphere lie close to this par allel of lat i tude.
Observers well to the north or to the south of this lat i tude will
notice some dif fer ences in the vis ibil ity of stars near the
north ern and south ern hori zons.
Each Skyview has marked the South Pole of the sky
(around which the sky appears to turn) and the prime
merid ian, namely the line marking 12 hours of right ascen­
sion. Also marked are the celes tial equator and the eclip tic,
which passes through the stars of the 12 zodiac signs.
The other impor tant feature of these Skyviews is the
numbers which occur in the centres of large areas of each.
These refer the user to the more detailed Sky Charts later in
this book, which contain stars of higher mag ni tudes, together
with impor tant sights through binoc u lars such as double stars
and nebulae.
Two expres sions are com monly used in the text adjoin ing
each Skyview. One is ‘cross ing the meridian’. This means a
move ment from the eastern to the western half of the sky. ‘The
top of the sky’, used for south ern stars, also refers to cross ing
the merid ian, that is, rising as high as pos sible above the South
Pole of the sky.
Reference is also made to posi tions of stars rel a tive to the
South Pole of the sky in terms of hourly read ings on an ordi­
nary clock face. So ‘three o’clock’ means due west of the pole,
and ‘nine o’clock’ means due east.
Remember that these Skyviews show only stars. Bright
star­like objects not marked on these Skyviews will almost
cer tainly be planets, espe cially if they lie close to the eclip tic.
(See page 14.)
22
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_02.indd 22 7/5/08 11:31:33 AM
23
Skyview 1
9 pm, November: weeks three and four
Sidereal time 0100
The grand summer pano rama is now unfold ing in the eastern sky. Orion the Hunter, with its bright stars blue­white Rigel and
reddish Betelgeuse, is now clear of the horizon. Taurus the Bull, includ ing reddish Aldebaran and the Pleiades, lies in the north­
east. In the south­east, Sirius, the bright est of the stars, has risen, marking the larger of the Hunter’s two dogs. A little higher
in the south­east lies Canopus, second bright est of all stars. It lies in Carina, the keel of the ship Argo.
Of the other bright stars, Achernar in Eridanus is high in the south, and Fomalhaut in the Southern Fish even higher in the
south­west. In the west Altair in Aquila the Eagle is setting.
The Great Square of Pegasus stands in the north­west. The zodiac signs visible stretch from Sagitarrius now setting in the
south­west, through Capricornus, Aquarius, Pisces and Aries, to Taurus in the north­east.
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I
O
N M
O
N
O
C
E
R
O
S
T
A
U
R
U
S
E
R
I
D
A
N
U
S
F
O
R
N
A
X
S
C
U
L
P
T
O
R
C
E
T
U
S
PISCES
ANDROMEDA
P
E
R
S
E
U
S
A
U
R
I
G
A
A
R
IE
S
TRIA
N
G
U
LU
M
A
Q
U
I
L
A
D
E
L
P
H
I
N
U
S
S
A
G
I
T
T
A
E
Q
U
U
L
E
U
S
L
A
C
E
R
T
A
P
E
G
A
S
U
S
A
Q
U
A
R
I
U
S
C
Y
G
N
U
S
M i m o s a
A c r u x R i g e l K e n t
H a d a r
C
a
n
o
p
u
s
S
i
r
i
u
s
A
d
h
a
r
a
A
c
h
e
r n
a
r
M
i
r
a
A
lg
o
l
A
l
d
e
b
a
r
a
n
R
i
g
e
l
B
e
t
e
l
g
e
u
s
e
F
o
m
a
l
h
a
u
t
A
l
t
a
i
r
Magnitudes
5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter
S o u t h
P o l e
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_02.indd 23 7/5/08 11:31:34 AM
24
Skyview 2
9 pm, December: weeks one and two
Sidereal time 0200
The eastern sky con tains the great sights: Orion the Hunter marked by the ‘saucepan’ and the bright stars Betelgeuse and Rigel,
and in the north­east Aldebaran and the Pleiades marking the eye and the shoul der of Taurus the Bull. In the east Procyon in
the Little Dog has risen, joining Sirius and the stars of Canis Major now well up in the south­east.
Also in the south­east is Canopus in Carina, second bright est of the stars after Sirius. Achernar in Eridanus has crossed the
top of the sky, and now lies slightly south­west. Further west and higher is Fomalhaut, the mouth of the Southern Fish.
In the north­west, the Great Square of Pegasus is heading for the horizon. Of the zodiac signs, Sagittarius is setting in the
south­west and the frst stars of Gemini are in view in the north­east. Between those con stel la tions, from west to east, lie
Capricornus, Aquarius, Pisces, Aries and Taurus.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
1
1
1
2
13
14
20
1
2 h
0
h
NORTH
E
A
S
T
S O U T H
W
E
S
T
E
C
LIP
TIC
EQUATOR
Magnitudes
5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter
S o u t h
P o l e
C H A M A E L E O N
H
y
a
d
e
s
P
le
iad
e
s
M U S C A
C R U X
C E N T A U R U S
C
E
N
T
A
U
R
U
S
V
E
L
A
P
Y
X
I
S
P
U
P
P
I
S
A
N
T
L
I
A
C
A
R
I N
A
V
O
L
A
N
S
P
I
C
T
O
R
M
E N
S A
D
O
R
A
D
O
R
E
T
I C
U
L
U
M
H Y D R U S
H
O
R
O
L
O
G
I
U
M
T
U
C
A
N
A
C
A
E
L
U
M
P
H
O
E
N
I
X
C
O
L
U
M
B
A
C
A
N
I
S
M
A
J
O
R
C
A
N
I
S
M
I
N
O
R
T R I A N G U L U M
A U S T R A L E
C I R C I N
U
S
A
R
A
A P U S
O C T A N S
P
A
V
O
I
N
D
U
S
G
R
U
S
P
I
S
C
I
S
A
U
S
T
R
I
N
U
S
M
I
C
R
O
S
C
O
P
I
U
M
T
E
L
E
S
C
O
P
I
U
M
S
C
O
R
P
I U
S
S
A
G
I
T
T
A
R
I
U
S
C
A
P
R
I
C
O
R
N
U
S
C
O
R
O
N
A
A
U
S
T
R
A
L
I
S
L
E
P
U
S
O
R
I
O
N
M
O
N
O
C
E
R
O
S
T
A
U
R
U
S
E
R
I
D
A
N
U
S
F
O
R
N
A
X
S
C
U
L
P
T
O
R
CETUS
P
IS
C
E
S
ANDROM
EDA
PERSEUS
A
U
R
I
G
A
G
E
M
I
N
I
ARIES
TRIANGULUM
A
Q
U
I
L
A
E
Q
U
U
L
E
U
S
P
E
G
A
S
U
S
A
Q
U
A
R
I
U
S
M i m o s a
A c r u x
R i g e l K e n t
H a d a r
C
a
n
o
p
u
s
S
i
r
i
u
s
A
d
h
a
r
a
A c h e r n a r
M
ira
A
lg
o
l
A
l
d
e
b
a
r
a
n
R
i
g
e
l
B
e
t
e
l
g
e
u
s
e
P
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c
y
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n
F
o
m
a
l
h
a
u
t
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_02.indd 24 7/5/08 11:31:36 AM
25
Skyview 3
9 pm, December: weeks three and four
Sidereal time 0300
The long faint line of stars marking Eridanus the River, ending in Achernar, lies through the zenith. In the south­east, the stars
of the Argo con stel la tions (Carina, Puppis and Vela) are return ing to prom i nence, with Canopus in Carina leading the way.
The Cross and Pointers have pushed off from the south ern horizon.
The east and north­east are the domain of the hunter Orion, with his dis tinc tive belt and sword. His two dogs are fol low­
ing him up the sky: the Lesser Dog with its bright star Procyon and, further south, the Greater Dog with daz zling Sirius.
Ahead of Orion lies the bull Taurus, notable for the star cluster the Pleiades and the red star Aldebaran as the bull’s eye.
Below Orion, the stars of the zodiac sign Gemini con tinue to rise. The line of the zodiac then runs west wards and up the
sky through Taurus, Aries, Pisces and Aquarius to Capricornus, setting south of west. In the north­west Pegasus moves closer
to setting.
8
15
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
1
1
1
2
13 14
20
1
2
h
0
h
NORTH
E
A
S
T
S O U T H
W
E
S
T
E
C
L
IP
T
IC
EQUATOR
Magnitudes
5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter
S o u t h
P o l e
C H A M
A E L E O N
H
yad
e
s
Pleiades
M U S C A
C
R
U
X
C E N T A U R U S
C
E
N
T
A
U
R
U
S
V
E
L
A
P
Y
X
I
S
P
U
P
P
I
S
A
N
T
L
I
A
C
A
R
I N
A
V
O
L
A
N
S
P
I C
T
O
R
M
E N
S A
D
O
R
A
D
O
R
E
T
I C
U
L U
M
H Y D R U S
H
O
R
O
L
O
G
I U
M
T
U
C
A
N
A
C
A
E
L
U
M
P
H
O
E
N
I
X
C
O
L
U
M
B
A
C
A
N
I
S
M
A
J
O
R
H
Y
D
R
A
C
A
N
C
E
R
C
A
N
I
S

M
I
N
O
R
T R I A N G U L U M
A U S T R A L E
C I R C I N U S
A
R
A
A P U S
O C T A N S
P
A
V
O
I
N
D
U
S
G
R
U
S
P
I
S
C
I
S
A
U
S
T
R
I
N
U
S
M
I
C
R
O
S
C
O
P
I
U
M
T
E
L
E
S
C
O
P
I U
M
S
A
G
I
T
T
A
R
I
U
S
C
A
P
R
I
C
O
R
N
U
S
C
O
R
O
N
A
A
U
S
T
R
A
L
I
S
L
E
P
U
S
O
R
I
O
N
M
O
N
O
C
E
R
O
S
T
A
U
R
U
S
E
R
ID
A
N
U
S
F
O
R
N
A
X
S
C
U
L
P
T
O
R
C
E
T
U
S
P
IS
C
E
S
A
N
D
R
O
M
E
D
A
PERSEUS
A
U
R
IG
A
G
E
M
I
N
I
ARIES
TRIANGULUM
P
E
G
A
S
U
S
A
Q
U
A
R
I
U
S
M
i m
o s a
A c r u x
R i g e l K e n t H a d a r
C
a
n
o
p
u
s
S
i
r
i
u
s
A
d
h
a
r
a
A
c
h
e
r n
a
r
M
ira
Algol
C
a
p
e
lla
A
ld
e
b
a
r
a
n
R
i
g
e
l
B
e
t
e
l
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u
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P
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y
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n
F
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m
a
l
h
a
u
t
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_02.indd 25 7/5/08 11:31:37 AM
26
Skyview 4
9 pm, January: weeks one and two
Sidereal time 0400
In the south ern sky, two bright stars are prom i nent: Achernar in Eridanus high in the south­west, and Canopus in Carina well
up in the south­east. The Cross and the Pointers remain close to the south­eastern horizon, but are moving up. High up,
Fomalhaut in the Southern Fish is heading west.
Looking north, Taurus the Bull is well placed, with the Pleiades and Aldebaran unmis tak able. The bril liant con stel la tion of
Orion the Hunter is above Taurus and east wards. Below Taurus, the far north ern star Capella, in Auriga the Charioteer, is making
a brief appear ance.
The Great Square of Pegasus is now setting in the north­west, but the Great and Little Dogs con tinue to rise in the north­
east. There also the bright stars of Gemini the Twins, Castor and Pollux, are now in view.
The faint early stars of Cancer the Crab in the north­east mark the east ern most of the visible zodiac signs. Running upwards
and westwards are fve other zodiac con stel la tions, Gemini, Taurus, Aries, Pisces and Aquarius.
8
15
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
1
2
13
14
1
2
h
0
h
NORTH
E
A
S
T
S O U T H
W
E
S
T
E
C
L
IP
T
IC
E
Q
U
A
T
O
R
Magnitudes
5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter
S o u t h
P o l e
C H A M
A E L E O
N
Hyades
Pleiades
M
U
S C A
C
R
U
X
C
E
N
T
A
U
R
U
S
V
E
L
A
P
Y
X
I
S
P
U
P
P
I
S
A
N
T
L
I
A
C
A
R
I N
A
V
O
L
A
N
S
P
I C
T
O
R
M
E N S A
D
O
R
A
D
O
R E T I C U L U M
H Y D R U S
H
O
R
O
L
O
G
I U
M
T
U
C
A
N
A
C
A
E
L
U
M
P
H
O
E
N
I
X
C
O
L
U
M
B
A
C
A
N
I
S
M
A
J
O
R
H
Y
D
R
A
H
Y
D
R
A
S
E
X
T
A
N
S
C
A
N
C
E
R
C
A
N
I
S

M
I
N
O
R
T R I A N G U L U M
A U S T R A L E
C I R C I N U S
A R A
A P U S
O C T A N S
P
A
V
O
I
N
D
U
S
G
R
U
S
P
I
S
C
I
S
A
U
S
T
R
I
N
U
S
M
I
C
R
O
S
C
O
P
I
U
M
S
A
G
I T
T
A
R
I U
S
C
A
P
R
I
C
O
R
N
U
S
L
E
P
U
S
O
R
IO
N
M
O
N
O
C
E
R
O
S
TAURUS
E
R
ID
A
N
U
S
F
O
R
N
A
X
S
C
U
L
P
T
O
R
C
E
T
U
S
P
I
S
C
E
S
A
N
D
R
O
M
E
D
A
PERSEUS
A
U
R
IG
A
G
E
M
IN
I
A
R
IE
S
T
R
IA
N
G
U
L
U
M
P
E
G
A
S
U
S
A
Q
U
A
R
I
U
S
M
i m
o
s a
A
c
r u
x
R i g e l
K e n t
H
a d a r
C
a
n
o
p
u
s
S
i
r
i
u
s
A
d
h
a
r
a
A
c
h
e
r
n
a
r
M
i
r
a
Algol
Capella
A
ld
e
b
a
ra
n
R
i
g
e
l
B
e
t
e
l
g
e
u
s
e
P
r
o
c
y
o
n
P
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l
l
u
x
C
a
s
t
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r
F
o
m
a
l
h
a
u
t
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_02.indd 26 7/5/08 11:31:38 AM
27
Skyview 5
9 pm, January: weeks three and four
Sidereal time 0500
In the north, Orion is nearing the merid ian, with the bril liant blue­white Rigel in the lead. Taurus the Bull has passed the
merid ian, and, low on the horizon, Capella shines almost due north. Pisces and Aries are heading for the western horizon, but
in the east Orion’s dogs and the stars of Gemini the Twins are rising high.
The early stars of Leo the Lion are now rising, with Regulus prom i nent. The faint stars of Cancer fll the space between Leo
and Gemini. Leo is there fore the east ern most of the visible zodiac signs, fol lowed by Cancer, Gemini, Taurus, Aries and
Pisces.
Looking south, the stars of Vela, Puppis and Carina, once parts of the greater con stel la tion of Argo, are high in the south­
east. Canopus is leading them up the sky. Behind the Argo stars come those of the Cross and Pointers, still low in the south­east.
Achernar is drop ping down the upper south­western sky, and Fomalhaut is nearing the south­western horizon.
8
15
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
1
2
13
14
16
1
2
h
0
h
NORTH
E
A
S
T
S O U T H
W
E
S
T
E
C
L
IP
T
IC
E
Q
U
A
T
O
R
Magnitudes
5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter
S o u t h
P o l e
C
H
A
M
A
E
L
E
O
N
H
yades
P
le
iad
e
s
M
U
S
C
A
C
R
U
X
C
E
N
T
A
U
R
U
S
V
E
L
A
P
Y
X
I
S
P
U
P
P
I
S
A
N
T
L
I
A
C
R
A
T
E
R
C
A
R
I N
A
V
O
L
A
N
S
P
I C
T
O
R
M E N S A
D O R A D O
R E T I C U L U M
H Y D R U S
H
O
R
O
L
O
G
I
U
M
T
U
C
A
N
A
C A E L U M
P
H
O
E
N
I
X
C
O
L
U
M
B
A
C
A
N
I
S
M
A
J
O
R
L
E
O
H
Y
D
R
A
H
Y
D
R
A
S
E
X
T
A
N
S
C
A
N
C
E
R
C
A
N
I
S

M
I
N
O
R
T R I A N G U L U M
A U S T R A L E
C I R C I N U S
A R A
A P U S
O C T A N S
P
A
V
O
I N
D
U
S
G
R
U
S
P
I
S
C
I
S
A
U
S
T
R
I
N
U
S
M
I
C
R
O
S
C
O
P
I
U
M
LEPUS
O
RIO
N
M
O
N
O
C
E
R
O
S
T
A
U
R
U
S
E
R
I
D
A
N
U
S
F
O
R
N
A
X
S
C
U
L
P
T
O
R
C
E
T
U
S
P
I
S
C
E
S
A
N
D
R
O
M
E
D
A
P
E
R
S
E
U
S
A
U
R
IG
A
G
E
M
IN
I
A
R
I
E
S
T
R
I
A
N
G
U
L
U
M
P
E
G
A
S
U
S
A
Q
U
A
R
I
U
S
M
i m
o
s
a
A
c
r u
x
R
i g
e
l K
e
n
t
H
a
d
a
r
C
a
n
o
p
u
s
S
i
r
i
u
s
A
d
h
a
r
a
R
e
g
u
l
u
s
A
c
h
e
r
n
a
r
M
i
r
a
A
lg
o
l
Aldebaran
R
ig
e
l
B
e
te
lg
e
u
s
e
P
r
o
c
y
o
n
P
o
l
l
u
x
C
a
s
t
o
r
F
o
m
a
l
h
a
u
t
Capella
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_02.indd 27 7/5/08 11:31:40 AM
28
Skyview 6
9 pm, February: weeks one and two
Sidereal time 0600
In the south ern sky, bright Canopus in Carina is nearing the merid ian, as is even brighter Sirius in Canis Major, which is nearly
over head. The Cross is close to nine o’clock, with Achernar almost oppo site it at around two o’clock. Fomalhaut is setting in
the south­west.
Looking north, the bril liance of Orion the Hunter cannot be missed, just west of the merid ian and high in the sky.
Taurus lies below Orion and a little to the west, while further down again is Auriga the Charioteer with Capella not far above
the horizon.
In the north­west Pisces and Aries are approach ing their setting. Stretched across the sky to the east of Taurus are the stars
of Gemini the Twins (with Procyon in the Little Dog just above), faint Cancer and most of Leo the Lion, notably Regulus. Thus
six zodiac signs can be seen, from just rising Leo in the east to soon­to­set Pisces in the west.
9
16
8
15
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
1
2
13
14
1
2
h 0 h
NORTH
E
A
S
T
S O U T H
W
E
S
T
E
C
L
I
P
T
I
C
E
Q
U
A
T
O
R
Magnitudes
5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter
S o u t h
P o l e
C
H
A
M
A
E
L
E
O
N
H
y
a
d
e
s
P
le
ia
d
e
s
M
U
S
C
A
C
R
U
X
C
E
N
T
A
U
R
U
S
V
E
L
A
P
Y
X
I
S
P
U
P
P
I
S
A
N
T
L
I
A
C
R
A
T
E
R
C
O
R
V
U
S
C
A
R
I
N
A V
O
L A
N
S
P
I C
T
O
R
M E N S A
D
O
R
A
D
O
R E T I C U L U M
H Y D R U S
H
O
R
O
L
O
G
I
U
M
T
U
C
A
N
A
C
A
E
L
U
M
P
H
O
E
N
I
X
C
O
L
U
M
B
A
C
A
N
I
S
M
A
J
O
R
L
E
O
H
Y
D
R
A
H
Y
D
R
A
S
E
X
T
A
N
S
L
Y
N
X
C
A
N
C
E
R
C
A
N
IS
M
IN
O
R
T R I A N G U L U M
A U S T R A L E
C
I R
C
I N
U
S
L
U
P
U
S
A R A
A P U S
O C T A N S
P A V O
I N
D
U
S
G
R
U
S
P
I
S
C
I
S
A
U
S
T
R
I
N
U
S
L
E
P
U
S
ORION
M
O
N
O
C
E
R
O
S
T
A
U
R
U
S
E
R
I
D
A
N
U
S
F
O
R
N
A
X
S
C
U
L
P
T
O
R
C
E
T
U
S
P
I
S
C
E
S
P
E
R
S
E
U
S
AURIGA
GEM
INI
A
R
I
E
S
T
R
I
A
N
G
U
L
U
M
A
Q
U
A
R
I
U
S
M
i m
o
s
a
A
c
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u
x
R
i g
e
l K
e
n
t
H
a
d
a
r
C
a
n
o
p
u
s
S
iriu
s
A
d
h
a
r
a
R
e
g
u
l
u
s
A
c
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e
r
n
a
r
M
i
r
a
A
lg
o
l
A
ld
e
b
a
ra
n
R
i
g
e
l
Betelgeuse P
r
o
c
y
o
n
P
o
llu
x
C
a
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to
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F
o
m
a
l
h
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t
Capella
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_02.indd 28 7/5/08 11:31:41 AM
29
Skyview 7
9 pm, February: weeks three and four
Sidereal time 0700
Looking south, Canopus has joined Achernar west of the merid ian. The stars of Carina, Puppis and Vela are nearing the top of
the sky. They cover the large area of the sky once allot ted to the one con stel la tion Argo. The Cross is becom ing prom i nent in
the south­east, with the Pointers fol low ing it up.
Gemini the Twins now lies across the merid ian, with Castor and Pollux just east of north. Higher up but still east of the
merid ian is the lesser of Orion’s dogs, marked by the bright star Procyon. Orion himself, with the well­known ‘saucepan’ and
the bright stars Rigel and Betelgeuse, is high in the north­west sky, along with the Great Dog Sirius marking its heart.
East of Gemini, one of the zodiac signs, lie the faint stars of Cancer the Crab, then the brighter stars of Leo the Lion, includ­
ing Regulus, and lastly the early stars of Virgo, now rising due east. At the western end of the visible segment of the zodiac
lie some of the stars of Pisces and Aries.
9
16
8
15
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
1
3
14
12
h
0
h
NORTH
E
A
S
T
S O U T H
W
E
S
T
E
C
L
IP
T
IC
E
Q
U
A
T
O
R
Magnitudes
5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter
S o u t h
P o l e
C H A M A E L E O N
H
y
a
d
e
s
P
le
ia
d
e
s
M
U
S
C
A
C
R
U
X
C
E
N
T
A
U
R
U
S
V
E
L
A
P
Y
X
I
S
P
U
P
P
I
S
A
N
T
L
I
A
C
R
A
T
E
R
V
I
R
G
O
C
O
R
V
U
S C A R I N A
V O L A N S
P I C T O R
M E N S A
D
O
R
A
D
O
R
E
T
I C
U
L U
M
H
Y
D
R
U
S
H
O
R
O
L
O
G
I
U
M
T
U
C
A
N
A
C
A
E
L
U
M
P
H
O
E
N
I
X
C
O
L
U
M
B
A
C
A
N
IS
M
A
JO
R
L
E
O
L
E
O

M
I
N
O
R
H
Y
D
R
A
H
Y
D
R
A
S
E
X
T
A
N
S
LYNX
C
A
N
C
E
R
U
R
S
A
M
A
J
O
R
CANIS M
INOR
T R I A N G U L U M
A U S T R A L E C
I R
C
I N
U
S L
U
P
U
S
N
O
R
M
A
A R A
A P U S
O C T A N S
P A V O
I N
D
U
S
G
R
U
S
L
E
P
U
S
O
R
IO
N
M
O
N
O
C
E
R
O
S
T
A
U
R
U
S
E
R
I
D
A
N
U
S
F
O
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N
A
X
S
C
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L
P
T
O
R
C
E
T
U
S
P
I
S
C
E
S
P
E
R
S
E
U
S
AURIGA
GEMINI
A
R
I
E
S
M
i m
o
s
a
A
c
r
u
x
R
i g
e
l K
e
n
t
H
a
d
a
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C
a
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o
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s
S
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s
A
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a
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a
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S
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A
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a
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M
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A
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e
b
a
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a
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R
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l
B
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te
lg
e
u
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Procyon
Pollux
Castor
C
a
p
e
lla
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_02.indd 29 7/5/08 11:31:42 AM
30
Skyview 8
9 pm, March: weeks one and two
Sidereal time 0800
The spec tac u lar Pleiades are about to set in the north­west, with the rest of Taurus the Bull fol low ing them down. After only
a brief appear ance, the far north ern star Capella in Auriga the Charioteer is going down again west of north. Gemini the Twins
lies just west of north, with the ‘little dog star’ Procyon higher up the sky.
Cancer the Crab and Leo the Lion are pushing through the north­eastern sky, and behind Leo, the next zodiac sign Virgo
the Young Maiden is now well in view. Its bright star Spica lies above the eastern horizon.
The western and north­western sky still belongs to Orion and his twin dogs. Sirius, the true Dog Star, is well placed to show
its bril liance. Almost due south of Sirius is Canopus, the nearest to it in bright ness. It stands at one o’clock and is begin ning
its descent of the south­western sky. The Cross, coming up in the south­east, has reached ten o’clock, with the Pointers trail ing
behind.
1
7
9
16
8
15
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
14
12
h
0
h
NORTH
E
A
S
T
S O U T H
W
E
S
T
E
C
L
IP
T
IC
E
Q
U
A
T
O
R
Magnitudes
5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter
S o u t h
P o l e
C H A M A E L E O N
H
y
a
d
e
s
P
le
ia
d
e
s
M
U
S
C
A
C
R
U
X
C
E
N
T
A
U
R
U
S
V
E
L
A
P
Y
X
I
S
P
U
P
P
I
S
A
N
T
L
I
A
C
R
A
T
E
R
V
I
R
G
O
C
O
R
V
U
S
C A R I N A
V O L A N S
P
I
C
T
O
R
M E N S A
D
O
R
A
D
O
R
E
T
I C
U
L
U
M
H
Y
D
R
U
S
H
O
R
O
L
O
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I
U
M
T U
C
A
N
A
C
A
E
L
U
M
P
H
O
E
N
I
X
C
O
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U
M
B
A
C
A
N
IS
M
A
J
O
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L
E
O
L
E
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M
IN
O
R
H
Y
D
R
A
H
Y
D
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A
S
E
X
T
A
N
S
C
O
M
A
B
E
R
E
N
I
C
E
S
LYNX
CANCER
U
R
S
A
M
A
J
O
R
CA
N
IS M
IN
O
R
T R I A N G U L U M
A U S T R A L E
C
I R
C
I N
U
S
L
U
P
U
S
L
I
B
R
A
N
O
R
M
A
A
R
A
A P U S
O C T A N S
P A V O
I N
D
U
S
G
R
U
S
L
E
P
U
S
O
R
I
O
N
M
O
N
O
C
E
R
O
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T
A
U
R
U
S
E
R
I
D
A
N
U
S
F
O
R
N
A
X
S
C
U
L
P
T
O
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C
E
T
U
S
P
E
R
S
E
U
S
A
U
R
IG
A
G
E
M
IN
I
M
i m
o
s
a
A
c
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u
x
R
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e
l

K
e
n
t
H
a
d
a
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C
a
n
o
p
u
s
S
ir
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s
A
d
h
a
r
a
R
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g
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lu
s
S
p
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a
A
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r
n
a
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M
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r
a
A
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b
a
r
a
n
R
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l
B
e
t
e
lg
e
u
s
e
Procyon
Pollux
Castor
C
a
p
e
lla
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_02.indd 30 7/5/08 11:31:44 AM
31
Skyview 9
9 pm, March: weeks three and four
Sidereal time 0900
In the north­west, Taurus the Bull is close to setting, with the Pleiades frst to go. Higher up and a little to the south, Orion
the Hunter and his two Dogs make a spec tac u lar vista as they head for the horizon.
In the north ern sky, Gemini the Twins, with Castor and Pollux, lies west of the merid ian, and Leo the Lion with Regulus is
east of it. Cancer the Crab, devoid of bright stars, lies due north between them. The line of zodiac signs is com pleted by Virgo
the Young Maiden, coming up in the north­east with its bright star Spica, and by Libra the Scales, just rising.
To the south, the Pointers, and their home con stel la tion of Centaurus, are pushing the Cross up the sky in the south­east.
The stars of the old Argo, now in Vela, Carina and Puppis, are at the top of the sky, with the leading star Canopus, second
bright est in the sky, now past one o’clock. The ‘false cross’, made up of two stars of Vela and two of Carina, is right on the
merid ian.
1
0
17
9
16
8
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
14
15
12
h
0
h
NORTH
E
A
S
T
S O U T H
W
E
S
T
E
C
L
I
P
T
I
C
E
Q
U
A
T
O
R
Magnitudes
5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter
S o u t h
P o l e
C H A M A E L E O N
H
y
a
d
e
s
M
U
S
C
A
C
R
U
X
C
E
N
T
A
U
R
U
S
V E L A
P
Y
X
IS
P
U
P
P
I
S
A
N
T
L
I
A
C
R
A
T
E
R
V
I
R
G
O
B
O
O
T
E
S
C
O
R
V
U
S
C
A
R
I N
A
V O
L A
N
S
P
I
C
T
O
R
M
E
N
S
A
D
O
R
A
D
O
R
E
T
I C
U
L
U
M
H
Y
D
R
U
S
H
O
R
O
L
O
G
I
U
M
T U
C
A
N
A
C
A
E
L
U
M
P
H
O
E
N
I
X
C
O
L
U
M
B
A
C
A
N
I
S
M
A
J
O
R
L
E
O
LEO
M
IN
O
R
HYDRA
H
Y
D
R
A
S
E
X
T
A
N
S
C
O
M
A
B
E
R
E
N
I
C
E
S
LYN
X
CANCER
U
RSA
M
A
JO
R
C
A
N
IS M
IN
O
R
T
R
I A
N
G
U
L
U
M
A
U
S
T
R
A
L
E
C
I R
C
I N
U
S
L
U
P
U
S
L
I
B
R
A
S
C
O
R
P
I
U
S
N
O
R
M
A
A
R
A
A P U S
O C T A N S
P A V O
I N D U S
L
E
P
U
S
O
R
I
O
N
M
O
N
O
C
E
R
O
S
T
A
U
R
U
S
E
R
I
D
A
N
U
S
F
O
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N
A
X
A
U
R
I
G
A
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M
IN
I
M
i
m
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s
a
A
c
r
u
x
R
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e
l

K
e
n
t
H
a
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a
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C
a
n
o
p
u
s
S
i
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i
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s
A
d
h
a
r
a
R
egulus
S
p
i
c
a
A
c
h
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r
n
a
r
A
l
d
e
b
a
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a
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R
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B
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P
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c
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o
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Pollux
C
asto
r
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_02.indd 31 7/5/08 11:31:45 AM
32
Skyview 10
9 pm, April: weeks one and two
Sidereal time 1000
Two new con stel la tions, both zodiac signs, have cleared the eastern horizon. A bright ish pair of stars marks the frst, Libra the
Scales. The second is far more spec tac u lar. Scorpius the Scorpion forms a hook of stars, with red Antares among the frst to rise.
In the south­west, Achernar at the head of the river Eridanus is now well down, with the Cross and the Pointers in con se­
quence high in the south­east. At the top of the sky and into the south­west lie the Argo con stel la tions of Carina, Puppis and
Vela, well marked by the bril liance of Canopus.
Orion is now nearing the western horizon, with the stars of his two dogs higher up the sky. Leo the Lion lies in the middle
of the north ern vista, with Regulus near the merid ian. Leo is fanked by Virgo in the north­east and Gemini going down in
the west. With Taurus now set, Gemini is the west ern most of the zodiac signs, with the line then running east through faint
Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra and newly risen Scorpius.
1
0
17
9
16
8
1
2
3
4
6
7
14
15
12
h
0
h
NORTH
E
A
S
T
S O U T H
W
E
S
T
E
C
L
I
P
T
I
C
E
Q
U
A
T
O
R
Magnitudes
5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter
S o u t h
P o l e
C H A M A E L E O N
M
U
S
C
A
C
R
U
X
C
E
N
T
A
U
R
U
S
V
E
L
A
P
Y
X
I
S
P
U
P
P
I
S
ANTLIA
C
R
A
T
E
R
V
I
R
G
O
B
O
O
T
E
S
C
O
R
V
U
S
C
A
R
I N
A
V
O
L
A
N
S
P
I
C
T
O
R
M
E
N
S
A
D
O
R
A
D
O
R
E
T
I C
U
L
U
M
H
Y
D
R
U
S
H
O
R
O
L
O
G
I U
M
T U C A N A
C
A
E
L
U
M
P
H
O
E
N
I X
C
O
L
U
M
B
A
C
A
N
I
S
M
A
J
O
R
LEO
LEO MINOR
H
YD
RA
H
Y
D
R
A
S
EX
TA
N
S
C
O
M
A
B
E
R
E
N
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E
S
C
A
N
E
S
V
E
N
A
T
IC
I
L
Y
N
X
C
A
N
C
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URSA MAJOR
C
A
N
IS
M
IN
O
R
T
R
I A
N
G
U
L
U
M
A
U
S
T
R
A
L
E
C
I
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C
I
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U
S
L
U
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S
L
I
B
R
A
S
E
R
P
E
N
S
C
A
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T
S
C
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P
I
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S
N
O
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M
A
A
R
A
T
E
L
E
S
C
O
P
I U
M
A P U S
O C T A N S
P A V O
I N D U S
L
E
P
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S
O
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I
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N
M
O
N
O
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A
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A
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Regulus
S
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r
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_02.indd 32 7/5/08 11:31:46 AM
33
Skyview 11
9 pm, April: weeks three and four
Sidereal time 1100
Scorpius the Scorpion, with its red star Antares, rides clear of the eastern horizon. In the north­east orange Arcturus marks the
posi tion of Bootes the Bearkeeper, while higher in the sky Spica glows in the hand of Virgo the Virgin.
Leo the Lion lies due north, with Regulus prom i nent. Gemini now in the north­west is the west ern most of the visible zodiac
signs, with Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra and Scorpius lying suc ces sively further east.
The great con stel la tion Orion is setting, leaving the western sky dom i nated by the stars of the Great and Little Dogs, includ­
ing Sirius and Procyon.
In the south ern sky, the stars of the Argo con stel la tions (Carina, Puppis and Vela) are heading down in the south­west, with
Canopus leading the way. Achernar is almost out of sight. The Cross is nearing the top of the sky in the south­east with the
stars of the Centaur grouped around. Below the Pointers, three stars form the dis tinc tive Southern Triangle.
1
8
1
0
17
9
16
8
1
2
3
4
6
7
15
S o u t h
P o l e
12
h
0
h
NORTH
E
A
S
T
S O U T H
W
E
S
T
ECLIPTIC
EQUATOR
Magnitudes
5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter
C H A M A E L E O N
M U S C A
C
R
U
X
C
E
N
T
A
U
R
U
S
V
E
L
A
P
Y
X
I
S
P
U
P
P
I
S
A
N
T
L
I
A
C
R
A
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E
R
V
I
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G
O
B
O
O
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E
S
C
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C
A
R
I
N
A
V
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L
A
N
S
P
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T
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M
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S A
D
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A
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C
A
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N
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C
O
L
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B
A
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A
N
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M
A
J
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LEO
LEO MINOR
H
Y
D
R
A
H
Y
D
R
A
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E
X
T
A
N
S
C
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M
A
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S
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A
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S
V
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N
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T
IC
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L
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N
X
C
A
N
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URSA MAJOR
C
A
N
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S
M
I
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T
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A
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N
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C
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A
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S
A
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A
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A
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A
A
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P
A
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L
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a
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A
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r
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_02.indd 33 7/5/08 11:31:48 AM
34
Skyview 12
9 pm, May: weeks one and two
Sidereal time 1200
The unmis tak able hook of Scorpius, with red Antares in its centre, is climb ing the eastern sky, and the next zodiac sign,
Sagittarius, looking more like a teapot than an archer, has risen in the south­east. The Cross is almost as high as it can get in
the south, with the Pointers at ten o’clock. The bright star Canopus is almost at three o’clock in the south­west with the stars
of the old Argo con stel la tions, Carina, Puppis and Vela, trail ing behind.
The new stars in the east are a ragged square belong ing to Ophiuchus, the Man Wrestling with a Serpent. Orange Arcturus
in Bootes is prom i nent in the north­east, and Virgo is nearing the merid ian.
Leo the Lion now graces the north­west sky, with Regulus prom i nent, along with the faint stars of Cancer. Castor and Pollux,
the bright stars of Gemini, are departing from view. Above the western horizon, the ‘dog stars’ Sirius and Procyon, both soon
to set, remind us of the departed Orion.
1
1
18
1
0
17
9
16
8
1
2
3
4
6
7
15
12
h
0
h
NORTH
E
A
S
T
S O U T H
W
E
S
T
E
C
L
IP
T
IC
EQ
U
ATO
R
Magnitudes
5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter
S o u t h
P o l e
C H A M A E L E O N
M U S C A
C
R
U
X
C
E
N
T
A
U
R
U
S
V
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L
A
P
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X
I
S
P
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P
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A
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L
I
A
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A
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V
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G
O
B
O
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S
C
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S
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A
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A
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A
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P
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M
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D
O
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A
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T
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U
L
U
M
H Y D R U S
H
O
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O
L
O
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M
T U C A N A
C
A
E
L
U
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P H O E N I X
C
O
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U
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B
A
C
A
N
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S
M
A
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Y
D
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A
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A
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X
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A
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S
COM
A
BERENICES
CANES VENATICI
L
Y
N
X
C
A
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URSA M
AJOR
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S
A
M
A
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A
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A
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P
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x
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_02.indd 34 7/5/08 11:31:49 AM
35
Skyview 13
9 pm, May: weeks three and four
Sidereal time 1300
The sky due north is dom i nated by the zodiac sign Virgo with its bright star Spica. Leo the Lion with Regulus is heading for
the horizon in the north­west. West of Leo lie the faint stars of Cancer the Crab. Ophiuchus the serpent man is clear of the
north­eastern horizon, and another hero, Hercules, sim i larly large and faint, is rising further north.
To the south, the Cross is now just past the merid ian. Centaurus is high in the sky, and further east, the Scorpion is rising
to prom i nence, with the teapot of Sagittarius the Archer close behind. The line of the zodiac runs north­west across the sky
from Sagittarius, through Scorpius, Libra, Virgo and Leo, to the soon­to­set Cancer.
To the west, Canopus is sinking low. Both Sirius in the Great Dog and Procyon in the Little Dog foat above the western
horizon, ready to set in an hour or two.
1
1
18
1
0
17
9
16
8
1
2
3
4
7
1
5
12
h
0
h
NORTH
E
A
S
T
S O U T H
W
E
S
T
ECLIPTIC
E
Q
U
A
T
O
R
Magnitudes
5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter
S o u t h
P o l e
C H A M A E L E O N
M U S C A
C R U X
C E N T A U R U S
V
E
L
A
P
Y
X
I
S
P
U
P
P
I
S
A
N
T
L
I
A
C
R
A
T
E
R
VIRGO
B
O
O
T
E
S
C
O
R
V
U
S
C
A
R
I N
A
V
O
L
A
N
S
P
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C
T
O
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M E N S A
D
O
R
A
D
O
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T
I C
U
L
U
M
H Y D R U S
H
O
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O
L
O
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I U
M
T
U
C
A
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A
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C
A
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M
P H O E N I X
C
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U
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B
A
C
A
N
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S
M
A
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E
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IN
O
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H
Y
D
R
A
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Y
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A
S
E
X
T
A
N
S
COMA
BERENICES
CANES VENATICI
L
Y
N
X
C
A
N
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URSA MAJOR
C
A
N
I
S
M
I
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T R I A N
G
U
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A U
S T R A L E
C
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C
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A
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C
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C
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A
B
O
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A
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S
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S
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A
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A
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A
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A
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P
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D
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O
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A c r u x
R i g e l K e n t
A
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a
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s
H a d a r
C
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A c h e r n a r
P
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S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_02.indd 35 7/5/08 11:31:51 AM
36
Skyview 14
9 pm, June: weeks one and two
Sidereal time 1400
Most prom i nent in the north ern sky is Bootes the Herdsman, Ploughman or Bearkeeper, depend ing on which inter pre ta tion
of legend is taken. Its leading star Arcturus is close to the merid ian. In the north­west, Leo the Lion is near to setting, with
Regulus showing the way. Above Leo, Virgo is also heading down. Ophiuchus and Hercules hang in the north­east, big but
dim.
The Pointers have reached the top of the south ern sky, pushing the Cross into the south­west. The stars of the Centaur lie
in the zenith. As a result, Achernar is as low as it can get, hugging the south ern horizon.
Canopus in Carina, with the other old Argo stars, is well down in the south­west. Scorpius and Sagittarius stand high in the
south­east, and below them the dimmer zodiac sign Capricornus the Sea­Goat is coming up.
19
1
1
18
1
0
17
9
16
8
1
2
3
4
7
12
h
0 h
NORTH
E
A
S
T
S O U T H
W
E
S
T
ECLIPTIC
E
Q
U
A
T
O
R
Magnitudes
5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter
S o u t h
P o l e
C H A M A E L E O N
M
U
S
C
A
C
R
U
X
C
E
N
T
A
U
R
U
S
V
E
L
A
P
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X
I
S
P
U
P
P
I
S
A
N
T
L
I
A
C
R
A
T
E
R
VIRG
O
BOOTES
C
O
R
V
U
S
C
A
R
I N
A
V
O
L
A
N
S
P
I C
T
O
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M E N S A
D
O
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A
D
O
R E T I C U
L U
M
H Y D R U S
H
O
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L O
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T
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C
A
N
A
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S
P H O E N I X
C
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B
A
C
A
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A
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O
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M
I
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H
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A
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A
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A
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C
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A
B
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ES
CANES
VENATICI
C
A
N
C
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U
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JO
R
T R I A N G U L U M
A U S T R A L E
C
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A
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A
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A
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A
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A
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T
A
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A
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P
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A c r u x
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Arcturus
A c h e r n a r
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_02.indd 36 7/5/08 11:31:52 AM
37
Skyview 15
9 pm, June: weeks three and four
Sidereal time 1500
The Cross, though high in the south­west, is now descend ing. The many stars of the old sign of Argo, now formed into the
con stel la tions Vela, Puppis and Carina, crowd the south­west, with Canopus near the horizon. The bright ish Southern Triangle
is about to cross the merid ian. In the east, Capricornus the Sea­Goat is all but up, so that six zodiac signs span the sky to the
north­west where Leo is setting. The signs between (running east to west) are Sagittarius (the ‘teapot’), the bril liant Scorpius,
the dimmer Libra and Virgo high in the north­west.
Filling the north ern sky are Bootes the Herdsman, with its bright star Arcturus well west of the merid ian, and, further east
the heroes Hercules and Ophiuchus, large but with no bright stars. In the north­east, a new bright star has risen, Altair in
Aquila the Eagle.
1
2
19
1
1
18
10
17
9
16
8
1
2
3
4
7
12
h
0
h
NORTH
E
A
S
T
S O U T H
W
E
S
T
E
C
L
IP
T
IC
E
Q
U
A
T
O
R
Magnitudes
5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter
S o u t h
P o l e
C H
A
M
A
E L E O
N
M
U
S
C
A
C
R
U
X
C
E
N
T
A
U
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U
S
V
E
L
A
P
Y
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H O R O L O G I U M
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V
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M
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T R I A N G U L U M
A U S T R A L E
C
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CORONA
BOREALIS
SERPENS
CAPUT
S
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C
A
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A
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A
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K e n t
A
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A c h e r n a r
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_02.indd 37 7/5/08 11:31:53 AM
38
Skyview 16
9 pm, July: weeks one and two
Sidereal time 1600
In the north­east, Vega in Lyra the Harp has risen, making a pair with Altair in Aquila the Eagle higher in the east. In the north­
west, Bootes with its bright star Arcturus vies with Virgo and Spica. Leo the Lion is setting, with Regulus already gone. Slightly
east of north, a large area of sky is taken up with the less than spec tac u lar Hercules and Ophiuchus.
To the south, the Cross is now well past the merid ian and notice ably lower in the sky, stand ing at two o’clock. Anticlockwise
from the Cross are the Pointers and the fainter Southern Triangle at the top of the sky.
Further north the strik ing Scorpius is almost over head, with other zodiac signs Sagittarius and Capricornus between it and
the eastern horizon. Zodiac signs to the west are Libra, Virgo and the setting Leo.
Low in the south­east, two bright stars hug the horizon: the never­setting Achernar in Eridanus, and Fomalhaut in the
Southern Fish.
1
2
19
1
1
18
10
17
9
16
8
1
2
3
4
0
h
12
h
NORTH
E
A
S
T
S O U T H
W
E
S
T
E
C
L
IP
T
IC
E
Q
U
A
T
O
R
Magnitudes
5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter
S o u t h
P o l e
C H A M
A E L E O N
M
U
S
C
A
C
R
U
X
C
E
N
T
A
U
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S
V
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L
A
P
Y
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P
U
P
P
I S
A
N
T
L
I
A
C
R
A
T
E
R
V
I
R
G
O
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O
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S
C
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V
U
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C
A
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I N
A
V
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L A
N
S
P
I C
T
O
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M E N S A
D O R A D O
R E T I C U L U M
H Y D R U S
H O
R O
L O
G
I U
M
T
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C
A
N
A
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A
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A
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A
B
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C
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C
A
N
E
S

V
E
N
A
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IC
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A
M
A
J
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T R I A N G U L U M
A U S T R A L E
C
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C
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L
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L
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R
A
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A
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A
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HERCU
LES
CORONA
BOREALIS
SERPENS
CAPUT
S
E
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C
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A
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A
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A
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A
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A
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A
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M
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a
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A
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A
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F
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S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_02.indd 38 7/5/08 11:31:55 AM
39
Skyview 17
9 pm, July: weeks three and four
Sidereal time 1700
The spec tac u lar Scorpius is now over head, lying across the Milky Way. Running down to the eastern horizon are three other
zodiac signs, the teapot­like Sagittarius the Archer, faint tri an gu lar Capricornus the Sea­Goat, and newly rising Aquarius the
Water­Carrier. To the west of Scorpius lie a pair of stars marking Libra the Scales, and Virgo close to setting.
In the south­east, the bright star Fomalhaut is prom i nent, marking the Southern Fish. In the south­west, the Cross and the
Pointers are going down and the stars of the Argo con stel la tions (Carina and Vela) are drop ping out of sight. Puppis has already
gone.
In the north­west, the bright star Spica in the setting con stel la tion Virgo is still well up, while further east lies Bootes with
its lead star Arcturus. Due north lie the large but faint star signs of Ophiuchus and Hercules. In the north­east, we fnd Lyra
the Harp with Vega and Altair, the bright est star in Aquila the Eagle.
2
0
1
2
19
1
1
18
10
17
9
8
1
2
3
4
0
h
12
h
NORTH
E
A
S
T
S O U T H
W
E
S
T
ECLIPTIC
E
Q
U
A
T
O
R
Magnitudes
5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter
S o u t h
P o l e
C H A M A E L E O N
M
U
S
C
A
C
R
U
X
C
E
N
T
A
U
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U
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V
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L
A
A
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T
L
I
A
C
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A
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R
V
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B
O
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C
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C
A
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A
V O
L A
N
S
P I C T O
R
M E N S A
D O R A D O
R E T I C U L U M
H Y D R U S
H
O
R
O
L O
G
I U
M
T
U
C
A
N
A
G
R
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S
C
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N
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L
E
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Y
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A
C
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A
B
E
R
E
N
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C
E
S
T R I A N G U L U M
A U S T R A L E
C
I R
C
I N
U
S
L
U
P
U
S
L
I
B
R
A
OPHIUCHUS
L
Y
R
A
C
Y
G
N
U
S
S
A
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T
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A
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L
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E
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A
S
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A
HERCULES
DRACO
CO
RO
N
A
BO
REA
LIS
S
E
R
P
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N
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A
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T
S
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N
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A
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A
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A
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A
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A
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A
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A
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A
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M
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o
s
a
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l

K
e
n
t
Antares
A
l
t
a
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r
Vega
H
a
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p
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A
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t
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_02.indd 39 7/5/08 11:31:56 AM
40
Skyview 18
9 pm, August: weeks one and two
Sidereal time 1800
In the north­east, a third bright star has risen, Deneb at the tail of Cygnus the Swan. With Vega in Lyra and Altair in Aquila, it
makes up the prom i nent Winter Triangle, to be visible for some months. In the west, Virgo with its bright star Spica is prepar­
ing to set and Arcturus in Bootes is close to setting. The large faint con stel la tions Ophiuchus and Hercules fll the sky just west
of north.
Looking south, the Cross is now at three o’clock in the south­west and going down, with the Pointers and the dis tinc tive
but only bright ish Southern Triangle above it.
Higher up still, six zodiac signs arch across the sky, from Aquarius in the north­east, through Capricornus and the bright
well­placed Sagittarius and Scorpius, on through less showy Libra to Virgo setting in the west. Bright Fomalhaut in the Southern
Fish lies almost due east of the Pole.
5
20
1
2
19
11
18
10
17
9
8
1
2
3
4
0
h 1
2 h
NORTH
E
A
S
T
S O U T H
W
E
S
T ECLIPTIC
EQ
UATO
R
Magnitudes
5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter
S o u t h
P o l e
C H A M A E L E O N
M
U
S
C
A
C
R
U
X
C
E
N
T
A
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S
V
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A
A
N
T
L
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A
C
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A
T
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V
I
R
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O
B
O
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T
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S
C
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V
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C A R I N A
V O L A N S
P I C T O R
M E N S A
D O R A D O
R E T I C U
L U
M
H
Y
D
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S
H
O
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O
L
O
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A
N
A
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N
I
X
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Y
D
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A
C
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A
B
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C
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S
T R I A N G U L U M
A U S T R A L E
C
I R
C
I N
U
S
L
U
P
U
S
L
I
B
R
A
O
P
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IU
C
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S
LYRA
C
Y
G
N
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S
S
A
G
I
T
T
A
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L
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U
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P
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G
A
S
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S
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C
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S
VU
LPECU
LA
HERCULES
DRACO
C
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A
B
O
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E
A
L
IS
S
E
R
P
E
N
S
C
A
P
U
T
SERPENS
CAUDA
S
C
U
T
U
M
A
Q
U
I
L
A
S
C
O
R
P
I
U
S
S
A
G
I
T
T
A
R
I
U
S
C
A
P
R
I
C
O
R
N
U
S
A
Q
U
A
R
I
U
S
N
O
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M
A
A R A
T
E
L
E
S
C
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M
M
I
C
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C
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M
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C
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A
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S
T
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S
C
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O
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A
A
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T
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A
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A
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A
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A
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A
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u
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M
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a
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e
l
K
e
n
t
A
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a
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s
A
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Vega
D
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n
e
b
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a
d
a
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p
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a
A
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a
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t
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_02.indd 40 7/5/08 11:31:57 AM
41
Skyview 19
9 pm, August: weeks three and four
Sidereal time 1900
The north ern sky is dom i nated by the three bright stars of the Winter Triangle, Vega in Lyra the Harp almost due north, Deneb
in Cygnus the Swan a little to the east, and Altair in Aquila the Eagle high in the sky. The rest of the north is dull by com par i­
son; Aquarius and the rising Pegasus in the north­east, the large but dim Ophiuchus and Hercules in the north­west, and Virgo
and Bootes setting in the west and north­west.
The Cross is well down in the south­west, with the Pointers above it. Higher still, curved Scorpius is past the merid ian.
Libra and Sagittarius, both zodiac signs, lie west and east respec tively of Scorpius. The west ern most sign is the setting Virgo,
while Capricornus and Aquarius lie north­east of Sagittarius. The latter are out shone by Fomalhaut in the Southern Fish, which
is now prom i nent in the south­east.
5
20
1
2
19
11
18
1
0
1
7
9
1
2
3
4
0
h
1
2
h
NORTH
E
A
S
T
S O U T H
W
E
S
T
ECLIPTIC
E
Q
U
A
T
O
R
Magnitudes
5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter
S o u t h
P o l e
C H A M A E L E O N M
U
S
C
A
C
R
U
X
C
E
N
T
A
U
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U
S
V
E
L
A
V
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G
O
B
O
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C
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V
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C A R I N A
V O L A N S
P I C T O R
M E N S A
D
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A
D
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LYRA
CYG
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SAGITTA
D
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A
C
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A
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C
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A
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SERPENS
CAUDA
SCUTUM
A
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A
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C
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SAGITTARIUS
C
A
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A
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A
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N
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A
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I
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U
S
C
O
R
O
N
A
A
U
S
T
R
A
L
I
S
A
P U
S
O
C
T
A
N
S
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R
I
D
A
N
U
S
P A V
O
I
N
D
U
S
A
c
r
u
x
M
i
m
o
s
a
R
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e
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e
n
t
A
n
t
a
r
e
s
A
lta
ir
Vega
D
e
n
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b
H
a
d
a
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a
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r
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t
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t
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_02.indd 41 7/5/08 11:31:59 AM
42
Skyview 20
9 pm, September: weeks one and two
Sidereal time 2000
The south ern sky has its duller spring­time look. The bright stars of the Cross and Pointers are sinking in the south­west,
Canopus in Carina is against the south ern horizon, and Achernar in Eridanus is still coming up in the south­east. Of the brighter
stars only Fomalhaut in the Southern Fish is high, lying in the south­east and forming a dis tinc tive pattern with some stars of
nearby Grus the Crane.
Scorpius is plung ing head­frst into the west, with Libra the Scales leading it down and Sagittarius the Archer close behind.
Further east are other fainter zodiac signs Capricornus and Aquarius.
Due north glitter the stars of the Winter Triangle: Altair in Aquila the Eagle, Vega in Lyra the Harp and Deneb in Cygnus the
Swan. No other bright stars are in sight, but the Great Square of Pegasus, only bright ish but dis tinc tive, has risen above the
north­east horizon, with the early stars of Pisces the Fish following it up the sky.
1
3
5
20
1
2
19
11
18
1
0
9
1
2
3
4
0
h
1
2
h
NORTH
E
A
S
T
S O U T H
W
E
S
T
E
C
L
IP
T
IC
E
Q
U
A
T
O
R
Magnitudes
5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter
S o u t h
P o l e
C H A M A E L E O N
M
U
S
C
A
C
R
U
X
C
E
N
T
A
U
R
U
S
V
E
L
A
V
I
R
G
O
C A R I N A
V O L A N S
P I C T O
R
M E N S A
D
O
R
A
D
O
R
E
T
I C
U
L
U
M
H
Y
D
R
U
S
H
O
R
O
L
O
G
I U
M
T
U
C
A
N
A
G
R
U
S
S
C
U
L
P
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C
E
T
U
S
P
H
O
E
N
I
X
F
O
R
N
A
X
H
Y
D
R
A
T R I A N G U L U M
A U S T R A L E
C
I
R
C
I
N
U
S
L
U
P
U
S
L
I
B
R
A
O
P
H
I
U
C
H
U
S
LYRA
CYGNUS
SAGITTA
D
ELPH
IN
U
S
L
A
C
E
R
T
A
E
Q
U
U
L
E
U
S
P
E
G
A
S
U
S
A
N
D
R
O
M
E
D
A
P
I
S
C
E
S
VULPECULA
H
E
R
C
U
L
E
S
C
O
R
O
N
A
B
O
R
E
A
L
I
S
S
E
R
P
E
N
S
C
A
P
U
T
S
E
R
P
E
N
S
C
A
U
D
A
S
C
U
T
U
M
AQUILA
S
C
O
R
P
I
U
S
S
A
G
I
T
T
A
R
I
U
S
CAPRICORNUS
A
Q
U
A
R
I
U
S
N
O
R
M
A
A
R
A T
E
L
E
S
C
O
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M
M
I
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R
O
S
C
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P
I
S
C
I
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A
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S
T
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I
N
U
S
C
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R
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N
A
A
U
S
T
R
A
L
I
S
A
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S
O C T A N S E
R
I
D
A
N
U
S
E
R
I
D
A
N
U
S
P A V O
I N D U S
A
c
r
u
x
M
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s
a
C
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o
p
u
s
R
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e
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e
n
t
A
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a
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e
s
Altair
Vega
Deneb
H
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A
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F
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m
a
l
h
a
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t
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_02.indd 42 7/5/08 11:32:00 AM
43
Skyview 21
9 pm, September: weeks three and four
Sidereal time 2100
In the north­west Ophiuchus and Hercules are setting. The Winter Triangle of Vega, Altair and Deneb dom i nates the north­west,
with the fainter Great Square of Pegasus in the north­east. Further east still, all of the faint stars of the zodiac sign Pisces the
Fish are now in view. With the sur round ing con stel la tions such as Aquarius and Cetus the Whale (just rising), Pisces makes
up the ‘wet corner’ of the sky.
In the south, the Cross is low to the south­west. Achernar, the end of the river Eridanus, is cor re spond ingly high in the
south­east. Higher still is Fomalhaut, the mouth of the Southern Fish.
In the west, Libra is close to setting and Scorpius is diving down wards, claws frst. The line of the zodiac then runs east wards
through Sagittarius, Capricornus and Aquarius to the newly risen Pisces.
6
13
5
20
12
19
11
18
1
0
9
1
2
3
4
1
2
h
0
h
NORTH
E
A
S
T
S O U T H
W
E
S
T
ECLIPTIC
E
Q
U
A
T
O
R
Magnitudes
5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter
S o u t h
P o l e
C H A M A E L E O N
M
U
S C A
C
R
U
X
C
E
N
T
A
U
R
U
S
C A R I N A
V O L A N S
P
I C
T
O
R
M
E N S A
D
O
R
A
D
O
R
E
T
I C
U
L
U
M
H
Y
D
R
U
S
H
O
R
O
L
O
G
I
U
M C
A
E
L
U
M
T
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C
A
N
A
G
R
U
S
S
C
U
L
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S
P
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O
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N
I
X
F
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N
A
X
H
Y
D
R
A
T
R
I
A
N
G
U
L
U
M
A
U
S
T
R
A
L
E
C
I R
C
I N
U
S
L
U
P
U
S
L
I
B
R
A
O
P
H
I
U
C
H
U
S
L
Y
R
A
CYGNUS
S
A
G
IT
T
A
DELPHINUS
L
A
C
E
R
T
A
EQUULEUS
P
E
G
A
S
U
S
A
N
D
R
O
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E
D
A
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S
C
E
S
A
R
I
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S
VULPECULA
H
E
R
C
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L
E
S
S
E
R
P
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N
S
C
A
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T
S
E
R
P
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N
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C
A
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A
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C
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A
Q
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S
C
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P
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U
S
S
A
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C
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N
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A
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A
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S
C
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A
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A
A
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A
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E
R
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A
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P A V O
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D
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A
c
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M
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R
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n
t
A
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t
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s
A
ltair
V
e
g
a
Deneb
H
a
d
a
r
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a
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a
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M
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a
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_02.indd 43 7/5/08 11:32:02 AM
44
Skyview 22
9 pm, October: weeks one and two
Sidereal time 2200
On the south­east horizon, Canopus, second bright est star in the sky, is making a return, bal anc ing the sinking of the Cross
and the Pointers which are now at four or fve o’clock. Higher in the south­east sky, Achernar marks the end of the river
Eridanus. Fomalhaut in the Southern Fish nears the top of the sky.
In the north­west, the Winter Triangle of Altair (in Aquilia the Eagle), Vega (in Lyra the Harp) and Deneb (in Cygnus the
Swan) remains prom i nent. The north­east sky belongs to the Great Square of Pegasus, rep re sent ing both Pegasus and
Andromeda.
Further east, the zodiac sign of Aries the Ram has risen. The faint sign Pisces lies mostly above Pegasus, while further west
are Aquarius and Capricornus. Sagittarius and Scorpius con tinue their fall down the western sky.
6
13
5
20
12
19
1
1
1
8
1
0
1
2
3
4
1
2
h
0
h
NORTH
E
A
S
T
S O U T H
W
E
S
T
ECLIPTIC
E
Q
U
ATO
R
Magnitudes
5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter
S o u t h
P o l e
C H A M A E L E O N
M
U S C A
C
R
U
X
C
E
N
T
A
U
R
U
S
C
A
R
I N
A
V E L A
V
O
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N
S
P
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T
O
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P
U
P
P
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C
O
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B
A
M E N S A
D
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A
D
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T
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U
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H
Y
D
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H
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C
A
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F
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A
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A
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S
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L
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A
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I
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A
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Y
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S
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A
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T
A
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E
L
P
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IN
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S
LACERTA
E
Q
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U
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E
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PEGASUS
A
N
D
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E
D
A
P
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S
C
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S
A
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I
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S
T
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A
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L
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V
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L
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C
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A
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R
C
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L
E
S
S
E
R
P
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N
S
C
A
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D
A
S
C
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U
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A
Q
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L
A
S
C
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P
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S
S
A
G
I
T
T
A
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I
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S
C
A
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I
C
O
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N
U
S
AQUARIUS
N
O
R
M
A
A
R
A
T
E
L
E
S
C
O
P
I
U
M
M
I
C
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C
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M
P
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S
C
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A
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C
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O
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A
A
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A
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A
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E
R
I
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A
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A
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I N D U S
A
c
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M
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s
a
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s
R
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t
A
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t
a
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s
A
lt
a
ir
V
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g
a
D
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H
a
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a
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a
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h
a
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t
M
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a
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_02.indd 44 7/5/08 11:32:03 AM
45
Skyview 23
9 pm, October: weeks three and four
Sidereal time 2300
In the north­west, the Winter Triangle has begun to set, with Vega in Lyra the Harp frst to go. Deneb in Cygnus the Swan will
be next, leaving Altair in Aquila the Eagle higher in the sky. In the north, the Great Square of Pegasus is about to cross the
merid ian.
Aries the Ram in the north­east, with a dis tinc tive pair of bright ish stars, is the east ern most of the risen zodiac signs. Further
west, and running steeply up the sky, lie Pisces, Aquarius, Capricornus and the ‘tea­pot’ Sagittarius. In the west, Scorpius is
setting.
The ‘wet corner’ of the sky is over head, stretch ing both north­east and north­west. Constellations such as the Southern Fish,
Aquarius, Capricornus, Cetus, Eridanus and Pisces all have watery con nec tions.
1
4
6
13
5
20
12
19
1
1
1
0
1
2
3
4
12
h
1 2
h
NORTH
E
A
S
T
S O U T H
W
E
S
T
ECLIPTIC
E
Q
U
A
T
O
R
Magnitudes
5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter
S o u t h
P o l e
C H A M A E L E O N
M U S C A
C
R
U
X
C
E
N
T
A
U
R
U
S
C E N T A U R U S
C
A
R
I N
A
V
E
L A
V
O
L
A
N
S
P
I C
T
O
R
P
U
P
P
I S
C
O
L
U
M
B
A
M
E N
S
A
D
O
R
A
D
O
R
E
T
I C
U
L
U
M
H Y D R U S
H
O
R
O
L
O
G
I
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M
C
A
E
L
U
M
T U C A N A
G
R
U
S
S
C
U
L
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T
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C
E
T
U
S
T
A
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U
S
P
H
O
E
N
I
X
F
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R
N
A
X
E
R
I
D
A
N
U
S
T R
I A
N
G
U
L U
M
A
U
S
T R
A
L E
C
I R
C
I N
U
S
L
U
P
U
S
L
I
B
R
A
O
P
H
I
U
C
H
U
S
C
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G
N
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S
L
Y
R
A
S
A
G
I
T
T
A
D
E
L
P
H
I
N
U
S
LACERTA
E
Q
U
U
L
E
U
S
PEGASUS
A
N
D
R
O
M
E
D
A
P
I
S
C
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S
A
R
I
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S
T
R
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A
N
G
U
L
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V
U
L
P
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C
U
L
A
S
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R
P
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N
S
C
A
U
D
A
S
C
U
T
U
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A
Q
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A
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C
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S
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A
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A
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N
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A
Q
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A
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N
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A
A
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A
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S
C
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I
U
M
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I
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C
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P I S C I S
A U S T R I N U S
C
O
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N
A
A
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T
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A
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I
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A
P U
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O C T A N S
L
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P
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D
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A
c r u x
M
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a
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F o m a l h a u t
M
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a
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_02.indd 45 7/5/08 11:32:04 AM
46
Skyview 24
9 pm, November: weeks one and two
Sidereal time 2400
In the east, the rising of Rigel signals the return of the bril liant con stel la tion Orion the Hunter, announcing that summer is
coming. To the north­east, reddish Aldebaran has joined the Pleiades marking Taurus the Bull. Though fainter, the Great Square
of Pegasus is prom i nent, strad dling the merid ian. In the north­west, Cygnus is setting, taking Deneb, and Aquila with its bright
star Altair is headed the same way.
In the south­west, Scorpius is setting, and the visible zodiac signs run from Sagittarius in the west, through Capricornus,
Aquarius and Pisces, to Aries and Taurus in the north­east. The Cross is upside­down against the south ern horizon, but Canopus
in Carina and Achernar in Eridanus (in the south­east) and Fomalhaut in the Southern Fish (over head) are prom i nent. The
latter makes a lop­sided cross with stars of Grus the Crane.
1
0
19
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
1
1
12
13
14
20
0
h
1 2
h
NORTH
E
A
S
T
S O U T H
W
E
S
T
ECLIPTIC
EQ
U
A
TO
R
Magnitudes
5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter
S o u t h
P o l e
C H A M A E L E O N
H
y
a
d
e
s
P
le
ia
d
e
s
M U S C A
C R U X
C
E N
T A
U
R U
S
C E N T A U R U S
V
E
L
A
P
U
P
P
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S
C
A
R
I N
A
V
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L
A
N
S
P
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T
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M
E
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S
A
D
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R
A
D
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E
T
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U
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U
M
H Y D R U S
H
O
R
O
L
O
G
I
U
M
T U C A N A
C
A
E
L
U
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P
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I
X
C
O
L
U
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B
A
C
A
N
I
S

M
A
J
O
R
S
E
R
P
E
N
S
C
A
U
D
A
T R I A N G U L U M
A U S T R A L E
C
I R
C
I N
U
S
N
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M
A
A
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A
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P
U
S
A
P U
S
O C T A N S
P
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I
N
D
U
S
G
R
U
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P
I
S
C
I
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A
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T
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I
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U
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M
I
C
R
O
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C
O
P
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T
E
L
E
S
C
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I
U
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S
C
O
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P
I
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S
S
A
G
I
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I
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O
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IS
C
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S
A
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D
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A
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IE
S
T
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IA
N
G
U
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A
Q
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A
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I
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U
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S
A
G
I
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A
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Q
U
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LACERTA
P
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G
A
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A
Q
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A
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C
Y
G
N
U
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M i m o s a
A c r u x
R i g e l K e n t
H a d a r
C
a
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o
p
u
s
S
i
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i
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s
A
d
h
a
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e
r n
a
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M
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lg
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A
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a
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a
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A
l
t
a
i
r
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_02.indd 46 7/5/08 11:32:06 AM
Using the Sky Charts
The 20 charts in this section cover the whole night sky visible
from around 35 degrees south lat i tude in much greater detail
than the Skyviews in the pre vi ous section. Each chart is
accom pa nied by infor ma tion about the celes tial objects
visible in the par tic u lar region of the night sky and about the
stories behind the stars and con stel la tions.
To deter mine which of the Sky Charts to use, refer to the
large numbers dis trib uted across the Skyviews. For instance,
on the Skyview for 9 pm in early June (No. 14), the region
near Leo the Lion (in the north-western sky) bears the
number 16, indi cat ing that Sky Chart 16 shows this region in
greater detail.
There are three groups of charts in this section.
Charts 1 to 4
•   Most of the sky area covered by these charts is always above 
the horizon.
•  These charts are to be read looking to the south.
Charts 5 to 12
•  These charts are to be read looking to the north. 
•   The sky areas covered by these charts are above the horizon 
for about 14 hours at a stretch.
•   The  stars  shown  on  these  charts  will  be  found  in  a  band 
running from east to west and cross ing the sky high up to
the north of the zenith.
Charts 13 to 20
•  These charts are to be read looking to the north.
•   The sky areas covered by these charts are above the horizon 
for around 8 to 10 hours at a stretch.
•   The  stars  shown  on  these  charts  will  be  found  in  a  band 
running from north-east to north-west and cross ing the
lower half of the north ern sky.
47
THE NIGHT SKY IN DETAIL
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 47 7/5/08 11:32:52 AM
CHArT 1
0 Hours to 6 Hours rA
90 to 45 degrees Dec
This is a crowded corner of the sky in terms of con stel la tions, though none of the stars is bright other than Achernar.
This frst mag ni tude star, ninth in order of bright ness among the stars, marks the end of the long winding con stel la tion
Eridanus the River. This weaving line of faint ish stars (only Achernar is brighter than mag ni tude 3) is the longest of
the con stel la tions, and begins way to the north near Orion. Eridanus is most likely a hea venly rep re sen ta tion of the
Nile. It is far enough north to have been seen (and named) from Egypt in ancient times.
Grouped about Eridanus and mostly further south are a host of minor star pic tures named much more recently; a
couple of birds (a toucan and a phoenix), a male water serpent (Hydrus), a sword fsh (Dorado), the ‘table mountain’
(Mensa) and four very dull ones: Pictor (the painter’s easel), Caelum (the engrav ing tool!), Horologium (the clock)
and Reticulum (the reticle, a grid used for making star maps). Of these, the most inter est ing is perhaps Phoenix, with
a roughly ‘Australia-shaped’ col lec tion of bright ish to medio cre stars lying clock wise of Eridanus.
Of far greater inter est are the two Clouds of Magellan, named after the great Spanish nav i ga tor but not dis cov ered
by him. They were seen by the frst Portuguese sailors to round the Cape of Good Hope some decades earlier and were
known for a time as the Cape Clouds. These two misty patches of light are visible to the naked eye only in a clear dark
sky. Both are com posed, like the Milky Way, of vast numbers of sep ar ate stars, as a look through binoc  u lars will reveal, 
but lie beyond the Milky Way, being the nearest star systems or gal  ax ies to our own. In the sky they lie roughly equi­
dis tant from each other and from the South (Celestial) Pole.
The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) lies mostly in the con stel la tion Dorado, tucked on the clock wise side of the
tri an gle of stars that covers most of Hydrus. It is about 10 degrees square, the width of a fst at arm’s length in each 
direc tion (or 20 times the width of the Full Moon). Binoculars will clarify its shape, and should reveal within the Cloud 
the spider-like Tarantula Nebula (N2070), also called the Great Looped Nebula, which is about the size of the Full
Moon. The nebula sur rounds a star called 30 Doradus. It was near to this nebula that the super nova known as 1987A
appeared in February 1987.
The Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), which lies in Tucana, is only one sixth the appar ent size of its neigh bour, and
further away (200,000 light years rather than 160,000), but seems brighter. Two degrees (a thumb’s width) clock wise
from  the  SMC  lies  one  of  the  fnest  glob u lar  clus ters  in  the  heavens,  bet tered  only  by  Omega Centauri. This is
47 Tucanae (N104), spec tac u lar in binoc u lars or smaller tele scopes and aston ish ing in bigger ones. A smaller glob u lar
cluster (N362) abuts the SMC on the side away from the pole.
A double star worth seeking is Herschel 3670 in the con stel la tion Reticulum (near 4 hr 30, 63 deg.). A pair of
stars (mag ni tudes 5.9, 8.4) are sep ar ated by a large ish 32 seconds of arc. The colour contrast is strong, com monly seen
as yellow and blue. In Pictor lies Dunlop 18 (Iota Pictoris); a pair of yellow stars (mag ni tudes 5.6 and 6.4) sep ar ated
by 12 arc seconds (near 4 hr 50, 54 deg.).
Horologium boasts a notable Mira­type var i able. R Hor lies close to the border with Eridanus (near 3 hr, 50 deg.)
and varies from mag ni tude 4.3 to 14.3 every 404 days.
48
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 48 7/5/08 11:32:52 AM
49
South
Celestial
Pole
MAGNITUDES DEEPSKY OBJECTS
6 5 4 3 1 2 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies
CHAMAELEON
OCTANS
APUS
MENSA
VOLANS
CARINA
PUPPIS
COLUMBA
PICTOR
DORADO
CAELUM
RETICULUM
ERIDANUS
ERIDANUS
FORNAX
SCULPTOR
PHOENIX
TUCANA
HYDRUS
INDUS
GRUS
HOROLOGIUM
2070
47 Tuc (104)
362
1313
1672
1566
1808
1851
1433
1291
300 55
1316
1365
1399
1360
1097
1232
1398
Tarantula
Nebula
RS
TZ R
R
WZ
R
h3670
i
g
f
h
y
e
s
Y
SN1987A
G
LMC
SMC
Achernar
Canopus
Ankaa
Acamar
o
o
o
o
r
1
r
2
i
1
i
2
i
1
i
2
t
4
t
3
t
2
y
1
y
2
q
1
q
2
i
1
q
1
i
2
q
2
i
1 i
2
q
3
y
o
o
o
þ
o
o
¸
q
q
r
2
r
1
q
û
û
i
û
û
i
i
i
x
x
µ
r
x
µ
v
ç
µ
v
r
r
p
t
o p
o
t
t
þ
y
o
v
\
\
¢
þ
¢
¢
¿
¢
u
þ
t
1
t
2
¸
1
¸
2
r
1
r
2
q
1
q
2
y
1
y
2
y
3
o
r
¸
¸
¸
q
i
v
v
v
ç
ç
r
o
t
\
¿
¢
o
þ
þ
þ
þ
y
y
o
r
¸
¸
û
û
û
û
i
i
x
x
x
x
i
i
i
i
µ
µ
v
v r
p
o
R
p
q
1
q
2
þ
1,2
þ
3
y
r
¸
q
i
p
¸
¸
q
x
ç
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o
¢
¿
u
O
A
N
þ
y
o
¸
û
x
µ
v
G
o
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q
1
r
1
q
2
r
2
y
r
q
û
i
x
i
µ
o
o
o
y
y
o
r
o
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q
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i
i
y
o
¸
i
v
u
41
43
i
1
i
2
18
6
h
5
h
4
h
–30°
–20°
–80°
–70°
–60°
–50°
–40°
–90°
–70° –60° –50° –40° –80°
0
h
1
h
2
h
3
h
–30° –20°
6 4
5
2
3
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 49 7/5/08 11:32:54 AM
CHArT 2
6 Hours to 12 Hours rA
90 to 45 degrees Dec
This part of the sky was once ruled by the mighty con stel la tion Argo Navis, the ship Argo. In the Argo the ancient
Greek hero Jason and his band of 50 ‘argonauts’ rowed and sailed west ward into the Black Sea in quest of the magical 
Golden Fleece in the century before the Trojan War. The ram from which the feece came is rep re sented else where in 
the sky by the zodiac sign Aries.
Perhaps because it took up so much of the sky, Argo is broken down into four con stel la tions on modern maps; the
roughly rec tan gu lar Carina the Keel, the mis sha pen pen ta gon of Vela the Sail, another rec tan gle of stars marking Puppis
the Poop, and Pyxis the Mariner’s Compass, which is hard to fnd. The stars of Puppis and Pyxis lie further away from
the South Pole than the other two con stel la tions, and not all of them are marked on this chart (see Chart 7).
Two stars of Vela and two of Carina are com monly grouped to form the False Cross, larger and fainter than the ‘real’
Southern Cross, which lies 40 degrees anti-clockwise, but oriented sim i larly in the sky.
Canopus, the bright  est star in the area and the second bright est in the whole night sky, lies in Carina. Many maps 
show it as marking nothing more impor tant than the end of one of the oars, though more ancient sources place it on
the rudder. One expla na tion of the name is that it is from a famous sea captain at the time of the Trojan War, when he 
com manded the ship of King Menaleus.
Canopus is a guide to the notable semi-regular var i able star L
2
Puppis, which lies 10 degrees anti-clockwise and a
similar dis tance further away from the pole. L
2
Pup shifts from mag ni tude 2.6 to 6.2 (that is, from visible to invis ible
with the naked eye) every 141 days. Two notable Mira­type var i ables inhabit Carina, both found close to the 10 hours 
RA merid ian. R Carinae (near 9 hr 30, 63 deg.) moves from 3.9 to 10.5 and back every 309 days; S Carinae (near
10 hr 09, 61 deg.) moves between 4.5 and 9.9 every 149 days.
Vela con tains a pair of doubles (four stars alto gether), close enough to be in the same feld of view (near 10 hr 45,
49 deg.); Herschel (h) 4330 has a yellow 5.1 mag ni tude primary with a blue 8.6 mag ni tude com pan ion 40 arc
seconds distant; Herschel (h) 4332 is blue and white, mag ni tudes 7.2, 9.6, sep ar a tion 28 arc seconds. Also within Vela,
and occu py ing the most clock wise posi tion among the bright ish stars in that con stel la tion, Gamma Velorum is a rel-
a tively easy double; blue-white stars of mag ni tude 1.8 and 4.3, sep ar ated by 41 seconds of arc.
The Milky Way fows across this region of sky, delin eat ing one of the spiral arms of the galaxy in which we live. 
Against  the  Milky Way,  binoc u lars  will  reveal  some  of  the  bright  and  dark  intri ca cies  of  the  Eta Carinae Nebula
(N3372), clock wise from the Southern Cross about 30 degrees (about one hour on an ordi nary clockface) and there-
fore about 10
1
⁄ 2 hours of RA. At mag  ni  tude 3 and 2 degrees diam e ter (four times the diam e ter of the Full Moon), the 
nebula is a naked-eye object on dark nights. Several bright star clus ters sur round it.
The star Eta Carinae lies at the heart of the nebula, and is one of the largest, most lumi nous and most unstable stars
known. Now at seventh mag ni tude, it is visible only with optical aid, but last century it out shone all but Sirius. It is
often thought the star most likely to form the next super nova visible from Earth. The fading of Eta Carinae has dimmed
the out lines of the Keyhole Nebula, as the Eta Carinae Nebula was called by John Herschel.
Five degrees pole wards from Eta Carina is the bright open cluster I2602 (also called Theta Carinae), mag ni tude 2
and nearly a degree across. It con tains about 30 blue-white stars. Only 650 light years away, it is one of the closer clus-
ters. Another cluster (N3766, known as the Pearl Cluster) lies 10 degrees clock wise of Alpha Crux (or roughly halfway
between Alpha Crux and I2602). It is large (75 minutes by 50 minutes) but faint (mag ni tude 7). You might also chase
I2391 (Omicron Velorum, mag ni tude 2.5, diam e ter 50), which lies about 10 degrees pole wards and anti-clockwise
of Gamma Velorum.
50
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 50 7/5/08 11:32:54 AM
51
South
Celestial
Pole
DEEPSKY OBJECTS
Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies
CENTAURUS
VELA
ANTLIA
PYXIS
HYDRA
CRUX
2439
2527
2477
2547
3201
3132
2546
2997
I.2395
2451
MY
AH
R
L
M
S
p
n
R
k
i
l
m
h
a
g
N
q
w
U
u
z
x s
r
Y
J
R
Q
O
I
K
L
T
B
C
c
I
K
H
G
E
S
B
U
b
c
e
z
f
MZ
r
q
w
H
Q
C
D
A
E
F
y
M
B
C
E
F
D
c
f
g
G
a
b
n
e
S
d
h
w
w
H
G
A
F
n
l
u
D E
e
z
M
m
p
i
q
r
s
t
y
u
A
V
J
Q
P
O
N
a
T
I
x
e
2
b
1,2
e
1
d
f
t
1
t
2
z
1 z
2
k
1
l
k
2
h
1
h
2
d
1-3
v
1
v
2
D
1
D
2
C
1 C
2
C
3
L
1
L
2
MUSCA
Mimosa
Acrux
Miaplacides
Aspidiske
Gacrux
Avior
A
A
B
A
B
B
B
A
B
O

Q

D

D

I

I

Z
Z

G
G
G
G
D
D
G
D
Z

Z

E
E
E
A
B
E
E
E
Z
Z
H
H
G
D
Z
H
H
H
Q
H
Q
Q
E
H
Q
I
I
Z
I
I
K
K
K
K
L
L
E
Q
Q
K
L
L
L
M
M
M
N
O
P
P
D
P
R
S
S
T
U
J
C
Y
W
MAGNITUDES
6 5 4 3 1 2 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars
WZ
CHAMAELEON
OCTANS
APUS
MENSA
VOLANS
CARINA
PUPPIS
COLUMBA
PICTOR
DORADO
HYI
2070
I.2448
2808
I.2602
3211
2867
I.2391
3144
3532
3293
I.2581
2516
3195
4833
3372
4609
4755
3918
3766
Eta Carinae
Nebula
4372
1851
Tarantula
Nebula
RS
TZ
R
S
Y
SN1987A
G
LMC
Canopus
A
P

P

H

H

D
H
H
P

P

H
Q
I
K
M
N
R
T
W
D Z
Z
L
N
X
P
S
T
U
C
B
Z
L
O
A
N
B
G
D
Z
Q
K
M
N
G
A
B
H

P

H

P

G
E
H
Q
I
K
L
M
A
D
E
Q
G
D
Z
I
N
Naos
12
h
11
h
10
h
–30°
–20°
–80°
–70°
–60°
–50°
–40°
–90°
–70° –60° –50° –40° –80°
6
h
7
h
8
h
9
h
–30° –20°
8 1
7
3
4
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 51 7/5/08 11:32:57 AM
CHArT 3
12 Hours to 18 Hours rA
90 to 40 degrees Dec
The stars of Crux Australis, the Southern Cross, are well known from their pres ence on the Australian and New Zealand
national fags, though it has been sug gested that the con stel la tion, which is the small est in the sky, resem bles more a 
badly made kite than a cross! Crux, the small est of the off cial con stel la tions, was formed out of stars of Centaurus by
early nav i ga tors of the South Seas, and was off cially entered on the charts in the six teenth century.
The fve main stars in Crux decrease in bright ness moving clock wise around the con stel la tion, begin ning with
Acrux at the bottom. Beta Crucis is often called Mimosa (a name for wattle). Gamma Crucis at the top is dis tinctly
reddish, even with the naked eye, being a red giant star. The ffth star, Epsilon Crucis, is on the lower right when the
Cross is upright.
Acrux is a multi ple star; the two main com po nents being blue-white, mag ni tudes 1.5 and 5, lying 90 arc seconds
apart. The brighter star is itself double, but the com po nents are only 4 arc seconds apart and dif f cult to sep ar ate in
small instru ments. Five degrees anti- clockwise from Gamma Crucis, Mu Crucis is an easy double in binoc u lars: two
white stars, 35 arc seconds apart, mag ni tudes 4.3, 5.5.
Trailing the Cross in its journey around the south ern sky, and showing the way to it, are the two Pointers. More 
for mally, the stars are known as Rigil Kentaurus and Hadar (or Agena), or Alpha and Beta Centauri, being the two
bright est stars in the con stel la tion of Centaurus the Centaur which sur rounds the Cross on three sides. Centaurs were
myth i cal beasts, half man and half horse and often held to be wise and noble. The con stel la tion may rep re sent the
centaur Chiron, under whom the hero Jason was edu cated.
The Pointers look about equally bright but are in reality very dif fer ent, Beta being 100 times further way than Alpha 
and emit ting 10,000 times more light. Alpha is not only the nearest bright star to our Sun, it is also the most Sun-like
of the nearby stars, with a very similar abso lute mag ni tude and surface tem per a ture (though about twice the mass and
four times the intrin sic bright ness). Alpha is a multi ple; its bright com po nents are white stars (mag ni tudes 1.0 and
1.4) lying 21 seconds apart. The third star in the system, Proxima Centauri, is a dim red dwarf, hard to fnd at mag-
ni tude 11, and lying 2 degrees away from the primary. It is cur rently the nearest star to the Sun.
On the old star charts, the Centaur stands astride the Cross, facing anti-clockwise. The Pointers mark his forelegs and
two stars to the upper right of the Cross (when upright), and one imme di ately clock wise from it, locate his hin dlegs.
Stars rep re sent ing his upper body lie further away from the Pole and anti-clockwise. In the Centaur’s hand is a spear
with which he is dealing with a wolf (Lupus).
Polewards of the Cross we fnd the small con stel la tion Musca the Fly, with stars in a rough cross shape around Alpha
Muscae. Anti­clockwise of the Cross lies the imag i na tively named Southern Triangle (Triangulum Australe), and Ara
the Altar, which abuts the Scorpion. Also in the area (but dim) are Norma the Set Square, Circinus the Compasses
and Apus the Bird of Paradise.
The region around the Cross is full of sights for users of binoc  u lars or small tele scopes. The Milky Way runs behind 
the Cross, the Pointers, the Triangle and Ara. A large dark nebula dubbed the Coal Sack, and looking like a hole through
the Milky Way, touches the Cross between Alpha and Beta Crucis. It is prom  i nent on a dark night. Squeezed between 
the Coal Sack and Beta Crucis is the Jewel Box (N4755), a multi-coloured open cluster of at least 50 stars grouped
around the red giant Kappa Crucis. On the other side of the Cross, a diffuse nebula sur rounds the star Lambda Crucis.
In the upper reaches of the Centaur are two sights worth seeking out. They lie less than 5 degrees apart. One is the
giant ellip ti cal galaxy Centaurus A (N5128, mag ni tude 6.9), with two semi cir cu lar seg ments sep ar ated by a dark lane
of dust. Though rel  a tively faint, it is half the width of the Full Moon and among the bright est and largest of the exter­
nal gal ax ies (near 13 hr 25, 43 deg.).
The other, lying 4 degrees closer to the pole, is among the real jewels of the south ern sky. The glob u lar cluster Omega
Centauri (N5139) is almost the size of the Full Moon, and an easy naked­eye object at mag ni tude 3.8 (near 13 hr 26, 
47.5 deg.). Binoculars will reveal its unstar-like fuz zi ness and may reveal indi vid ual stars in out ly ing regions. It is
bright because it is close (16,000 light years) as glob u lar clus ters go. Large tele scopes are needed to resolve the hun-
dreds of thou sands of stars that fll it.
52
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 52 7/5/08 11:32:57 AM
53
MAGNITUDES
6 5 4 3 1 2 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars
South
Celestial
Pole
DEEPSKY OBJECTS
Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies
LIBRA
LUPUS
HYDRA
NORMA
CIRCINUS
TRIANGULUM
AUSTRALE
PAVO
TELESCOPIUM
ARA
SCORPIUS
CORONA
AUSTRALIS
E
C
L
I
P
T
I
C
5189
5315
5281
5316 5617
6362
6397
6025
6087
6067
6744
5139
4560
5822
5662
5882
6124
6193
6388
I.4651
6541
6281
6302
6242
6231
Tr24
5986
5643
5897
I.4406
4945
Omega Centauri
5128
5102
RS
GG
T
S
J
m
R
V
Q
N
M
K
v
X
N
H
Q
R
f
d
z
a
y
1
2
2
3
T
58
c
1
c
c
2
a
b
d
g
k
h
e
b
Atria
Rigel Kent
Proxima
Centauri
Hadar
Menkent
Shaula
Lesath
Z

Z

A
B
E

E

I

I

I

I

M

M

G

G

N

N

J

J

Y

Y

T

T

X

X

D
E
E
E
Z
Z
Z
Z
A
D

D

H

H

E
Z
Z
H
H
H
A
B
G
D
E Z
H
Q
A
B
G
D
E
Z
H
Q
A
D

B
D

K

K

G
Q
Q
Q
Q
Q
K
L
K
K
L
A
I
L
M
D
E
H
Q
L
M
N
X
B
G
K
M
P
I
I
I
P
S
T
K
L
U
U
T
U
J
U

U

Z
I
M
N
J
C
W
G
D
H
Q
K
L
M
X P
C
W
A
B
H
I
I
K
O
R
R
S
S
Y
W
CENTAURUS
VELA
CRUX
R
U
u
T
I
K
S
B
w
H
G
A
F
n
l
u
D
E
e
z
1
z
2
C
1
C
2
C
3
MUSCA
Mimosa
Acrux
Gacrux
A
B
A
B
B
O

Q

D

D

I

I

G
G
G
D
G
D
Z

Z

E
E
E
Z
H
H
Q
Q
E
H
Q
I
Z
I
K
K
L
L
L
M
M
P
D
P
R
S
T
CHAMAELEON
OCTANS
APUS
MENSA
CARINA
HYI
I.2602
3532
3195
4833
4609
4755
3918
3766
4372
TZ
R
S
P

P

D
H
I
K
M
R
W
Z
L
S
T
U
C
18
h
17
h
16
h
–30°
–20°
–80°
–70°
–60°
–50°
–40°
–90°
–70° –60° –50° –40° –80°
12
h
13
h
14
h
15
h
–30° –20°
10
2
9
4
1
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 53 7/5/08 11:32:59 AM
CHArT 4
18 Hours to 24 Hours rA
90 to 40 degrees Dec
This chart indi cates how unevenly the wonders of the heaven are spread. In com par i son with the glories of the stretch
of sky lying clock wise from it, this region is barren, with no bright stars and few con stel la tions of inter est. It is all but
bereft of bright nebulae and open clus ters; the Milky Way, along the length of which those sights are con cen trated, just 
clips one edge.
The con stel la tions here are mostly of modern origin and gen er ally devoid of leg en dary asso ci a tions. A few birds are
rep re sented by group ings of faint stars (Pavo the Peacock, Grus the Crane and much of Tucana the Toucan) along
with Indus the Indian and a clutch of sci en tifc instru ments (Telescopium, Octans and a bit of Microscopium).
Pavo is about the only ast er ism here with a story. Ancient legend says that Argos, builder of the mighty Argo which
sails nearby, was changed into a peacock when the ship was taken into the heavens. The brighter stars of Grus form a
notable lop sided pattern with Fomalhaut in the Southern Fish further away from the Pole (see Chart 12).
Octans the Octant (an instru ment for meas ur ing angles) is of note as the con stel la tion in which the South Celestial
Pole cur rently lies. The ffth mag ni tude star Sigma Octantis is the naked-eye star closest to the Pole, and so is the south-
ern equiv a lent of Polaris the North Pole Star (though Polaris is much brighter).
Among the few things worth search ing for with binoc u lars are the largish glob u lar cluster N6752 (mag ni tude 5.4,
20 diam e ter) in Pavo (near 19 hr 10, 60 deg.), and about 5 degrees pole wards, the mag ni tude 8.5 galaxy N6744.
Dunlop (delta) 227 in Telescopium (near 19 hr 50, 55 deg.) is worth a look; an attrac tive double, yellow and white,
5.8 and 6.5, sep ar a tion an easy 23 arc seconds.
54
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 54 7/5/08 11:32:59 AM
55
South
Celestial
Pole
DEEPSKY OBJECTS
Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies
M55
6752
I.1459
Y
T
SX
RR
24
SCL
PISCIS
AUSTRINUS
MICROSCOPIUM
SAGITTARIUS
CAPRICORNUS
Peacock
Alnair
Arkab
Rukbat
o
o
o
¢
1
þ
¢
2
µ
1
µ
1
µ
2
µ
2
r
1
r
2
o
1
o
2
o
1
o
2
µ
1
µ
2
x
1
x
2
û
1
û
1
û
2
û
2
o
þ
1
þ
2
t
1,2
t
3
y
o
þ
y
o
o
o
r
r
o
r
r
o
þ
y
o
¸
q
û
û
i
i
v
o
¸
¸
¸
i
v
ç
o
o
r
p
o
\
q
¢
¿
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y
q
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µ
v
ç
p
q
µ
o
þ
þ
y
r
q
q
û
i
i
µ
v
p
t
\
¢
u
MAGNITUDES
6 5 4 3 1 2 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars
TRA PAVO
TELESCOPIUM
ARA
SCORPIUS CORONA
AUSTRALIS
6362
6397
6744
6723
6388
I.4651
6541
Q
Atria
r
1
r
2
i
1
i
2
o
¸
¸
o
o
1
o
2
q
1
q
2
r
¸
q
q
o
¸
q
o
1
þ
o
2
y
û
û
û
û
i
x
x
x
i
o
i
i
i
µ
v
ç
þ
y
x
µ
r
i
i
r
o
t
x
¢
u
CHA
OCTANS
APUS
MENSA
TUCANA
INDUS
GRUS
47 Tuc (104)
362
55
TZ
R
SMC
Ankaa
o
r
1
r
2
i
1
i
2
o
q
i
û
û
i
i
x
µ
r
x
µ
p
t
¢
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u
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t
1
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2
y
1
y
2
y
3
r
¸
¸
q
i
v
ç
o
t
\
¿
¢
þ
û
û
i
x
i
µ
v
r
p
o
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1,2
þ
3
y
r
p
¸
q
x
ç
r
p
o
u
i
1
i
2
PHOENIX
HYDRUS
E
C
L
IP
T
IC
227
0
h
23
h
22
h
–30°
–20°
–80°
–70°
–60°
–50°
–40°
–90°
–70° –60° –50° –40° –80°
18
h
19
h
20
h
21
h
–30° –20°
12
3
11
1
2
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 55 7/5/08 11:33:01 AM
CHArT 5
0 Hours to 3 Hours rA
40 to 10 degrees Dec
When we survey this stretch of night sky, we are looking at right angles to the plane of the galaxy. The South Galactic
Pole (SGP) lies here (in Sculptor near 0 hr 50, 27 deg.). So we are well away from the riches of the Milky Way. Bright 
stars, clus ters and nebulae are rare.
On the other hand, we are able to look almost unim peded into inter ga lac tic space, and so glimpse some of the nearer
exter nal gal ax ies (extra ga lac tic nebulae) hidden from us in other parts of the sky by the rich ness of our own star system.
These lie mostly in Sculptor and Fornax. The same is true around the North Galactic Pole, which lies in Coma Berenices
(see Chart 17).
The largest and bright est con stel la tion here, cov er ing most of the region, is Cetus the Sea Monster (or Whale), 
fourth largest of all the con stel la tions (after Hydra, Virgo and Ursa Major). Cetus was com monly shown in old star 
pic tures as swim ming in the nearby river Eridanus or resting on its bank. According to ancient legend, Cetus was the
beast sent to devour the maiden Andromeda, so it is linked to con stel la tions which lie further north in the sky (see
Chart 13).
The stars of Cetus form two rough poly gons. The larger to the south-west makes up the body of the beast, the smaller
to the north-east (where it abuts Aries and Pisces) forms the head. Beta Ceti at mag ni tude 2.4 is usually the bright est
star in the con stel la tion (Alpha Ceti bears the name Menkar, meaning ‘nose’).
Of far more inter est is Omicron Ceti, lying about 30 degrees north-east of Beta, halfway along the creature’s neck.
Otherwise known as Mira (the Wonderful Star), this was the frst star observed to change its bright ness over time. Its 
status as a ‘var i able star’ was estab lished in the mid-seven teenth century. Over a period of 11 months it moves from
mag ni tude 2 to mag ni tude 10 and back again. At its bright est it out shines Beta; at its faint est it becomes invis ible in
binoc u lars. Many ‘Mira variables’ are found in other parts of the sky. 
South of Cetus lie more modern con stel la tions; Fornax the Furnace and Sculptor the Sculptor’s Chisel. These are
faint but contain numbers of gal ax ies, some of which can be seen in binoc u lars. Two such lie in Sculptor; N55 (mag-
ni tude 7.4, near 0 hr 15, 39 deg.) and N253 (mag ni tude 7.2, near 0 hr 50, 25 deg.). None of the numer ous gal-
ax ies in Fornax are brighter than mag ni tude 8.9.
Close to the eastern edge of Fornax lies the rel a tively large (one third diam e ter of the Moon) plan e tary nebula N1360
(mag ni tude 9.4) with a bright central star (near 3 hr 30, 26 deg.). Polewards of Fornax lies the double star Theta
Eridani (near 3 hr, 40 deg.), with a pair of white or yellow stars (mag ni tudes 3.4, 4.4) sep ar ated by 8.5 arc
seconds.
56
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 56 7/5/08 11:33:01 AM
57
MAGNITUDES
6 5 4 3 1 2 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars
DEEPSKY OBJECTS
Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies
AQUARIUS
CETUS
PISCES
PEGASUS
ARIES
PSA
HOROLOGIUM
TAU
E
C
L
IP
T
IC
613
288
SGP
253
247
R
S
T
R
99
7
2
98
Alrescha
Menkar
Mira
Baten Kaitos
Deneb Kaitos
o
u
1
þ
u
2
x
1
x
2
y
o
¸
q
û
i
µ
o
TX
XZ
30
þ
¢
1
¢
2
¢
3
¢
4
q
û
i
o
r
¸
i
i
µ
u
r
x
t
\
AR
Z
p
1
p
2 p
3
o
r
¸
q
o
o
r
p
o
t
¿
M77
o
o
ç
1
ç
2
y
¸
x
i
µ
v
v
ç
ç
ç
o
ERIDANUS
ERIDANUS
FORNAX
SCULPTOR
PHOENIX
1316 1365
1399
1097
1232
i
g
f
h
1291
y
e
Acamar
o
t
4
t
5
t
3
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2
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1
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1
y
2
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1 i
2
q
1
q
2
q
3
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i
s
i
x
55
Ankaa
o
r
x
µ
300
i
1
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2 ç
µ
v
r
r
o
1360
1398
t
GRUS
û
\
¢
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1
i
2
¢
þ
y
o
v
\
¢
¿
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u
7793
–40°
–30°
–20°
–10°

+10°
–40°
–30°
–20°
–10°

+10°
23
h
0
h
1
h
2
h
3
h
4
h
0
h
1
h
2
h
3
h
6 12
13
1
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 57 7/5/08 11:33:03 AM
CHArT 6
3 Hours to 6 Hours rA
40 to 10 degrees Dec
Orion the Hunter, one of the glories of the heavens and perhaps the best known of all con stel la tions, lies at the north-
ern end of this stretch of night sky, just west of the Milky Way. Its stars strad dle the celes tial equator, always rising and 
setting due east and west. The sight of this majes tic con stel la tion rising late in the evening is a sign that the Southern
Hemisphere summer is at hand.
In the centre of the group is the well-known ‘saucepan’, though the three bright ish stars marking the base of the
pan actu ally rep re sent Orion’s belt and the handle is his sword. The jewel in the sword is the pale green glow of the
Orion Nebula (M42/N1976). This shows up pink or red in most photo graphs due to the dif fer ent colour sen si tiv ities
of the human eye and photo graphic flm. Film picks up the red glow from hydro gen, while the eye is more sen si tive
to the green colour of glowing oxygen. But it is a stun ning sight, what ever you use to view it. Strangely, Galileo did
not mention it when frst viewing the night sky with his tele scope in 1609.
M42 (and nearby M43/N1982 which is part of the same nebula) lies about 1300 light years away. It is a ‘stellar
nursery’ like many such nebulae. Imbedded in the 20-light-year-wide cloud of gas and dust is a cluster of (at least)
four newly hatched blue stars (‘the Trapezium’), which appear as one to the naked eye (Theta Orionis). Other bright-
ish stars and star clus ters are grouped around, making the area a great sight in binoc u lars. For example, the cluster
N1980 (mag ni tude 2.5, diam e ter 20) marks the end of the sword.
N1980 con tains a couple of multi ple stars, includ ing the double Iota Orionis, with stars of mag ni tude 3 and 7
sep ar ated by 12 arc seconds. N1981 is an open cluster to the north (nearer the belt)
Surrounding the ‘saucepan’ are bright stars rep  re sent ing Orion’s body. When Orion is highest in the sky, early on 
summer even ings, we in the Southern Hemisphere see him stand ing on his head. To the north the red giant Betelgeuse
(cur rently tenth bright est among the stars) and the fainter Bellatrix (the Female Warrior) mark the arms and shoul­
ders; to the south the bril liant blue-white Rigel (seventh bright est) locates one of his feet. Betelgeuse means ‘arm’ or
‘shoulder’, Rigel means ‘foot’.
When Orion is rising, Rigel is always the frst bright star of the con stel la tion to be seen from south ern lat i  tudes. 
Betelgeuse is a var i able star like many red giants, and is often fainter than Rigel, even though it, not Rigel, is listed as
Alpha Orionis. Betelgeuse shifts between mag ni tudes 0.4 and 1.3 over a period of around seven years.
Orion is a hunter, warrior or giant in the star stories of many cul tures. Traditional pic tures in our culture have him
armed with a club and net, accom pa nied by two dogs (Canis Major and Canis Minor) and fght ing with a bull
(Taurus). Those animals are on adjoin ing pieces of sky.
The rest of the region is dull in com par i son. Lepus the Hare, with a quad ri lat eral of bright ish stars, is beneath the
Hunter’s feet, with Columba the Dove further south again. East of Orion are the head wa ters of Eridanus. Much of this 
stretch of sky is taken up with the mean der ings of the hea venly river. It takes a sharp turn around Fornax which intrudes
from the west. Stars of Canis Major and Monoceros the Unicorn border this stretch of sky to the east, with Taurus and
the head of Cetus the Sea Monster to the north and west.
Delta Orionis (the most west erly of the stars in the Belt) is a wide double (2.2. and 6.8, white and violet, 53 seconds
of arc). The region has a couple of Mira­type var i ables, R Lep (from 5.5 to 11.7 in 432 days, near 5 hr, 15 deg.) and
U Ori (4.8 to 12.6 every 372 days, near 5 hr 55, 20 deg.). The Orionids meteor shower, asso ciated with Comet
Halley, emerges from the north-eastern part of Orion (close to its border with Gemini) around 16 to 27 October,
peaking on 22 October.
58
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 58 7/5/08 11:33:03 AM
59
DEEPSKY OBJECTS
Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies
1535
Phact
Wazn
Zaurak
Beid
Keid
Cursa
Arneb
Nihal
Mirzam
Furud
Rigel
Betelgeuse
Bellatrix
Saiph
Meissa
Alnilam
Alnitak
Mintaka
o
1
o
2
y
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r
10
32
v
ç
µ
SX
o
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1
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x
x
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M79
I.418
S
RX
54
53
o
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ç
1
ç
2
v
1
v
2
v
3
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¸
q
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x
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µ
v
u M42/ M43
Orion Nebula
1981
1980
1973/75/77
2232
I.2165
V
T
29
8
o
¢
1
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1,2
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¢
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4
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6
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2
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3
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1662
M78
2024
I.434
Horsehead Nebula
W
32
88
y
MAGNITUDES
6 5 4 3 1 2 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars
PUPPIS
COLUMBA
PICTOR
CAELUM
ERIDANUS
CANIS MAJOR
LEPUS
MONOCEROS
ORION
CETUS
ARIES
TAURUS
FORNAX
PHOENIX
HOROLOGIUM
1808
1851
1316
1365
1399
i
g
f
h
1433
1291
y
e
C
o
1232
t
4
t
3
t
2
y
o
o
þ
o
o
y
1
y
2
¸
r
2 r
1
q
s
Acamar
û
i
v
µ
o
p
o
1360
1398
t
q
1
q
2
i
1
i
2
q
3
¢
¢
1097
i
1
i
2
þ
u
41
43
Menkar
x
Z
p
1
p
2
p
3
o
r
q
r
o
M77
o
y
¸
x
i
µ
v
ç
o
t
5
t
6
t
7
t
8
t
9
t
1
–40°
–30°
–20°
–10°

+10°
–40°
–30°
–20°
–10°

+10°
2
h
3
h
4
h
5
h
6
h
7
h
3
h
4
h
5
h
6
h
7 5
14
1
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 59 7/5/08 11:33:05 AM
CHArT 7
6 Hours to 9 Hours rA
40 to 10 degrees Dec
This region of sky is dom i nated by the pres ence of stars rep re sent ing two dogs. They could rep re sent many dif fer ent
dogs, such as Cerebus the three-headed dog that guarded the way to Hell, but they are usually thought of as the com-
pan ions of Orion the Hunter to the west.
Between Canis Major (the Big Dog) and Canis Minor (the Little Dog) runs the Milky Way, while between the Little 
Dog and his master are incon spic u ous stars belong ing to Monoceros the Unicorn. The open cluster N2244, close to
Eta in Monoceros (near 6 hr 30, 15 deg.), is a naked-eye object, at 4.8 mag ni tude, with 16 stars in a huddle visible
with optical aid. Powerful tele scopes reveal the sur round ing Rosette Nebula (N2237), the faintly glowing cloud of
gas from which the stars formed.
Both the Dogs are worth watch ing. Alpha Canis Majoris is Sirius, the bright est star in the sky other than the Sun.
Its name means the ‘shining one’ or ‘scorch ing one’. Old pic tures have it marking the eye or heart of the Dog. Beta
Canis Majoris or Mirzam nearby is a front leg and a tri an gle of bright ish stars to the south show the hind quar ters. The 
bright est of these, Adhara, is the second bright est star in the con stel la tion, even though it is listed only as Epsilon.
Sirius is one of the nearest stars, lying less than nine light years from the Sun. It was an impor tant element in the
cal en dars of ancient peoples. The frst appear ance of Sirius (or Soothis) in the rays of the rising Sun (the helical rising)
was taken by the Egyptians of 2000 BC as a sign that the Nile was about to food.
The less spec tac u lar Little Dog has Procyon, eighth on the list of bright est stars. Beta Canis Minoris, a few degrees
away, makes a dis tinc tive pairing. Both Sirius and Procyon have faint white dwarf com pan ions and are among the 20
stars lying within 12 light years of the Sun
Two of the four con stel la tions that for merly made up Argo Navis (the Ship Argo) are in this part of the sky; namely,
the roughly rec tan gu lar Puppis the Poop, which lies south­east of Canis Major and, to the east of Puppis, the incon­
se quen tial  Pyxis the Compass. The other two star groups (Vela the Sail and Carina the Keel) are further south.
Intruding into the region from the east is the head of Hydra the Water Snake, lying east of Canis Minor.
The pres ence of the Milky Way ensures the avail  abil  ity of sky sights worth inves ti gat ing with the help of binoc u lars. 
These include the fol low ing open clus ters:
•   N2451 (mag  ni  tude 2.8, diam e ter 50 seconds of arc), just west of the Milky Way in the midst 
of Puppis.
•   N2354 and N2362,  two  clus ters  among  the  rump  stars  of  Canis  Major,  with  N2354  both 
fainter and larger (mag ni tude 6.5, diam e ter 20) than its very near neigh bour (mag ni tude 4.1,
diam e ter 8).
•   N2287 (M41) (mag ni tude 4.1, diam e ter 38) about 4 degrees south of Sirius.
•   N2423 (M47) on the Milky Way at the north ern end of Puppis (mag ni tude 4.4, diam e ter 25).
N2437 (M46) is nearby (magnitude 6.1, diam e ter 20).
•   N2548 (M48) (mag ni tude 5.8, diam e ter 54) east of the Milky Way on the Hydra/Monoceros 
border.
Two double stars are asso ciated with M47; Struve (sigma) 1121 has com po nents both mag ni tude 8 lying 8 seconds
of arc apart; in Struve (sigma) 1120, stars of mag ni tude 5.6 and 9.5 are sep ar ated by 20 arc seconds.
If you are looking for other double stars, k Puppis, at the north ern end of Puppis (5 degrees east of Delta Canis
Majoris), boasts a pair of matched ffth mag ni tude yellow stars lying about 10 arc seconds apart. Nearby Adhara (Epsilon 
CMa) is also double but a much tougher call, with mag ni tude 1.5 and 7.4 stars sep ar ated by 7.5 seconds of arc. 
60
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 60 7/5/08 11:33:05 AM
61
DEEPSKY OBJECTS
Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies
PICTOR
CAE
LEPUS
CANIS MAJOR
CANIS MINOR
ORION
MONOCEROS
LEO
CANCER
2354
M41
2362
2353
2343
M50
2301
2244
2237
Rosette Nebula
2264
R
U
Wazn
Phact
Nihal
Arnab
Alphard
Naos
Procyon
Gomeisa
Acubens
Mirzam
Sirius
Furud
Adhara
Aludra
Wezen
Saiph
Betelgeuse
Alnilam
Mintaka
Meissa
o
y
o
r
q
û
i
µ
r
o
t
u
o
1
þ
o
2
o
3
y
o
r
¸
¸
q
o
1
o
2
S
10
Z1097
Z1120
Z1121
M93
M46
M47
2423
2440
2438
2539
n
m
k
p
3
12
16
11
o
ç
o
p
M67
M48
BC
C
14
o
o
o
þ
o
r
¸
q
û
p
o
u
x
MAGNITUDES
6 5 4 3 1 2 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars
VELA
ANTLIA
PYXIS
HYDRA
2527
2467
2546
r
q
w
G
S
w
x
k
1
l
k
2
o
þ
2997 ¸
1
¸
2
r
AH
g
a
b
n
e
d
h
h
1
h
2
y
¸
y
o
¸
q
r
û
û
x
i
C
D
A
E
M
J
Q
P O
N
a T
I
L
1
L
2
o
z
y
i
¢
PUPPIS
COLUMBA
1851
r
2 r
1
q
v
2439
2477
2451
b
c
e
z
f
MZ
F
y
d
1-3
v
1
v
2
r
2232
Alnitak
SX
o
o
r
¸
û
x
x
i
þ
y
i
µ
ç
o
M79
S
o
þ
þ
ç
1
ç
2
v
1
v
2
v
3
y
o
¸
q û
M42/ M43
Orion Nebula
1981
1980
1973/75/77
I.2165
V
T
8
10
13
o
¢
1
û
1,2
þ
¢
2
y
o
r
¸
i
x
i
µ
o
\
u
M78
2024
I.434
Horsehead
Nebula
1808
y
–40°
–30°
–20°
–10°

+10°
–40°
–30°
–20°
–10°

+10°
5
h
6
h
7
h
8
h
9
h
10
h
6
h
7
h
8
h
9
h
8 6
15
2
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 61 7/5/08 11:33:07 AM
CHArT 8
9 Hours to 12 Hours rA
40 to 10 degrees Dec
There is not a lot to note in this part of the sky, lying as it does well east of the Milky Way and south of the eclip tic. 
A little of the Zodiac sign Virgo the Young Maiden lies to the north-east, hosting (at the present epoch) the north ern
autumn equinox. This lies where the eclip tic, pushing south­east, cuts the celes tial equator at the merid ian making 
12 hours of RA.
Much of it is taken up with the long line of stars marking Hydra the Female Water Snake, one of the leg en dary
foes of the hero Hercules. Orange-coloured Alpha Hydrae, at mag ni tude 2, stands out due to the lack of other bright
stars near it. Its name Alphard means (appro pri ately) ‘the sol i tary one’. Some 15 degrees north-west near Cancer the
Crab, a small col lec tion of faint ish stars indi cates the beast’s head. The tail of the water snake con tin ues to the east,
winding past Corvus the Crow and almost to Libra.
Though  faint,  Hydra  can  boast  of  being  the  largest  of  the  rec og nised  88  con stel la tions.  Covering  1300  square 
degrees, it sur passes Virgo, Ursa Major, Cetus and Hercules, the biggest of the rest. Hydra stretches a quarter of the way 
around the sky, from east of Canis Major to just north of Centaurus.
The rest of the region is taken up with faint and gen er ally unmem or able con stel la tions; Sextans the Sextant and
Antlia the Air Pump (all sorts of sci en tifc instru ments fnd a place among the south ern stars!), and Crater the Cup.
Crater does have a story linking it to Hydra and also to Corvus to the east. The Crow was sent by his master Apollo to
fetch a drink. He dallied by a fg tree, waiting for the fruit to ripen. Being late back, he blamed the snake for delay ing
him.
Worth search  ing for with binoc  u lars or a small tele scope is the plan e tary nebula N3242, located some 12 degrees
south-east of Alphard (that is, near 11 hr 30, 18 deg.). At mag ni tude 7.8, it is among the three bright est such objects
in the sky. From its appear ance, it is some times dubbed ‘the ghost of Jupiter’ (and may help to explain the mis lead ing
term ‘plan e tary nebula’!). Twenty degrees almost due south, on the Antilla/Vela border, lies N3132, another plan e tary
nebula rated at magnitude 9 but with a bright central star.
62
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 62 7/5/08 11:33:08 AM
63
MAGNITUDES
6 5 4 3 1 2 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars
DEEPSKY OBJECTS
Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies
PYXIS
CRATER
CORVUS
VIRGO
LEO
SEXTANS
CANCER
E
C
L
IP
T
IC
Naos
Alphard
Regulus
Alkes
Zaniah
Zavijava
Algorab
Gienah
Alchiba
CENTAURUS
VELA
HYDRA
HYDRA
B
r
q
G
S
I
n
l
u
D
i
3132
U
q
r
3201
p
s
t
N
k
1
l
k
2
C
1
C
2
B
h
1
h
2
Z
w
A
Z
G
D
H
I
c f
g
a
e
d
h
w
L
ANTLIA
2997
Z

Z

H
E
E
Q
Q
K
L
z
m
y
u
Y
PUPPIS
b
1
b
2
b
3
A
A
A
U

U

T

T

D
K
L
M
N
J
3242
U
3115
3521
VY
31
p
1
A B
G
D
I
K
X
O
P
R
W
A
X
1
X
2
p
C

B
C

M68
3585
3621
A
B
G
D
E Z
H
X
O
R
B
G
D
E
Z
H
Q
I
K
L
Y
M61
4365
4371
B
H
I
N
X
O
P
S
T
U
J
C
W
12
M67
D
E
Z
H
Q
R
S
W
Acubens
A
–40°
–30°
–20°
–10°

+10°
–40°
–30°
–20°
–10°

+10°
8
h
9
h
10
h
11
h
12
h
13
h
9
h
10
h
11
h
12
h
9 7
16
2
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 63 7/5/08 11:33:09 AM
CHArT 9
12 Hours to 15 Hours rA
40 to 10 degrees Dec
With the eclip tic passing though this zone of sky, we have on display one of the more dis tin guished of the signs of the 
Zodiac, Virgo the Young Maiden. Rated as the second largest of the con stel la tions, Virgo meas ures more than 30 degrees
(three fst widths) in both direc tions. The Sun in its yearly journey through the zodiac reaches the western parts of
Virgo around 21 September, which is the spring equinox for the Southern Hemisphere (the autum nal equinox for 
north ern lat i tudes).
The stars of Virgo are not out stand ingly bright, other than the blue-white Spica, which is almost on the eclip tic.
In dif fer ent cul tures, Virgo could stand for any number of young and inno cent maidens. In the best-known rep re sen-
ta tion, Virgo is a goddess of spring or of the harvest, perhaps Persephone, the daugh ter of Ceres. Spica rep re sents an
ear of wheat in her hand. In other pic tures, Virgo is the blind folded Justina or Astraea, the goddess of justice, weigh ing
truth and inno cence on the scales that form the zodiac sign Libra, which lies to the east.
The north-western sector of Virgo, together with parts of con stel la tions further north, is notable for the pres ence of
a major col lec tion of exter nal gal ax ies, known as the Virgo Cluster and con tain ing many hun dreds of ‘island universes’
at dis tances esti mated at 40 or 50 million light years. Some of these are visible as faint smudges in small tele scopes or
even binoc u lars. The bright est is N4472 (M49) in Virgo, at mag ni tude 8.4 (near 12 hr 30, 8 deg.). Some 20 gal ax ies
at mag ni tude 10 or brighter can be found in the 10 degree square patch of sky north of M49, with the largest in actual 
size being the giant ellip ti cal galaxy M87 (N4486).
As for other con stel la tions in the area: the dis tinc tive rhom boid of second and third mag ni tude stars rep re sent ing
Corvus the Crow  lies  south­west  of  Virgo.  On  the Virgo/Corvus  border  (near  12  hr  40,  12 deg.) lies N4594
(M104), the famous ‘Sombrero Hat’ galaxy (mag ni tude 8.3, diam e ter 9).
South of Corvus sprawls the tail of Hydra, the female water snake, the rest of which lies to the west. The story linking
Hydra, Corvus and Crater is told in the text for Chart 8. One inter est ing scale fallen from the tail is N5236 (M83), one
of the bright est exter nal gal ax ies at mag ni tude 7.5 (diameter 11). It lies face on to the viewer (near 13 hr 37, 30
deg.).
64
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 64 7/5/08 11:33:09 AM
65
DEEPSKY OBJECTS
Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies
CRATER
CORVUS
VIRGO
LEO BOOTES
SERPENS
CAPUT
VELA
ANT
Porrima
Vindemiatrix
Spica
Zubeneschamali
Zubenelgenubi
MAGNITUDES
6 5 4 3 1 2 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars
LIBRA
LUPUS
HYDRA
5882
5128
5102
z
y
1
2
3
T
58
E
2
T
U
Z
I
d
U

U

M
N
J
C
d g
G
e
L
5986
GG
k
h
J

J

Y

Y

U
D
H
C
W
A
5643
I.4406
a
T

T

B
H
I
K
O
5897
I
S
c
1
c
2
a
b
Menkent
Q
Y
5139
Omega
Centauri
W
CENTAURUS
B
i
n
l u
D
Zaniah
Zavijava
Algorab
Gienah
Alchiba
P
X

X

A

Z
M
N
O
M5
S
109 110
16
B
D
E
I
K
L
M
T
U
J
M83
5068
R
r
G
Y
M104
Sombrero Galaxy
4699
4697
4753
A
G
Z
Q
C
Y
M49
4636
5248
M60 M59
4526
4535
E
R
S
X
1
X
2
p
B
M68
3621
A
B
G
D
D
E
Z
H
X
O
R
R
G
Z
H
Q
I
L
M61
4365
4371
B
H
N
X O
P
U
W
–40°
–30°
–20°
–10°

+10°
–40°
–30°
–20°
–10°

+10°
11
h
12
h
13
h
14
h
15
h
16
h
12
h
13
h
14
h
15
h
10 8
17
3
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 65 7/5/08 11:33:11 AM
CHArT 10
15 to 18 Hours rA
40 to 10 degrees Dec
In one of the most spec tac u  lar regions of the night sky, we here reach the Milky Way at its widest and densest, and 
dis cover the stun ning con stel la tion Scorpius the Scorpion. For once little imag i na tion is needed to see the crea ture
among the stars. The hook of stars that rep re sents the Scorpion’s tail cer tainly invites that inter pre ta tion, but other
images are pos sible. The New Zealand Maoris saw in it the fsh hook which one of their leg en dary heroes baited with 
his own blood and then dragged up the South Island from beneath the sea.
In legend, the Scorpion and Orion the Hunter were deadly enemies, with the beast sting ing Orion to death. So one
is always rising as the other sets. The heart of the Scorpion is marked by the red giant star Antares (Alpha Scorpii), so
named from its sim  i lar ity in colour to the planet Ares (Mars). A close approach of Mars and Antares (which happens 
every few years since Antares lies very close to the eclip tic) will soon confrm the com par i son.
A degree or so west of Antares lies the glob u lar cluster N6121 (M4), one of the larger and brighter exam ples at
mag ni tude 5.8 and diam e ter 26. A line of three bright stars west of Antares marks the creature’s claws. The tail, com-
plete with a close pair of stars to indi  cate the sting, coils towards the south­east, lying across the Milky Way. The brighter 
of the ‘sting stars’ is Shaula (Gamma Scorpii), second bright est in the con stel la tion.
This stretch of sky has many good targets for binoc u lars. North-east of the sting are a pair of notice able open clus-
ters: N6405 (M6, the Butterfy Cluster, mag ni tude 4.2, diam e ter 33), and a few degrees away, the larger and brighter
N6475 (M7, mag ni tude 3.3, diam e ter 80). Brighter but smaller than either of these is N6231 (mag ni tude 2.6, diam-
e ter 26), which lies on the curve of the Scorpion’s tail. Very close and just to the north is the open cluster Trumpler 24
(mag ni tude about 5, diam e ter 60).
Among the double stars visible in binoc u lars is Beta Scorpii, marking the left claw (mag ni tudes 2.6 and 4.9, sep-
ar a tion 13 seconds of arc). Antares is itself double, but with the primary much brighter than the sec on dary and only
3 seconds away, it is a chal lenge even in a 80 mm tele scope.
North-west along the eclip tic, between Scorpius and Virgo the Young Maiden (see Chart 9), two bright ish stars
almost a fst width apart, together with a few fainter ones further east, make up the zodiac sign Libra the Scales, almost
cer tainly those of Justice. In some ancient maps, the stars of Libra are blended with those of Scorpius to produce greatly
enlarged claws. In fact, the usual names for these two stars mean ‘the north ern claw’ and ‘the south ern claw’. Alpha
Librae is a very wide double, with the com po nents 3.9 apart, but the mag ni tudes (2.8 and 5.2) mean most people
will need binoc u lars.
Scorpius played a key role in the devel op ment of astron omy. Here in 134 BC the Greek astron o mer Hipparchos saw
a ‘new star’ (a nova), the frst on record. This led him to compile a detailed star map (so he could detect any other ‘new
stars’). Comparing his charts with those from Babylon 2000 years before led to dis cov er ies like the pre ces sion of the
equinoxes.
Although Scorpius is a zodiac sign, most of it lies way off the eclip tic to the south. The Sun, Moon and planets, when 
in this region, are likely to be located not in Scorpius but in the south ern parts of the con stel la tion of Ophiuchus the
Serpent-Holder, which lies imme di ately to the north. A long polygon of stars marks where a man is appar ently wres-
tling with a serpent, while the beast itself rates sep ar ate star group ings to indi cate its head (Serpens Caput to the west)
and its tail (Serpens Cauda to the east.) The bright est star in the con stel la tion (Rasalhague or ‘the head of the serpent
charmer’) can be found where Ophiuchus con tin ues to the north on Chart 18.
Ophiuchus, like many star signs, has more than one inter pre ta tion. One is that it rep re sents Aesculapius, the ship’s
doctor on the Argo and the founder of modern med i cine. This was the man who tried to revive Orion after he was
killed by the sting of the Scorpion. The serpent is another symbol of medical wisdom.
Binocular sights in Ophiuchus include the open cluster I4665 (mag ni tude 4.2, diam e ter 70), which lies just north
of the second bright est star in the con stel la tion (that is, near 17 hr 50, 8 degrees).
66
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 66 7/5/08 11:33:11 AM
67
DEEPSKY OBJECTS
Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies
TEL
SAGITTARIUS
OPHIUCHUS
SERPENS CAUDA
SCT
SERPENS CAPUT
HERCULES
VIRGO
BOOTES
Alnasl
Kaus Media
Kaus Australis
Kaus Borealis
Graffias
Antares
Rasalhague
Cebalrai
Sabik
Yed Prior
Unukalhai
Yed Posterior
MAGNITUDES
6 5 4 3 1 2 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars
LUPUS
HYDRA
NORMA
SCORPIUS
CORONA
AUSTRALIS
ECLIPTIC
6388
6541
6281
6302
6242
6231
Tr24
5897
2
58
c
1
c
2
Shaula
Lesath
Z

Z

N
H
M

M

E
A
H

H

E
Q
I

I

H
Q
M
6124
RS D
E
Q
L
M
I
S
K
K
L
Z
L
U
T
5986 h
J

J

Y

Y

H
Q
X
C
GG
k
U
G D
W
I
5643
I.4406
T

T

J
C
B
H
K
O
LIBRA
U
R
S
a
b
5882
d
g
e E
L
P
Menkent
Q
Y
CENTAURUS
Zubeneschamali
Zubenelgenubi
M4
M80
M107
M10
M12
M14
U
48
A
W

B
W

G
D
H
Q
K
L
N
X
O
P
R
S
J
C
Y
W
E
L
M
C
Y
W
A
D
D
E
L
S
U
Y
M22 M28
M69
M25
M18
M17
M16
M24
Star Cloud
Omega
Nebula
Eagle Nebula
M70
I.4776
M62
M19
M9
M23
M6
6383
M7
M8
M20
M21
6530
Lagoon
Nebula
Trifid
Nebula
BM
U
Y
Y
RS
X
W
G
Q
RR
G
Z
H
L
M
N
X
O
T
45
36
44
G
D
E
H
Q
M
X
O
T
J
Z
Z H
N
6572
I.4665
6633
U
68
59
72
70
67
A
B
G
I
K
S
X

X

A

Z
M
N
O
M5
109
110
16
B
D
E
M
–40°
–30°
–20°
–10°

+10°
–40°
–30°
–20°
–10°

+10°
14
h
15
h
16
h
17
h
18
h
19
h
15
h
16
h
17
h
18
h
11 9
18
3
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 67 7/5/08 11:33:13 AM
CHArT 11
18 Hours to 21 Hours rA
40 to 10 degrees Dec
Between Scorpius and the next zodiac sign, Sagittarius the Archer, at a point on the merid ian marking 18 hours of
right ascen sion, the eclip tic reaches its maximum dis tance (23.5 degrees) south of the celes tial equator. The Sun, arriv­
ing at this point around 21 December, then stands at the summer sol stice for the south ern hemi sphere, marking the
longest day of the year. It follows that these same stars will be passing over head at mid night six months earlier, around
the end of June.
Interestingly, at this same point the eclip tic crosses the galac tic equator, a line running down the centre of the Milky 
Way. Galactic lon gi  tude here is less than 10 degrees, indi cat ing that the core of our wheel­shaped galac tic system lies 
behind the stars in this region of the sky. A visual clue is the appear ance of the Milky Way itself. Between Scorpius and 
Sagittarius it is wider and denser than at any other point along its length.
Sagittarius the Archer stands in front of the Milky Way. A number of not very bright stars form a shape more sug­
ges tive of a teapot than a Centaur fring an arrow at the heart of the Scorpion, as the old star pic tures show. Still, the
shape is quite strik ing. The bright  est star is Epsilon Sagittarii, which is called Kaus Australis or the ‘south ern bow’.
Gamma Sagittarii has the name Alnasl, which means ‘the head of the arrow’, though the pedan tic might say that the
arrow looks like it will miss.
From Sagittarius, the line of the Milky Way takes us north­east, through Serpens Cauda (the Tail of the Serpent) to
Aquila the Eagle. Its frst mag ni tude star Altair is fanked by a fainter star. For more on Aquila see Chart 19.
South of Aquila lies the tiny con stel  la tion of Scutum the Shield, notable mostly from the open cluster N6705 (M11,
‘the Wild Duck nebula’, mag ni tude 6, diam e ter 10 minutes of arc). Binoculars show a misty patch, tele scopes a glit-
ter ing spray of more than 100 stars, fanned out like a fight of wild birds.
For much of its length in this region of the sky the Milky Way appears split by a great cleft. This reveals the pres  ence 
of vast clouds of dust hanging in space in front of the Milky Way, cutting off the light from the stars behind. Binoculars 
will reveal some thing more; many bright nebulae and star clus ters seen against the light and dark of the Milky Way. 
These objects, like stars in general, are con cen trated into the plane of the galaxy. Even with binoc u lars these can be a
fne sight. The view through a small tele scope is even better.
This stretch of sky has an extraor di nary con cen tra tion of Messier objects (see page 19), though indi vid u ally
brighter objects are found else where. In a mere 10 degrees of arc along the galac  tic equator, begin ning at the south­east 
corner of Serpens Cauda and moving south-west, we fnd:
•   M16, the open cluster N6611, mag ni tude 6.0, diam e ter 21.
•   M17, the ‘Swan Nebula’ N6618, mag ni tude 6.0, diam e ter 25.
•   M18, the open cluster N6613, mag ni tude 6.9, diam e ter 8.
•   M24, a ‘star cloud’, mag ni tude about 2 and 2 degrees by 1 degree in size.
•   M21, the open cluster N6531, mag ni tude 5.9, diam e ter 15.
•   M20, the ‘Trifd Nebula’ N6514, mag ni tude 6.3, diam e ter 30.
•   M8, the ‘Lagoon Nebula’ N6523/30, mag ni tude 4.6, diam e ter 90.
Both the Lagoon and Trifd Nebulae have small clus ters of bright, young, blue stars within them. It is the ultra vi o let
light pouring from these stars that makes the nebulae glow.
Nor is that all the region offers. To name just a few others: 5 or 6 degrees east of M21 is the glob u lar cluster M22
(N6656, mag ni tude 5.1, diam e ter 24). M22 is com  monly ranked third in impres sive  ness among glob u lar clus ters, 
behind Omega Centauri (see Chart 3) and 47 Tucanae (see Chart 1). A couple of degrees east of M24 is M25 (the open
cluster I4725, mag ni tude 4.6, diam e ter 30). And 10 degrees south­west of M8 (close to the sting of the Scorpion) 
are the open clus ters M7 and M6.
68
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 68 7/5/08 11:33:14 AM
69
MAGNITUDES
6 5 4 3 1 2 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars
DEEPSKY OBJECTS
Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies
ARA
OPHIUCHUS
OPHIUCHUS
SCUTUM
AQUILA
DELPHINUS
AQUARIUS
EQUULEUS
Nunki
Altair
Alya
Alshain
Tarazed
Kitalpha
Dabih
Algedi
Ascella
PISCIS
AUSTRINUS
MICROSCOPIUM
CAPRICORNUS
Q

Q

Arkab
Rukbat
A
B

B

I
I
A
B
G
D
E
Z
K

K

A
Z
I
N
Q

Q

H
X
G
Q
I
24
Q
Z
H
J
C
Y
W
TELESCOPIUM
SCORPIUS
M55
M30
SAGITTARIUS
6723
6388
CORONA
AUSTRALIS
6541
A
D

D

E
E
A
B
G
K
L
D
Z
H

H

Q
M Q
I

I

H
Q
K
INDUS
GRUS
6281
6302
6231
Tr24
Z
Z

T
Alnasl
Kaus
Australis
Kaus Borealis
Rasalhague
Cebalrai
ECLIPTIC
Shaula
Lesath
Kaus Media
X

X

E
N
O
7009
M73
M72
RT
A

B
B
E
I
M
N
P
R
S
T
U
3
71
E
Q
A
B
G
D
E
I
K
M11
M26
M14
6822
6818
V
R
U
12
A
B
D
E
H
Q
I
K
L
RY
RR
59
62
52 C

R

C

R

N

N

X

X

Z
H
O
P
S
T
U
Y
W
A
B
G
D
M
N
X
O
S
T
U
J
SERPENS
CAUDA
L
U
M22
M28
M69
M25
M18
M17
M16
M24
Star Cloud
Omega
Nebula
Eagle Nebula
M70
M54
M75
I.4776
M23
M6
6383
M7
M8
M20
M21
6530
Lagoon
Nebula
Trifid
Nebula
BM
U
Y
Y
RS
X
W
G
G
L
M
N
X
O
T
45
36
44
G
D
E
H
Q
M
X
J
Z
Z
H
6572
I.4665
6633
6709
I.4756
68
59
72
70
67
A
B
G
Albali
Sadalsuud
X
R
–40°
–30°
–20°
–10°

+10°
–40°
–30°
–20°
–10°

+10°
17
h
18
h
19
h
20
h
21
h
22
h
18
h
19
h
20
h
21
h
12 10
19
4
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 69 7/5/08 11:33:16 AM
CHArT 12
21 Hours to 24 Hours rA
40 to 10 degrees Dec
This is a dull stretch of sky with few bright stars. The inter est is in the asso ci a tions of the con stel la tions. This region
might be dubbed the ‘wet corner of the sky’, since many of the con stel la tions here and nearby have some thing to do
with water. They include the two zodiac signs Capricornus the Sea-Goat and Aquarius the Water-Carrier (as well as
the next sign to come, Pisces the Fish), and Piscis Austrinus the Southern Fish. East of Aquarius lies Cetus the Sea
Monster.
Ancient people used the stars as a cal en dar. It may be that thou sands of years ago (when these con stel la tions were
frst named), the Sun in its yearly travels reached this part of the sky during or just before the wet season of the year.
Certainly, Capricornus hosted the south ern summer sol stice (reached by the Sun around 21 December) 2000 years
ago. The com pil ers of horo scopes still use Capricornus to rep re sent people born in the month com menc ing
21 December, and geog ra phers use the term ‘Tropic of Capricorn’ to link those points on Earth at which the Sun is
over head at noon on that day.
Neither the Sea­Goat, the fgure of a goat with a fsh’s tail, nor the Water­Carrier pouring out water from an urn on 
his shoul der, have any bright stars. A pair of faint ish stars about 3 degrees (a couple of fngers) apart at the western end
of Capricornus are dis tinc tive. Both are wide doubles. Alpha Capricornii, to the north, is one for the keen naked eye,
with stars of mag ni tudes 3.6 and 4.2 sep ar ated by 6.3 minutes of arc. They are marked sep ar ately on this chart. Beta is
harder to see and binoc u lars are needed. Its 3.1 and 6.1 mag ni tude com po nents lie 3.4 minutes of arc apart.
Aquarius is an ancient sign, dating back to Babylonian times, 4000 years or more ago. The stream pouring from the 
Water­Carrier’s urn or barrel rep  re sented the time of the annual food. N7293 (the Helix Nebula), which lies close to
the south ern boun  dary of Aquarius (near 22 hr 30, 21 deg.), is the closest and appar ently largest of the plan e tary
nebulae. Though half the size of the Full Moon, the nebula is quite faint. Binoculars reveal it as a misty patch. Aquarius 
is home to two meteor showers; the Eta Aquarids of early May (peaking 6 May), asso  ciated with Comet Halley, and
the double-barrelled Delta Aquarids of late July and early August (peaking on July 29 and August 7).
The bright est star in the area is the frst mag ni tude Fomalhaut in Piscis Austrinus. In old star pic tures Aquarius was 
shown pouring a stream of water into the mouth of the Southern Fish, with Fomalhaut rep re sent ing that mouth.
With the three bright est stars in Grus the Crane to the south, Fomalhaut makes up a dis tinc tive and easily rec og nised
tra pe zium or cross, which rides high in the south ern sky early in winter even ings.
Fomalhaut was one of the four Royal Stars of Ancient Persia, stars which marked points along the zodiac linked to
the seasons. Four thou sand years ago, the Sun would have neared Fomalhaut around north ern mid winter (the sol stice
then lying among the dull stars of Aquarius just to the north). The other royal stars were Aldebaran in Taurus (marking 
north ern spring), Regulus in Leo (north ern summer) and Antares in Scorpius (north ern autumn).
70
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 70 7/5/08 11:33:16 AM
71
M30
E
N
O
7009
M73
M72
B
E
I
M
P
R
T
U
3
71
E
A
B
G D
E
I
K
DEEPSKY OBJECTS
Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies
E
C
L
IP
T
IC
PHOENIX
SAGITTARIUS
TEL
INDUS
AQUARIUS
CETUS
PISCES
PEGASUS
EQUULEUS
DELPHINUS
AQL
Kitalpha
Enif
Fomalhaut
Skat
Ancha
Albali
Sadalsuud
Sadalmelik
Sadachbia
Nashira
Deneb Algedi
Biham
Homam
MAGNITUDES
6 5 4 3 1 2 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars
SCULPTOR
PISCIS AUSTRINUS
CAPRICORNUS
A
B
G
D
E
MICROSCOPIUM
Q

Q

H
Z
K

K

I
Z
I
N
X
Q
H
J
C
Alnair
A
P

P

T

B
G
H
Q
I
I.1459
L
N
D

D

S

S

M

M

R
B
M
T
U
24
Z
Y
W
GRUS
55
300
7793
Ankaa
A
E
K
Q
I
J
U
Q
I
B
S
T
R
99
7
2
98
88
86
W
W

K

K

G
D
Z
H
Q
I
M
TX
XZ
30
I
I
L
W
L

L

X
7293
Helix Nebula
A
T

T

G
D
E
Z
I
K
L
M
P
S
U
G D
D
E
Z
Q
X
M2
A
G
Z
H
Q
K
L
N
O
P
R
S
R
Y

Y

Y

J
C
55
B
G
Q
K
–40°
–30°
–20°
–10°

+10°
–40°
–30°
–20°
–10°

+10°
20
h
21
h
22
h
23
h
0
h
1
h
21
h
22
h
23
h
0
h
5 11
20
4
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 71 7/5/08 11:33:17 AM
CHArT 13
0 Hours to 3 Hours rA
0 to 55 degrees Dec
The most sig nif cant con stel la tions in this part of the sky are a pair of zodiac signs, Pisces the Fish and Aries the Ram.
Pisces, which has no bright stars, is com monly drawn as a pair of fsh with their tails tied together with long strings,
swim ming in oppo site direc tions. Looking north, it lies just above (south) and to the east of the Great Square of
Pegasus (see Chart 20). The bright est star, in the south-east corner, marks the knot joining the two strings.
Aries, next door to the east, pos sesses two bright ish stars, close together and easily rec og nis able. The brighter of the
two is Hamal. Behind the con  stel la tion lies the story of the magical fying ram which rescued two chil dren from their 
wicked step mother, and whose Golden Fleece, hanging in a sacred grove in far away Colchis, lured Jason and the
Argonauts in a per i lous quest in the years before the Trojan War. Above (south of) Aries, a pen  ta gon of stars marks the 
head of Cetus the Sea Monster.
In our present epoch, the Sun crosses the celes tial equator going north and reaches a point among the western stars 
of Pisces around 21 March. The entry of the Sun into Pisces there fore marks the north ern vernal equinox (the autumn
equinox for the Southern Hemisphere). Two thou  sand years ago this event occurred further east, with the Sun enter ing 
Aries. The change since that time results from the pre ces sion of the equi noxes.
Tradition dies hard. The vernal equinox is still often called the First Point of Aries, and is marked by the old astro-
log i cal symbol for Aries. The com pil ers of horo scopes con tinue to insist that Aries is the sign for people born in the
month com menc  ing 21 March.
The meteor shower known as the Arietids emerges from a point in the south ern part of Aries (about 10 degrees
above and to the left of the Pleiades) in the frst two weeks of June, peaking on 7 June.
North of (below) Aries and Pisces and the small con stel la tion Triangulum, lines of bright ish stars mark the where-
abouts of Andromeda the Woman Chained. The west ern most and bright est star, Alpheratz, marks the maiden’s head
and forms part of the Great Square of Pegasus (see Chart 20). Beta and Gamma Andromedae carry the line north-east
towards the horizon, lying about 10 degrees apart.
The con stel la tion recalls the legend of the prin cess chained to a rock in atone ment for a boast made by her mother
about her (Andromeda’s) beauty and rescued from a sea monster by Perseus. Most of the char ac ters in this tale are in 
the sky around about: Cetus the Sea Monster to the south (see Chart 5), and, further north, the maiden’s parents
Cepheus and Cassiopeia. Her rescuer is next door on the eastern side (Chart 14).
The con stel la tion is notable for the pres ence within it of the nearest and bright est of the exter nal gal ax ies, N224,
com monly called the Andromeda Galaxy or M31. This near twin of our Milky Way system lies about two million light 
years distant and is found about 6 degrees below and to the left of Beta Andromedae. Six times wider than the Full
Moon, and with an inte grated mag  ni tude of 3.5, the nebula appears as a faint smudge to the naked eye on a dark night, 
and is a good target for binoc u lars and small tele scopes.
Three other members of our ‘local group’ of gal ax ies lie nearby in the sky, all fainter than M31 to our eyes. 
N221 (M32, mag ni tude 8.2) and N205 (M110, mag ni tude 8.0) are close to M31. More prom i nent is N598 (M33,
mag  ni tude 5.7 and twice the size of the Full Moon), about 10 degrees to the south­east (above and to the right) in 
Triangulum.
The region has other sights worth looking for with binoc u lars. About 5 degrees south of Gamma Andromedae (close
to the border with Triangulum) lies the open cluster N752 (diameter 50, mag ni tude 5.8). Gamma Andromedae is
itself double (mag ni tudes 2.3, 4.8, yel low ish and bluish, 10 seconds apart).
72
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 72 7/5/08 11:33:18 AM
73
DEEPSKY OBJECTS
Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies
MAGNITUDES
6 5 4 3 1 2 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars
ANDROMEDA
CASSIOPEIA
TRIANGULUM
PERSEUS
LACERTA
CAMELOPARDALIS
TAURUS
Algenib
Alpheratz
Algol
Mirphak
Mirach
Almaak
Hamal
Sheratan
Mesartim
Menkib
Atik
Shedir
A
D
Z
H
Q
I
K
M
O
P
R
S
T
A
B
G
D
E
Z
H
Q
I
K
L
M
N
X
O
R
S
T
J
J Y
W
RZ
41
5
B
G
D
E
925
M76
M43
891
869
884
1023 1342
1499
California
Nebula
1528
1545
457
R
W
48
6
17
16
b
1
b
2
A
Y

B
Y

Y

G
Z
H
H
L
P
R
S
T
U
J
C
Y
A
N
X
S
M74
M33
TV
70
A
G
D
E
Q
M
N
O
P
R
S
T
U
J
C
147
185
752
M31
M32
M110
Andromeda Galaxy
Double Cluster
7662
7789
R
R
RR
51
7
4
A
L
Z
B
G
H
Q
I
K
L
M
X
O
P
T
U
J
C
Y
W
ARIES
CETUS
ERIDANUS
D E
PISCES
PEGASUS
E
C
L
IP
T
IC
TX
XZ
I
L
W
Menkar
D M77
A
G
X

X

L M
N
X
Alrescha
Z
M
O
A
N
X
K
X
O

+10°
+20°
+30°
+40°
+50°

+10°
+20°
+30°
+40°
+50°
0
h
1
h
2
h
3
h
0
h
23
h
1
h
2
h
3
h
4
h
14 20
5
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 73 7/5/08 11:33:19 AM
CHArT 14
3 Hours to 6 Hours rA
0 to 55 degrees Dec
The north ern parts of this stretch of sky are flled with the stars of Perseus, the hero who rescued Andromeda, and of
Auriga the Charioteer. Old star pic tures of the latter also show a goat, which is marked by the frst mag ni tude star
Capella (sixth in order of bright ness among the stars). The name means ‘little goat’. Though bright, this star is elusive
from south ern lat i tudes; from most centres of pop u la tion it rises barely 10 degrees above the north ern horizon.
Perseus has no bright stars. It does boast the ffth mag ni tude California Nebula (N1499) (the shape gives the
name), which lies near 4 hr, 36 deg. Three degrees by one, it is rated mag ni tude 5. Ten degrees to the west and a little
lower in the sky is the famous eclips ing var i able star Algol (Beta Persei) that changes mag ni tude from 2 to 3.5 and
back every three days. Algol, dubbed ‘the devil star’, is often shown on maps as marking the eye of the snake-haired
monster Medusa, whose severed head Perseus is car ry ing. Alpha Persei, some 8 degrees further north, is sur rounded
by a large, bright, open cluster (Melotte 20).
Higher in the sky lies one of the great zodiac signs, Taurus the Bull. It is com monly depicted as rushing at nearby
Orion the Hunter, which lies to the south-east (above and to the right). Orion is defend ing himself with a club (see
Chart 6). The Bull is among the most ancient of the star signs, dating back to at least Babylonian times 4000 years ago.
Then it hosted the vernal equinox that now lies to the west in Pisces. Some sources iden tify Taurus with the Cretan Bull 
tamed by Hercules, others with the dis guise used by Zeus to seduce Europa, others still with the fre-breathing brazen-
hoofed bulls Jason had to tame on his route to the Golden Fleece.
Though only the front half of the Bull is shown (as if it was coming out of water), Taurus has some great sights.
Marking the shoul der of the Bull, and the frst stars to appear as the con stel la tion rises, are the Pleiades or the Seven
Sisters (M45). Four times the diam e ter of the Full Moon, this open cluster of young, hot, blue stars is a superb spec­
ta cle even with the naked eye. On clear dark nights keen eyes will fnd eight or even ten to be naked-eye objects.
Binoculars or a small tele scope will reveal 30 or more stars. The bright est is Alcyone at mag ni tude 2.9. The ear li est
ref er ences to the cluster are from China more than 4000 years ago.
Following the Pleiades across the sky (its name means as much) is the red giant star Aldebaran, which appro pri ately
marks the eye of the Bull. This was one of the Royal Stars of ancient Persia, along with Regulus, Antares and Fomalhaut.
These stars were the markers of the seasons as they lay then.
From our point of view Aldebaran is super im posed on a more distant V-shaped star cluster known as the Hyades.
(At one time, the whole cluster was called Aldebaran.) One hundred and ffty light years distant, this is the nearest of
the major open clus ters. Two of the stars in the Hyades are wide doubles, easily resolved with the naked eye or with
binoc u lars: Theta Tauri (mag ni tudes 3.4 and 3.8, sep ar a tion 5.6) and Sigma Tauri (mag ni tudes 4.7, 5.1, sep ar a tion
7.3).
Both the Hyades and the Pleiades have mytho log i cal asso ci a tions. In one tra di tion, they rep re sent two groups of
sisters, all daugh ters of Atlas but with dif fer ent mothers. Both were placed by Zeus among the stars; the Hyades as a
reward for nursing one of the god’s chil dren, the Pleiades as a pro tec tion against the amorous advances of Orion.
The rising and setting of the Hyades and Pleiades were tra di tion ally asso ciated with rain.
Filling out the con stel la tion to the east are stars delin eat ing the horns of the beast, with Beta Tauri (Alnath, the
‘butting one’) making the tip of the north ern horn. Close to the other tip you can fnd the Crab Nebula (N1952 or
M1). This nebula is the remnant of a super nova seen by Chinese astron o mers in 1056. One ffth the width of the Full
Moon, it is rated mag  ni  tude 8.
One of the year’s lesser meteor showers, the Taurids, emerges from two points in the night sky above the Pleiades
over the month fol low ing 25 October, with a peak around 7 November. It is asso ciated with Comet Enke and may
produce about 12 meteors an hour.
74
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 74 7/5/08 11:33:20 AM
75
Alnitak
V
T
8
Betelgeuse
o
Mintaka
o
Alnilam
r
¸
Meissa
¢
1
¢
2
i
µ
r
4
r
5
r
6
r
1
r
2
r
3
1662
M78
2024
v
µ
88
90
71
Bellatrix
p
¢
u
W
32
y
ORION
Menkar
o
M77
o
y
x
i
µ
v
10
ç
o
DEEPSKY OBJECTS
Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies
MAGNITUDES
6 5 4 3 1 2 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars
ECLIPTIC
H y a d e s
M45
Pleiades
MON
GEMINI
AURIGA
ANDROMEDA
LYNX
CAMELOPARDALIS
CAS
Alcyone
Aldebaran
Alnath
Capella
Menkalinan
Almaak
Propus
Mebsuta
o
o
1,2
û
1,2
o
1
o
2
o
3
y
r
q
i x
i
p
t \
¢
¿
¢
u
1647
1746
BU
HU
19,20
23
27
17
37
o
1
o
2
u
58
i
7
v
ç
M1
Crab Nebula
M35
2169
119
þ
¿
1
¿
2
r
¸
q µ
v
M36
M37
M38
2281
TV
U
1
BL
¢
1
¢
2
¢
3
¢
4
¢
5
¢
6
¢
7
¢
8
¢
9
û
û
µ
v
o
t
\
¢
¿
AR
UU
WW
RT
PU
R
21
o
þ
o
r
¸ q
x
i
ç
o
r
p
TRIANGULUM
PERSEUS
TAURUS
Algol
Mirphak
Menkib
Atik
ARIES
CETUS
ERI ERI
o
¸
t
o
þ
r
y
q
û
¸
ç
o
t
¢
o
i
x
v
o
¢
µ
o
r
p
o
RZ
41
5
M76
M43
p
u
1342
1499
California
Nebula
1528
1545
925
R
i
µ
48
þ
y
o
6
17
1023
16
b
1
b
2
752
51
891
W
y

+10°
+20°
+30°
+40°
+50°

+10°
+20°
+30°
+40°
+50°
3
h
4
h
5
h
6
h
3
h
2
h
4
h
5
h
6
h
7
h
15
13
6
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 75 7/5/08 11:33:22 AM
CHArT 15
6 Hours to 9 Hours rA
0 to 55 degrees Dec
The Milky Way cuts through the south­west corner of this area of night sky, cross ing among other things the feet of 
Gemini the Heavenly Twins. The Twins’ feet are close to the head of Orion the Hunter, most of which lies on the
other side of the Milky Way. At the north­eastern end of this roughly rec tan gu lar con stel la tion, the heads of the pair are 
marked by the bright stars Castor and Pollux. Like so many star groups, the Twins are upside down when viewed from
the Southern Hemisphere. Though listed as Alpha Geminorum, Castor is cur rently fainter than Pollux, indi cat ing that
it has waned or Pollux waxed in bright ness in recent cen tu ries.
Castor looks like a single star to the unaided eye, but it is actu ally six stars in close asso ci a tion, all born long ago
from the same cloud of gas. A small tele scope will divide Castor in two. A pair of white stars, mag ni tudes 1.9 and 2.9,
lie only 4 seconds of arc apart, and circle each other every 400 years. Castor was in fact the frst pair of stars known to
be orbit ing each other, noted by William Herschel in 1803. Each com po  nent star is a very close double, and other stars 
also form part of the action.
The star names are also the names of the heroes. In Greek legend, Castor and Pollux were sons of Leda, Queen of
Sparta, and broth ers to Helen of Troy. Pollux (or Polydeuces), being the son of Zeus (who seduced Leda in the guise
of a swan), was immor tal and was famed as a boxer. Castor, a famous horse man, was the son of a mortal. Both were
voy ag ers with Jason on the Argo in search of the Golden Fleece.
At the western end of Gemini, at 6 hours of right ascen sion, the eclip tic reaches its maximum dis tance north of the
celes tial equator. This point on the celes tial sphere there fore marks the (north ern) summer sol stice, reached by the
Sun around 21 June. This is the short  est day of the year (winter sol stice) south of the equator. 
The Geminids, one of the con sis tent per form ers among the meteor showers, emerges from the night sky close to
Castor from 7 to 15 December, with a peak around 13 December. Under the right con di tions, you may see 50 meteors
an hour. Gemini too boasts a bright  ish cluster, lying in front of the Milky Way at the south­western end of the con  stel­
la tion (near 6 hr 10, 24 deg). N2168 (M35) is the size of the Full Moon and is rated at mag ni tude 5.
East of Gemini lies another zodiac con stel la tion, Cancer the Crab. Cancer is bereft of bright or even bright ish stars.
Legends suggest that such was its fate, having been crushed as pun ish ment for biting the heel of Hercules as he was
bat tling with the Hydra. Such stars as there are make up a three-pointed fgure centred on Gamma Canceri that lies
on the ecliptic.
Cancer’s main offer ing to sky watch ers is Praesepe or the Beehive Cluster (N2632, M44), which lies a few degrees
north­west of Gamma Canceri. At mag  ni tude 3 and diam e ter three times that of the Full Moon, it is no match for the 
Pleiades, but is well worth a look through binoc u lars, which will easily reveal 15 or so stars (Galileo was the frst to
do this). Lying only 450 light years away, the Beehive is close as open clus ters go. The old name for the Beehive is ‘the
Manger’, which served as food for a pair of donkeys. These are marked by the two nearest stars, Gamma and Delta,
which bear formal names meaning the ‘the north ern and south ern donkeys’.
A small cluster (N2682), still worth a Messier number (M67), lies south of (above) the Beehive, a few degrees west
of Alpha Canceri.
Two thou sand years ago, the summer sol stice now found in Gemini lay in Cancer. This fact per sists in the name
‘Tropic of Cancer’ for the imag i nary line around the Earth linking all loca tions at which the Sun is over head at noon
on 21 June. Consistency would seem to require a change in name to ‘Tropic of Gemini’, but that is now unlikely. 
In 600 years it would need to be changed again.
Monoceros, Canis Minor and Hydra border Cancer and Gemini to the south. To the north we fnd some faint stars 
of Auriga and Lynx, and a sniff of Ursa Major the Great Bear.
76
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 76 7/5/08 11:33:22 AM
77
MAGNITUDES
6 5 4 3 1 2 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars
DEEPSKY OBJECTS
Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies
ECLIPTIC
Alnath
Alhena
Propus
Castor
Pollux
Capella
Menkalinan
Mebsuta
Mekbuda
Wasat
Alterf
Talitha
o
þ
o
¸
i
x
i
ç
p
o
t
\ ¢
¿
u
2392
BQ
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30
6
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RR
15
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1
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1
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2
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2
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1
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2
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q
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¿
¢
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M44
Praesepe
R
X
p
1 p
2
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u
2683
2903
o
1
o
2
o
3
i
x
2841
RS
R
31
38
10 UMa
10
15
26
o
û
i
x
t
¢
ORION
MONOCEROS
LEO
CANCER
2301
o
CANIS MINOR
Gomeisa
o
1
þ
o
2
o
3
y
r
q
¸
BC
14
Procyon
o
þ
o
r
¸
q
p
o
û
u
Acubens
M67
o
x
HYDRA
TAURUS
AURIGA
CAM CAM
LYNX
PERSEUS
LEO MINOR
URSA MAJOR
GEMINI
10
Alnilam
r
Meissa
¢
1
¢
2
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Betelgeuse
o
µ
u
M78
2024
Alnitak
¸
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I.434
Horsehead
Nebula
2244
2237
Rosette Nebula
2264 S
T
8
13
7
M1
Crab Nebula
M35
119
þ
r
¸
2281
TV ¿
1
¿
2
U
q
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1
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2169
BL
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4
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5
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6
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2
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7
û
û
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M36
M37
M38
¿
¢
3
UU
WW
21
¸
RT
x
µ
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ç
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1
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PU
o
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q
p
1545
¢
9
AR
¢
8
Asellus Australis
Asellus Borealis

+10°
+20°
+30°
+40°
+50°

+10°
+20°
+30°
+40°
+50°
6
h
7
h
8
h
9
h
6
h
5
h
7
h
8
h
9
h
10
h
16 14
7
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 77 7/5/08 11:33:24 AM
CHArT 16
9 Hours to 12 Hours rA
0 to 55 degrees Dec
This stretch of sky belongs to Leo the Lion. Allowing for the fact that the con stel la tion is upside-down to Southern
Hemisphere viewers, not a lot of imag i na tion is needed to discern a lion among the stars. A hooked line of stars at the
western end of the group pro fles the beast’s head and neck, ending with the frst mag ni tude star Regulus to mark a
front paw (or perhaps the lion’s heart). A tri an gle of stars two fists width to the east marks the rump and tail.
The bright est of those stars is Denebola, that name coming from the Greek for ‘tail’.
Leo is gen er ally held to rep re sent the Nemean Lion, slain by the mighty Hercules of Greek and Roman legend as
one of his Twelve Labours, but there are, as usual, other pos sibil ities. The asso ci a tion of a lion with these stars is much
older. Regulus was one of the Royal Stars of Persia, along with Aldebaran, Antares and Fomalhaut, since 4000 years ago
it was home to the summer sol stice now located in Gemini. Links between the Sun and Leo are there fore very ancient
and may explain the common and long-stand ing link between the lion and royalty (such as the lion being the ‘king of
beasts’). The name Regulus is derived from a word for ‘king’.
Regulus lies just north of the eclip tic. As a result, it is com monly approached, or even occulted, by a planet. A close
approach by Mars or Jupiter can be a spec tac u lar sight.
Gamma Leonis or Algieba, the second bright est star in the hook, is a double, with a pair of yellow stars rated at
mag  ni tudes 2.3 and 3.5. With a sep ar a tion of only 4 seconds of arc, a small tele scope is needed to split them. R Leonis,
5 degrees west of Regulus, is a Mira­type var i able, swing ing between mag ni tudes 4.4 and 11.3 every 312 days.
Leo is the site of one of the more erratic meteor showers; the Leonids emerge from near Gamma Leonis around 15
to 20 November, peaking around 17 November, and have been noted for at least 1000 years. It is asso ciated with Comet
Temple 1 that last came by in 1866. The number of meteors increases to a peak every 33 years (1999 was a peak
year).
Beneath the belly of the Lion (that is, above it as it stands in the sky) lie a number of exter nal gal ax ies, out li ers of
the Virgo Cluster (see text to Chart 9). None is brighter than the eighth mag ni tude. The easiest to fnd are N3623 and
N3627 (M65 and M66), which good binoc u lars will pick up as fuzzy spots on a dark night (near 11 hr 20, 12 deg.).
A 100 mm tele scope is needed to reveal their shapes.
North of Leo lies the much smaller Leo Minor and then the stars of the major Northern Hemisphere con stel la tion
Ursa Major the Great Bear. These stars rise only 10 or 20 degrees at most above the north ern horizon and the
con stel la tion is not easy to discern.
78
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 78 7/5/08 11:33:24 AM
79
DEEPSKY OBJECTS
Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies
MAGNITUDES
6 5 4 3 1 2 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars
M97
Owl Nebula
M108
M109
3184
CG
W
VIRGO
COMA
BERENICES
CANIS VENATICI
LEO MINOR
LYNX
URSA MAJOR
UMA
Alterf
Rasalas
Adhafera
Algieba
Zosma
Chertan
Denebola
Chara
Cor Carola
Asellus Australis
Asellus Borealis
Talitha
Merak
Phad
Tania Borealis
Tania Australis
Alula Borealis
Alula Australis
B
L
M
46
21
B
M105
M96
M95
3348
R
54
60
G
E
Z
H
M
N
Y
M106
4449
4490
M94
ST
Y
TU
A
B
G
C
Y
W
4631
4214
M86
4435/38
4216
M99
M98
M100
M85
4494
4565
4559
M88
M87
M84
M65
M66
3628
Mel 111
93
B
G
N
X
D
Q
O
P
SEXTANS
E
C
L
IP
T
IC
HYDRA
3521
A B
T

I
X
O
P
W
LEO
Regulus
VY
31
R
A
M61
4365
4371
Zaniah
H
I
S
T
U
C
Zavijava
B
N
X
W
D
E
Z
H
Q
R
S
W
CANCER
K
M67
Acubens
A
G
D
Q
P
U

U

J

J

L
C
O

O

X
R

R

L
2683
S

S

S

I
K
2841
31
10 UMa
15
R
38
10
A
I
K
N
X
RS
T
26
Q
J
21
E
H
M44
Praesepe
2903
3344

+10°
+20°
+30°
+40°
+50°

+10°
+20°
+30°
+40°
+50°
9
h
10
h
11
h
12
h
9
h
8
h
10
h
11
h
12
h
13
h
17 15
8
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 79 7/5/08 11:33:26 AM
CHArT 17
12 Hours to 15 Hours rA
0 to 45 degrees Dec
This area of sky pos sesses few bright stars other than Arcturus in Bootes. It is remote from the Milky Way, with the 
North Galactic Pole (NGP) to be found within the con stel la tion Coma Berenices (near 12 hr 50, 27 deg.).
The eclip tic passes to the south, with Virgo the nearest zodiac con stel la tion.
Coma Berenices (Berenice’s Hair) and Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs) are largish but dull con stel la tions.
They are notable mostly for the numbers of gal ax ies within their borders. These con tinue the cluster centred in the
north ern regions of Virgo, a cluster com monly called the Virgo Cluster (see Chart 9). This con tains many hun dreds of
spiral and ellip ti cal gal ax ies, located at dis tances esti mated at 40 to 60 million light years.
Some of these may be glimpsed as fuzzy points of light in binoc u lars and small tele scopes. The best start ing point
is with the mag ni tude 8.4 galaxy N4472 (M49) in Virgo (near 12 hr 30, 8 degrees). Many gal ax ies of mag ni  tude 9 
and fainter are scat  tered over the sky about 5 degrees north of M49, across the Virgo/Coma Berenices border. A few 
more lie at the north  ern end of Coma near the galac  tic pole. More gal ax ies still are widely scat tered in Canes Venatici. 
Five degrees west of the Pole and near Gamma Coma Berenices we fnd the open cluster Melotte 111 (the Coma
Cluster), which is both bright (inte grated mag ni tude 1.8) and large (almost 5 degrees across).
Bootes the Herdsman, lying to the east of the two star groups men tioned earlier, is dom i nated by the orange giant
star Arcturus, fourth bright est in the sky (after Sirius, Canopus and Alpha Centauri). It weighs almost the same as our
Sun, but is larger, brighter and cooler, all char ac ter is tics of a Sun-like star in old age.
From Arcturus, marking the head of Bootes, an elon gated pen ta gon of stars runs north-east towards Ursa Major the
Great Bear. The two con stel la tions can be linked in several ways. Bootes as Herdsman drives the Great Bear around the
North Pole. In images in which the stars of Ursa Major become a plough or a wagon, Bootes is the Ploughman or 
Waggoner. From Arcturus (or more from ‘arktos’, the Greek for ‘bear’) we get our word ‘arctic’, for the region where 
the two bears (major and minor) are high in the night sky.
The Quadrantids meteor shower, gen er ally the year’s bright est, has its radiant in the north ern part of Bootes,
peaking around 3 January. The name comes from the now aban doned con stel la tion Quadrans Muralis  (the Wall 
Quadrant), which used to occupy this part of the sky.
For hunters after glob u lar clus ters, binoc u lars will reveal M3 (N5272) in the south ern realm of Canes Venatici (near
13 hr 40, 28 deg.), at mag ni tude 6.
80
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 80 7/5/08 11:33:26 AM
81
VIRGO
LIBRA
LEO
BOOTES
SERPENS
CAPUT
M5
109
110
4753
p
Vindemiatrix
t
¸
5248
r
o
M49
4636
4526
4535
R
M61
4365
M60
M59
M58 4371
Porrima
Zaniah y
q
o
r
\
Zavijava
þ
o
v
ç
u
DEEPSKY OBJECTS
Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies
MAGNITUDES
6 5 4 3 1 2 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars
NGP
URSA MAJOR
CANES VENATICI
COMA
BERENICES
CORONA
BOREALIS
HERCULES
DRACO
Denebola
Cor Caroli
Chara
Arcturus
Muphrid
Izar
Seginus
Alkalurops
Nekkar
Alphekka
Nusakan
Alula Borealis
Alula Australis
Phad
Megrez
Alioth
Mizar
Alcor
Alkaid
o
þ
q
t
\
M53
M64
FS
R
M101
80
o
r
¸
q
o
t
1
t
2
t
3
¸
ç
o
r
µ
1,2
o
W
i
o
v
1
þ
v
2
y
r
¸
q
û
x
i
µ
o
¢
¿
¢
u
5866
X
A
þ
y
û
i
x
i
p
o
t
\
¢
¿
M97
Owl Nebula
M109
M106
4449
M94
M63
M3
M51
Whirlpool Galaxy
5195
Y
TU
o
þ
y
ST
¿
¢ u
4631
4214
4435/38
4216
M99
M98
M100
M85
M88
M90
M91
M89
93
þ
4494
4565
4725
4559
Mel 111
y
v
ç
M86
M87
M84

+10°
+20°
+30°
+40°
+50°

+10°
+20°
+30°
+40°
+50°
12
h
13
h
14
h
15
h
12
h
11
h
13
h
14
h
15
h
16
h
18 16
9
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 81 7/5/08 11:33:27 AM
CHArT 18
15 Hours to 18 Hours rA
0 to 55 degrees Dec
There are no bright stars in this corner of the sky and no strik ing con stel la tions. Much of the sky is taken up with the 
scat tered stars of Hercules, per former of the famous Twelve Labours and voyager on the Argo with Jason in the quest 
for the Golden Fleece. On old star charts, Hercules is often shown with club and lion skin, kneel ing with his foot on
the head of Draco the Dragon, a far north ern con stel la tion. With a little imag i na tion, the observer can recover the 
image of a man with great arms and legs from the scat tered stars.
Interestingly, for Southern Hemisphere viewers, Hercules is the right way up, unlike Ophiuchus just to the south
(see Chart 10), which is head down for us. Its bright est star, Rasalgethi (‘the Kneeler’s Head’) lies at the south ern
(upper) end of the con stel la tion, within a few degrees of Rasalhague (‘the Serpent-Charmers Head’) in Ophiuchus.
This is an indi ca tion of the lat i tude from which those who formed the con stel la tions viewed the sky.
Hercules is cer tainly big, in the top half dozen con stel la tions for size. These stars have been formed into the image
of a hero since Babylonian times, 4000 or more years ago. In giving the stars to Hercules, the Greeks were merely con-
tin u ing an old tra di tion.
The best binoc u lar or small tele scope sight here is among the western stars of Hercules, a few degrees above Eta.
N6205 (M13) is the bright est glob u lar cluster in the north ern sky, though at mag ni tude 5.7 and diam e ter 17 minutes
of arc, it is no match for Omega Centauri or 47 Tucanae in the south. M13 con tains some 300,000 stars in a space 
100 light years across and lies about 22,000 light years away.
The rest of the sky here con tains the small con stel la tion Corona Borealis the Northern Crown, with an inter est ing
arc of small stars; the north ern stars of Serpens Caput (the head of the serpent being wres tled by Ophiuchus further
south); and a bit of Bootes. In Ophiuchus itself, you can fnd I4665 about 10 degrees south of Alpha Ophiuchi
(Rasalhague). This is a loose cluster worth seeking with binoc u lars, being mag ni tude 4.2 and twice the diam e ter of the
Full Moon.
One item of inter est in this region is the loca tion of the so-called Apex of the Sun’s Motion, the point in the heavens
towards which the Sun appears to be moving as it circles the Galaxy. Measurements of the appar ent move ments of the 
stars suggest that this lies in the eastern part of Hercules, close to its boun dary with Lyra the Harp.
82
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 82 7/5/08 11:33:28 AM
83
DEEPSKY OBJECTS
Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies
MAGNITUDES
6 5 4 3 1 2 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars
6210
I.4593
LQ
U
R
s
LIBRA
HERCULES
CORONA BOREALIS
LYRA
CYGNUS
DRACO
URSA
MAJOR
CANES
VENATICI
Alkaid
Etamin
Rastaban
Grumium
Alrakis
Vega
Sheliak
þ
y
¸
i
x
r
p
\
¢
¿
u
S
v
1
þ
v
2
y
o
r
q
i
x
ç
p
o
t
\
M13
M92
g
r
û
r
o
16, 17
o
o
95
102
109
u
c
o
1
v
1
o
2
v
2
û
i
µ
v
ç
o
r
p
M57
Ring
Nebula
r
1, 2
þ
¸
i
x
µ
XY
OP
R
R
o
þ
y
û
i
x
µ
v
ç
OPHIUCHUS
SERPENS
CAUDA
SERPENS CAPUT
HERCULES
VIRGO
BOOTES
Unukalhai
r
u
o
o
i
¢
q
6572
6633
68
72
70
67
Rasalhague
Rasalgethi
Kornephoros
o
I.4665
y
i
o
i
x
Cebalrai
U
þ
o
M5
109
110
Izar
Seginus
Alkalurops
Nekkar
Alphekka
Nusakan
M101
q
t
1
t
4
t
5 t
6
t
7
t
8
t
2
t
3
¸
ç
o
r
µ
1,2
o
i
o
þ
y
¸
x
i
µ
q
û
o
v
1
v
2
¢
¿
¢
u
5866
þ
A
y
û
i
x
i
W
r
p
o
X
t \
¢
¿

+10°
+20°
+30°
+40°
+50°

+10°
+20°
+30°
+40°
+50°
15
h
16
h
17
h
18
h
15
h
14
h
16
h
17
h
18
h
19
h
19 17
10
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 83 7/5/08 11:33:29 AM
CHArT 19
18 Hours to 21 Hours rA
0 to 55 degrees Dec
This is a spec tac  u lar stretch of sky, crossed by the Milky Way from south­west to north­east, and home to the three 
bright stars of the Winter Triangle (Deneb, Vega, Altair), so called because they are most prom i nent on early even ings
in winter in the South ern Hemi  sphere (it is the Summer Triangle north of the equator). On the western side we fnd 
frag ments of the heroes Hercules and Ophiuchus. A few small, dim con stel la tions (Sagitta the Arrow, Vulpecula the
Fox and Delphinus the Dolphin) take up further space. The ‘big three’ on the other hand are Lyra the Harp, Cygnus
the Swan and Aquila the Eagle.
For all its length in this region, the Milky Way appears divided, due to the pres ence of a band of dust com monly 
found in the spiral arms of gal ax ies. The con stel la tion Cygnus is the form of a cross that evokes a swan fying south 
along the Milky Way, though the con stel la tion has some  times been drawn as a hen. As a swan, its pos sible asso ci a tions 
include Leda, seduced by Zeus in the guise of a swan, so giving birth to the hero Pollux, one of the hea venly twins.
The long bar of the Northern Cross is made up of Beta, Eta, Gamma and Alpha Cygni, with Delta, Gamma and
Epsilon as the cross bar. Deneb (‘the tail’) is the frst mag ni tude star that brings up the rear of the swan. With dec li  na­
tion 45 degrees, Deneb remains low in the north ern sky for most centres of pop  u la tion south of the equator. Of the 
20 or so bright est stars as seen from Earth, Deneb is the most distant (nearly 2000 light years), and the star with the
great est intrin sic bright ness. An abso lute mag ni tude of 8 makes it some 25,000 times brighter than our Sun.
Several bright nebulae show up against the back ground stars, notably the appro pri ately shaped North America
Nebula (N7000), 5 degrees east of Deneb. This is rated mag ni tude 4 and covers more than 12 times the area of the
Full Moon. As with Deneb, fnding this nebula needs a clear north ern horizon. The much larger but fainter and more 
elusive Veil Nebula (N6960) is some 15 degrees south of Deneb. This nebula, only mag ni tude 7 but 7 Moon diam e ters 
wide, is a super nova remnant.
To the west and a little higher in the sky lies Lyra the Harp, with one strik ing star Vega (ffth in bright ness in the
sky). Imagination is cer tainly needed here to fnd a harp among these stars! A degree or so away from Vega on the lower
right, Epsilon Lyrae (a ‘double double’), is a good test for keen eyes. Its two ffth mag ni tude com po nents lie over
3 minutes of arc apart. Binoculars will confrm this, and a small tele scope will reveal that each star is itself a double.
Beta Lyrae, about 7 degrees south-east of Vega, is another star with sur prises. It is a double (yellow-white and blue,
frst and eighth mag ni tudes) easily split in small tele scopes. But the bright primary is an eclips ing var i able, shift ing
from mag ni tude 3.3 to 4.3 every 13 days. Gamma Lyrae, a con stant mag ni tude 3.2 nearby, can be used for
com par i son.
One of the more elusive sights of Lyra is the well-known Ring Nebula (N6720, M57), a plan e tary nebula lying
between Beta and Gamma. At mag ni tude 8.8 and little more than 1 minute of arc across, it is no easy target. A large
tele scope is needed to reveal its ring-like shape.
Smaller but brighter than the Ring Nebula is N6853 (the Dumbbell Nebula, M27), in front of the Milky Way in 
Vulpecula (near 20 hr, 23 deg.). With mag ni tude 7.3, it is as bright as any plan  e tary nebula in the sky, being only 
1000 light years away. About 10 degrees south-west of the Dumbbell Nebula on the border with Sagitta is the dis tinc-
tive open cluster dubbed the Coat-Hanger, more for mally known as Collinder 399.
Completing the Winter Triangle is Altair, the bright est star in Aquila the Eagle. It lies much higher in the sky than
Deneb and Vega and, unlike them, it has another bright ish star (Gamma Aquilae) only a few degrees away. The pair
form a dis tinc tive group ing.
84
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 84 7/5/08 11:33:29 AM
85
OPHIUCHUS
SERPENS
CAUDA
71
E
Q
EQUULEUS
Kitalpha
A
B
G
D
DELPHINUS
E
I
K
Alya
Q
A
Tarazed
G
H
D
N
Altair
X
O
Alshain B
M
S
T
U
J
6709
6572 6633
I.4756
59
72
X
R
Rasalhague
A
Cebalrai
I.4665
68
70
67
B
G
DEEPSKY OBJECTS
Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies
MAGNITUDES
6 5 4 3 1 2 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars
M71
M27
Dumbbell Nebula
Coll 399
U
U
U
S
SU
13
1
HERCULES
LYRA
CYGNUS
AQUILA
AQUARIUS
SAGITTA
VULPECULA
PEGASUS
PEG
DRACO
LACERTA
CEPHEUS
CEP
Rastaban
Etamin
Alrakis
Vega
Sheliak
Sulafat
Grumium
Albireo
Deneb
Sadr
A
W

B
W

G
D
E
Z
H
Q
P
R
J
C
FF
A
B
G
E
Z
L
M56
6811
6826
AF
33
D
H
H
Q
Y
M15
A
B
G
D
Z
H
Q
6882/85
23
31
2
1
Veil Nebula
6960
6992-95
6940
T
T
X
52
41
39
A
7027
M39
7000
I.5067-70
M29
6871
6910
North America Nebula
Pelican Nebula
7243
DT
AR
P
63
61
4
5
2
W
A
B
W

W

O

O

P

P

G
E
Z
L
M
N
X
R
S
T
U
C
D
95
102
109
110
111
113
D

N

D

N

L
M
N
X
O
u
c
Q
P
R
Ring
Nebula
M57
E

B
Z
I
K
M
XY
R
R
RT
A
B
G
Q
M92
OP
I
K
M
X

+10°
+20°
+30°
+40°
+50°

+10°
+20°
+30°
+40°
+50°
18
h
19
h
20
h
21
h
18
h
17
h
19
h
20
h
21
h
22
h
20
18
11
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 85 7/5/08 11:33:32 AM
CHArT 20
21 Hours to 24 Hours rA
0 to 55 degrees Dec
Though not one of the more spec tac u lar stretches of night sky, there are many things of inter est here. The most obvious
feature is a rough square of mod er  ately bright stars known as the Great Square of Pegasus. The square, lying to the 
east of Cygnus the Swan, is large, some 15 degrees or one and a half fsts wide in each direc tion. Strictly speak ing,
only three of the four stars belong to Pegasus the Flying Horse. The north-east star (on the lower right) is now a days
given to the con stel la tion of Andromeda the Chained Maiden, in which it marks the head of the prin cess (see
Chart 13). However, its name Alpheratz (‘the navel of the horse’) indi cates its former asso ci a tion.
Most people asso  ciate Pegasus with Perseus, the rescuer of Andromeda. However, legend gives the honour of riding
Pegasus to Bellerophon, the hero noted for his fatal bold ness in seeking to ride to heaven. The role of Perseus was in
bring ing the winged steed into being, since Pegasus was created from the blood of the mon strous Medusa, slain by 
Perseus, falling into the sea.
Unlike most north ern con stel  la tions, Pegasus is upright when viewed from our part of the world. What is more, the 
stars do, with little imag  i na tion, suggest the front portion of a horse gal  lop ing (or fying) to the west. From the top 
left­hand corner of the square a curved line of stars traces the horse’s head and neck. This begins with Alpha Pegasi
(Markab for ‘saddle’) and ends at the orange super giant star Enif (‘nose’). The latter is the brightest in the constel lation,
even though it is labelled only Epsilon Pegasi. Lines of stars from the lower left-hand star (Beta Pegasi or Scheat,
meaning ‘upper arm’) mark out the horse’s front legs.
A few degrees north-west of Enif lies the glob u lar cluster M15, 30,000 light years away. At mag ni tude 6.0 and diam-
e ter 12 minutes of arc, this is larger and brighter than many. It shows up as a fuzzy patch in binoc u lars, and small
tele scopes show its bright core, though they cannot resolve indi vid ual stars.
The rest of the sky here is not mem or able; frag ments and edges of Andromeda and other nearby con stel la tions, and
the insig nif cant con stel la tions Equuleus the Colt or Foal and Lacerta the Lizard. The nearest zodiac sign is Pisces the
Fish, lying south­east (that is, above and to the right) of the Great Square. 
86
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 86 7/5/08 11:33:32 AM
87
DEEPSKY OBJECTS
Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies
MAGNITUDES
6 5 4 3 1 2 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars
ECLIPTIC
CYGNUS
VULPECULA
CEPHEUS
CASSIOPEIA
LACERTA
ANDROMEDA
PSC
PER
Alpheratz
Markab
Algenib
Scheat
Matar
Sadalbari
A
P

B
P

H
I
K
L
M
X
O
7331
1
6
11
71
E
I
K
PISCES
PEGASUS
DELPHINUS
AQL
E
A
B
G D
EQUULEUS
Kitalpha
XZ
W
Enif
E
Homam
Z
M2
Sadalmelik
A
Sadachbia
G
Biham
Q
N
Z
H
P
S
R
55
70
B
TX
I
L
G
Q
K
Deneb
Sadr
A
T
U
G
J
C
Y
TV
D
E
M
P
N
M31
M32
M110
Andromeda
Galaxy
S
7789
R
Q
R
R
S
R
A
4
7
L
Z
X
O
N
X
O
147
185
P
J
7662
I
K
L Y
AQUARIUS
6826
Y
M15
U
A
G
D
B
Z
H Q
2
1
9
Veil Nebula
6960
6992-95
6940
31
T
23
52
41
39
7027
7000
6910
North America
Nebula
I.5067-70
Pelican Nebula
7243
AR
RW
M29
6871
P
63
61
5
2
A
B
E
D Z
W

W

O

O
P

P

G
T
E
DT
Z
X
L
M
N
X
M39
W R
S
T
U
D
I
R
RT
Q

+10°
+20°
+30°
+40°
+50°

+10°
+20°
+30°
+40°
+50°
21
h
22
h
23
h
24
h
21
h
20
h
22
h
23
h
0
h
1
h
13 19
12
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 87 7/5/08 11:33:34 AM
88
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_03.indd 88 7/5/08 11:33:34 AM
89
Helping the eye
References are made in this book to the use of binoc u lars or
a small tele scope to improve the view of the night sky. Such
instru ments do several things.
•   They collect more light than does the naked eye (they have
a greater light grasp) and so enable the user to see fainter
and more distant objects.
•   They magnify objects, making them seem larger.
•   They  can  see  fner  detail  (that  is,  they  have  greater reso­
lution).
An ordi nary pair of binoc u lars would be rated 10 by 50,
which  means  mag  nif  ca tion  10  and  with  lenses  50  mm  in 
diam e ter.  Such  binoc u lars  will  magnify  objects  10  times, 
which is about the highest useful mag  nif ca tion. Higher mag­
nif ca tions amplify the inev i ta ble shaking of hand­held binoc­
u lars to an unac cept able degree.
More impor tantly, the 50 mm lenses will collect 50 times 
as much light as the unaided eye, making visible stars down
to  mag  ni tude  10  or  11. This  was  about  the  light  grasp  of 
Galileo’s frst tele  scope, though it mag  nifed 30 times. With it, 
Galileo saw the moun  tains of the Moon, broke the Milky Way 
up into stars, con frmed the phases of Venus and dis cov ered 
the moons of Jupiter. The brighter of the nebulae, both light 
and dark, will show up well with binoc u  lars and you can sep­
ar ate many double stars.
As for res o lu tion, binoc u lars will discern details two or
three arc seconds across, pro vided seeing con di tions are
reason ably  steady.  This  com pares  with  the  15  or  20  arc 
seconds  achiev able  with  the  eye  alone. Three  arc  seconds  is 
about  1/600th  the  appar ent  diam  e  ter  of  the  Full  Moon, 
which means an object about 6 km across at the dis tance of 
the Moon.
The main problem with binoc u lars is holding them steady. 
Rest your arms on some thing, like the top of a fence or the
arms of a deck chair. Or lie on your back on a rug.
As with naked­eye viewing, the darker the sky the better. 
Avoid moon lit nights if pos sible. Avoid street lights and house
lights. Get away from the glare of the city to the bush or a
beach or even a large sport  ing feld. And give your eyes time 
to become dark­adapted. Half an hour makes a great dif fer­
ence, and the longer you stay out the more you will see.
If you want some light to read the maps in this book when
you are under the stars, put red cel lo phane over your torch,
or use a torch with an almost­fat battery, so that it gives a dim 
reddish light. Red light does not upset night vision.
On to a telescope
The next step up is to a small (or small ish) tele scope, either a 
refrac tor (with a large lens at the front to collect the light) or
a  refec tor  (with  a  mirror  at  the  lower  end).  Buying  a  tele­
scope is a complex matter and it is best to take expert advice 
at an astro nom i cal supply store.
For  a  certain  aper ture,  a  refrac tor  will  in  general  give  a 
brighter,  clearer  image,  but  a  refec tor  will  be  notice ably 
cheaper.  Above  about  80  mm  aper ture,  refrac tors  become 
very  expen sive,  but  refec tors  to  200  or  300  mm,  or  even 
more, are quite afford able.
A 200 mm tele scope will collect over one thou  sand times 
as much light as the naked eye and will reveal stars down to
the four teenth mag ni tude. That light grasp will reveal even the 
elusive planet Pluto.
Appendix A: Using binoculars and telescopes
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_04.indd 89 7/5/08 11:33:57 AM
90
makes it generally unmistakable, information is not provided
regarding its position on the zodiac. However, the table shows 
whether Venus is a morning star (visible before sunrise in the 
east) or an evening star (visible after sunset in the west).
It also gives the date of its maximum elongation east (greatest 
height above the sunset) and its maximum elongation west 
(greatest height above the sunrise). Between these two dates, 
the table shows when the planet is in conjunction with the
Sun (at which time the planet cannot be seen). Inferior con­
junction marks the transition from evening star to morning
star, superior conjunction marks the reverse transition.
The  fnal  column  of  the  table  provides  information  on 
conjunctions between the four planets listed, that is, the dates
when the planets come close together in the sky (to be more
precise, the dates on which they reach the same right ascen­
sion). While all of the conjunctions listed will occur, not all 
will be readily visible (to the naked eye at least). Some will
occur when the planets involved are positioned in the
morning sky before sunrise, rather than in the more­conven­
ient­to­view  evening  sky;  others  will  take  place  when  the 
planets lie too close to be Sun to be visible.
The following table provides information on the positions of 
four of the fve naked­eye planets and their relationships with 
the zodiac constellations, the Sun and each other over the
years  2008  to  2017. The  positions  given  are  for  the  period 
around the start of each month.
Most of the information in the table refers to the exterior 
planets (Mars, Jupiter and Saturn), the orbits of which lie
outside that of the Earth. The table indicates in which zodiac 
constellation the planet can be found around the start of each
month, the months in which it is retrograding (moving to the
west), and the dates on which the planet comes into opposi­
tion (directly opposite the Sun in the sky and therefore cross­
ing the meridian at midnight) and reaches conjunction
(passing behind the Sun and therefore undetectable) with the
Sun.
No information is supplied regarding the planet Mercury.
Mercury moves so quickly against the background of the stars
that information provided once a month is of little value.
Mercury is also relatively faint and hard to detect.
Somewhat similar considerations apply to Venus. Because 
its movement is relatively rapid, and because its brilliance
90
Appendix B: Planet positions
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_04.indd 90 7/5/08 11:33:58 AM
91
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S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_04.indd 95 7/5/08 11:34:00 AM
96
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_04.indd 96 7/5/08 11:34:00 AM
Index
Absolute magnitude 7
Achernar (Alpha Eridani) 48
Acrux 52
Adhara (Epsilon Canis Majoris)
60
Alcyone (in Pleiades) 74
Aldebaran (Alpha Tauri) 74
Algieba (Gamma Leonis) 78
Algol (Beta Persei) 8, 74
Alnasl (Gamma Sagittarii) 68
Alnath (Beta Tauri) 74
Alphard (Alpha Hydrae) 62
Alpheratz (Alpha Andomedae)
72, 86
Altair (Alpha Aquilae) 68, 84
Andromeda Galaxy (M31) 72
Andromeda the Chained Maiden
72, 86
Antares (Alpha Scorpii) 6, 66
Antlia the Air Pump 62
Apex of the Sun’s Motion 82
Apparent magnitude 6
Apus the Bird of Paradise 52
Aquarius the Water­Carrier 70
Aquila the Eagle 68, 84
Ara the Altar 52
Arcturus (Alpha Bootis) 80
Argo Navis the Ship Argo 50
Aries the Ram 72
Asterisms 1
Astronomical twilight 12
Auriga the Charioteer 74
Beehive, The (Praesepe, M44) 18, 
76
Bellatrix (Gamma Orionis) 58
Beta Ceti 56
Beta Lyrae 84
Betelgeuse (Alpha Orionis) 9, 58
Binoculars 89
Bootes the Herdsman 80
Caelum the Engraving Tool 48
California Nebula (N1499) 74
Cancer the Crab 76
Canes Venatici the Hunting Dogs 
80
Canis Major the Great Dog 60
Canis Minor the Small Dog 60
Canopus (Alpha Carinae) 50
Capella (Alpha Aurigae) 74
Capricornus the Sea­Goat 70
Carina the Ship’s Keel 50
Castor (Alpha Geminorum) 76
Celestial equator 9
Celestial poles 9
Celestial sphere 9
Centaurus A 52
Centaurus the Centaur 52
Cepheid variables 8
Cetus the Sea Monster 56
Circinus the Compasses 52
Clouds of Magellan 48
Coal Sack, the 18, 52
Columba the Dove 58
Coma Berenices (Berenice’s Hair) 
80
Coma Cluster (Melotte 111) 80
Comets 17
Conjunction of planet 16
Constellations 1
Constellations, table of brightest
2–3
Corona Borealis the Northern 
Crown 82
Corvus the Crow 64
Crab Nebula (M1) 74
Crater the Cup 62
Crossing the meridian 9
Crux the (Southern) Cross 52
Cygnus the Swan 84
Dark nebulae 18
Declination 12
Delphinus the Dolphin 84
Delta Aquarids meteor shower 70
Deneb (Alpha Cygni) 84
Denebola (Beta Leonis) 78
Distances in sky 8
Dorado the Swordfsh 48
30 Doradus 48
Double stars 8
Draco the Dragon 82
Dunlop 18 (Iota Pictoris) 48
Dunlop 227 54
Eclipses of Moon 14
Eclipses of Sun 14
Ecliptic 12
Emission nebulae 18
Enif (Epsilon Pegasi) 86
Epsilon Lyrae 84
Equuleus the Colt 86
Eridanus the River 48, 58
Eta Aquarids meteor shower 70
Eta Carinae 50
Evening star 16
False Cross 50
First Point of Aries 72
Flamsteed numbers 6
Flare stars 9
Fomalhaut (Alpha Piscis Austrini) 
70
Fornax the Furnace 56
Galactic equator 68
Galaxies
  N55 56
  N205 (M110) 72
  N221 (M32) 72
  N224 (M31, Andromeda 
Galaxy) 72
  N253 56
  N598 (M33) 72
  N3623 (M65) 78
  N3627 (M66) 78
  N4472 (M49) 64, 80
  N4486 (M87) 64
  N4594 (M104) 64
  N5128 (Centaurus A) 52
  N5236 (M83) 64
  N6744 54
Galaxies 18, 18–19, 80
Gamma Aquilae 84
Gamma Canceri 76
Gamma Velorum 50
Gemini the Twins 76
Geminids meteor shower 76
Giant stars 7
Globular clusters 18
  47 Tucanae 48
  M3 (N5272) 80
  M4 (N6121) 66
  M13 (N6205) 82
  M15 86
  M22 (N6656) 68
  N6752 54
  NGC 362 48
  Omega Centauri (N5139) 52
Great Square of Pegasus, the 72,
86
Grus the Crane 54, 70
Hadar (Beta Centauri) 52
Hamal (Alpha Arietes) 72
Helical rising 60
Helix Nebula 70
Hercules 82
Herschel 3670 48
Herschel 4330 50
Herschel 4332 50
Hipparchos 66
Horologium the Clock 48
Hyades 74
Hydra the Female Water Snake 60,
62, 64
Hydrus the Male Water Snake 48
I2391 (Omicron Velorum) 50
I2602 50
I4665 82
Indus the Indian 54
Inferior conjunction 16
Iota Pictoris (Dunlop 18) 48
Irregular variable stars 9
Jewel Box, the 18, 52
Jupiter 16
Kappa Crucis 52
Kaus Australis (Epsilon
Sagittaurii) 68
Lacerta the Lizard 86
Large Magellanic Cloud 48
Leo the Lion 78
Leo Minor the Small Lion 78
Leonids meteor shower 78
Lepus the Hare 58
Libra the Scales 66
Light grasp 89
Light year 6
Lupus the Wolf 52
Lyra the Harp 84
M1 (Crab Nebula) 74
M3 (N5272) 80
M4 (NGC 6121) 66
M6 (Butterfy Cluster) 66
M7 (NGC 6475) 66
M8 (Lagoon Nebula) 68
M11 (Wild Duck Nebula) 68
M13 (NGC 6205) 82
M15 86
M16 (NGC 6611) 68
M17 (Swan Nebula) 68
M18 (N6613) 68
M20 (Trifd Nebula) 68
M21 (NGC 6531) 68
M22 (NGC 6656) 68
M24 68
M25 (I4725) 68
M27 (Dumbbell Nebula) 84
M31 (Andromeda Galaxy) 72
M32 (NGC 221) 72
M33 (NGC 598) 72
M35 (NGC 2168) 76
M41 (NGC 2287) 60
M42 (Orion Nebula) 58
M43 (NGC 1982) 58
M44 (Praesepe) 76
M45 (Pleiades) 74
M46 (NGC 2437) 60
M47 (NGC 2423) 60
M48 (NGC 2548) 60
M49 (NGC 4472) 64
M57 (Ring Nebula) 84
M65 (NGC 3623) 78
M66 (NGC 3627) 78
M67 (NGC 2682) 76
M83 (NGC 5236) 64
M87 (NGC 4486) 64
M104 (‘Sombrero Hat’ galaxy) 
64
M110 (NGC 205) 72
Magellanic Clouds 48
Magnitude of stars 6
Manger, the (Praesepe) 76
Maria 14
Markab (Alpha Pegasi) 86
Mars 16
Melotte 20 74
Melotte 111 (Coma Cluster) 80
Menkar (Alpha Ceti) 56
Mensa the Table Mountain 48
Mercury 16
Messier catalogue 19
Meteor showers 17
  Arietids 72
  Delta Aquarids 70
  Eta Aquarids 70
  Geminids 76
  Leonids 78
  Orionids 58
  Quadrantids 80
  table of brightest 17
  Taurids 74
Microscopium the Microscope 54
Milky Way, the 18
Mimosa (Beta Crucis) 52
Minor planets 17
Mira (Omicron Ceti) 56
Mirzam (Beta Canis Majoris) 60
Monoceros the Unicorn 60
Moon, main features of 14
Morning star 16
Multiple stars 8
  Acrux 52
Adhara (Epsilon Canis Majoris)
60
  Algeiba (Gamma Leonis) 78
  Alpha Centauri 52
  Beta Lyrae 84
  Castor 76
  Delta Orionis 58
  Dunlop 227 54
  Gamma Andromedae 72
97
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_04.indd 97 7/5/08 11:34:00 AM
98
  Gamma Velorum 50
  Herschel 3670 48
  Herschel 4330 50
  Herschel 4332 50
  Iota Orionis 58
  Iota Pictoris (Dunlop 18) 48
  k Puppis 60
  Mu Crucis 52
  Struve 1120 60
  Struve 1121 60
  Theta Eridani 56
Musca the Fly 52
N4472 (M49) 80
N5272 (M3) 80
naked­eye doubles
  Alpha Librae 66
  Epsilon Lyrae 84
  Sigma Tauri 74
  Theta Tauri 74
Nebulae 18–19
  California Nebula (N1499) 74
  Coal Sack (dark) 52
  Crab Nebula (M1) 74
  Eta Carinae Nebula (N3372) 
50
  Keyhole Nebula (N3372) 50
  Lagoon Nebula (M8) 68
  Lambda Crucis 52
  M43 (N1982) 58
North America Nebula
(N7000) 84
  Orion Nebula (N1976) 58
  Rosette Nebula (N2237) 60
  Swan Nebula (M17) 68
  Tarantula Nebula (N2070) 48
  Trifd Nebula (M20) 68
  Veil Nebula (N6960) 84
  Wild Duck Nebula (M11) 68
New General Catalogue 19
NGC 55 56
NGC 104 (47 Tucanae) 48
NGC 253 56
NGC 362 48
NGC 1360 56
NGC 1499 (California Nebula) 
74
NGC 1952 (M1) 74
NGC 1976 (Orion Nebula) 58
NGC 1980 58
NGC 1981 58
NGC 1982 (M43) 58
NGC 2070 (Tarantula Nebula) 48
NGC 2168 (M35) 76
NGC 2237 (Rosette Nebula) 60
NGC 2287 60
NGC 2354 60
NGC 2362 60
NGC 2423 60
NGC 2437 60
NGC 2451 60
NGC 2548 60
NGC 2682 (M67) 76
NGC 3242 62
NGC 3372 (Eta Carinae Nebula) 
50
NGC 3766 50
NGC 4472 64
NGC 4486 64
NGC 4594 64
NGC 4755 (Jewel Box Cluster) 
52
NGC 5128 (Centaurus A) 52
NGC 5139 (Omega Centauri) 52 
NGC 6205 (M13) 82
NGC 6231 66
NGC 6705 (M11) 68
NGC 6720 (Ring Nebula) 84
NGC 6744 54
NGC 6752 54
NGC 6853 (Dumbbell Nebula) 
84
NGC 6960 (Veil Nebula) 84
NGC 7000 (North America 
Nebula) 84
NGC 7293 (Helix Nebula) 70
Norma the Set Square 52
North Galactic Pole 80
Northern Cross 84
Novae 9, 66
Occultation 16
Octans the Octant 54
Omega Centauri 18, 52
Omicron Velorum 50
Open clusters 17–18
  Butterfy Cluster (M6) 66
  Collinder 399 84
  Coma Cluster (Melotte 111) 
80
  Hyades 74
  I4665 66, 82
  Jewel Box (N4755) 52
  M7 (N6475) 66
  M8 (N6613) 68
  M16 (N6611) 68
  M21 (N6531) 68
  M24 (‘star cloud’) 68
  M25 (I4725) 68
  M35 (N2168) 76
  M41 (N2287) 60
  M46 (N2437) 60
  M47 (N2423) 60
  M48 (N2548) 60
  M67 (N2682) 76
  Melotte 20 (Alpha Persei) 74
  N752 72
  N1980 58
  N1981 58
  N2362 60
  N2451 60
  N3766 50
  N6231 66
  Omicron Velorum (I2391) 50
  Pleiades (M45) 74
  Praesepe (M44) 76
  Theta Carinae (I2602) 50
  Trapezium (Theta Orionis) 58
  Trumpler 24 66
Ophiuchus the Serpent­Holder 
66, 82
Opposition, planet at 15
Orion Nebula (M42, NGC 1976) 
58
Orion the Hunter 58
Pavo the Peacock 54
Pegasus the Flying Horse 86
Perseus 74, 86
Phases of Moon 13
Phoenis the Phoenix 48
Pictor the Painter’s Easel 48
Pisces the Fish 72
Piscis Austrinus the Southern Fish 
70
Planetary movements, table of
91–95
Planetary nebulae 18
  Dumbbell Nebula 84
  Helix Nebula (N7293) 70
  N1360 56
  N3132 62
  N3242 62
  Ring Nebula 84
Planets, identifying 16
Planets, movements of inner 16
Planets, movements of outer
14–16
Pleiades 18, 74
Pointers, the 52
Polaris 54
Pollux (Beta Geminorum) 76
Praesepe (Beehive Cluster, M44) 
76
Precession of the Equinoxes 13,
66, 72
Procyon (Alpha Canis Minoris)
60
Proxima Centauri 8, 52
Puppis the Ship’s Poop 60
Pyxis the Ship’s Compass 60
Quarantids meteor shower 80
Rasalgethi (Alpha Herculi) 82
Rasalhague (Alpha Ophiuchi) 82
Refection nebulae 18
Regulus (Alpha Leonis) 78
Resolution 89
Reticulum the Reticle 48
Retrograding of planet 14–15
Rigel (Beta Orionis) 58
Right ascension 12
Rigil Kent (Alpha Centauri) 52
Rosette Nebula 60
Royal Stars of Persia 70, 74, 78
Sagitta the Arrow 84
Sagittarius the Archer 68
Satellites 17
Saturn 16
Saucepan, the 58
Scheat (Beta Pegasi) 86
Scorpius the Scorpion 66
Sculptor the Sculptor’s Chisel 56
Scutum the Shield 68
Serpens Caput the Serpent’s Head 
66
Serpens Cauda the Serpent’s Tail 
66, 68
Sextans the Sextant 62
Shaula (Gamma Scorpii) 66
Sidereal time 21
Sigma Octantis 54
Sirius (Alpha Canis Majoris) 60
Small Magellanic Cloud 48
Soothis (Sirius) 60
South celestial pole 9
South Galactic Pole 56
Spica (Alpha Virginis) 64
Stars 1
Stars, table of brightest 7
Struve 1120 60
Struve 1121 60
Summer Solstice 76
Supergiant stars 7
Superior conjunction 16
Supernovas 18
Taurids meteor shower 74
Taurus the Bull 74
Teapot, the (in Sagittarius) 68
Telescopes 89
Telescopium the Telescope 54
Terminator 14
Theta Carinae 50
Theta Eridani 56
Theta Orionis 58
Trapezium, the 58
Triangulum 72
Triangulum Australe 52
Trifd Nebula 18, 68
Tropic of Cancer 76
Tropic of Capricorn 70
Trumpler 24 66
Tucana the Toucan 48, 54
47 Tucanae 18, 48
Ursa Major the Great Bear 78, 80
Variable stars 8
  Mira­type
    Mira 56
    R Car 50
    R Hor 48
    R Leo 78
    R Lep 58
    S Car 50
    U Ori 58
Eclipsing
    Algol 74
    Beta Lyrae 84
  Semi­regular
L
2
 Puppis 50
Vega (Alpha Lyrae) 84
Vela the Ship’s Sail 50
Venus 16
Vernal equinox 12, 72
Virgo Cluster 64, 80
Virgo the Young Maiden 64
Vulpecula the Fox 84
White dwarf stars 8
Wild Duck Nebula (M11) 68
Winter Triangle, the 84
Zodiac 13
S_Sky_Guide_TEXT_3ed_04.indd 98 7/5/08 11:34:01 AM

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The Southern Sky Guide
Thi r d Ed i T i o n

Both novice and advanced skywatchers will value this comprehensive and easy-to-use guide to the brilliant and ever-changing sights of the southern sky by night. Readers are introduced to the many and varied objects in the sky and their movements and changing appearances, as well as the ancient myths and legends entwined around the groupings of stars. Featured in this book are two groups of sky charts, designed so that readers can move easily between them.The 24 Skyviews show the appearance of the whole night sky every two weeks (or at each hour of sidereal time). The 20 Sky Charts show particular areas of the night sky in detail and are accompanied by explanatory text. This new edition features: • digitally re-drawn Skyviews, Sky Charts and map of the surface of the Moon • a table of planet positions up to 2017. David Ellyard is an award-winning freelance science writer and broadcaster with a life-long passion for astronomy. Wil Tirion is a Dutch celestial cartographer and is widely regarded as the leading exponent of his art in the world.

.

Southern Sky Guide T h ir d E diT io n david Ellyard and Wil Tirion The .

cambridge. and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is. Cambridge CB2 8RU. Subject to statutory exception and to the provision of relevant collective licensing agreements. . New York www. UK Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press. no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press. Cape Town. São Paulo Cambridge University Press The Edinburgh Building.CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS Cambridge. accurate or appropriate. New York.cambridge. Melbourne.org/9780521714051 © David Ellyard and Wil Tirion 2008 This publication is in copyright. First published in print format 2008 ISBN-13 ISBN-13 978-0-511-47858-1 978-0-521-71405-1 eBook (EBL) paperback Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of urls for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this publication. Madrid. or will remain.org Information on this title: www. Singapore.

Choosing the right Skyview Table 5. Planet positions 2008–2017 2–3 7 17 21 91–95 liST of illUSTraTionS Constellations 4–5 Whole-sky map 10–11 The main features of the surface of the Moon 15 The Skyviews 23–46 The Sky Charts 48–87 v . dark and bright Nebulae beyond 1 1 6 6 6 7 8 8 8 9 9 9 12 12 12 12 13 13 14 14 14 14 16 16 16 17 17 17 18 18 18 1 ThE SkyviEWS Using the Skyviews The Skyviews 1–24 Using the Sky Charts The Sky Charts 1–20 21 21 23 47 48 ThE niGhT Sky in dETail 47 appEndixES a: Using binoculars and telescopes B: planet positions 89 89 90 indEx 97 liST of TaBlES Table 1. meteors. The 25 brightest stars Table 3. minor planets a variety of sights Stars get together The Milky Way Nebulae. The 88 constellations Table 2. comets. Main meteor showers Table 4.ConTEnTS ThE panorama of ThE niGhT Sky Starting with the stars Star stories The stars by name Brighter and fainter stars How far away are the stars? Stars of many colours Sizes and distances in the sky More than one at a time Stars that change The heavens in motion mapping the sky The line around the middle The grid of the sky: (a) declination The grid of the sky: (b) right ascension Sun and moon The ecliptic and the zodiac Sky change throughout the year The moving Moon Eclipses The face of the Moon The planets The movements of the outer planets The movements of the inner planets Which planet? The waltz of the planets Satellites.

vi .

Among the stars we find Andromeda herself. skywatchers in various cultures have been grouping the stars together into unchanging patterns know as constellations or asterisms (both expressions come from Greek or Latin words for ‘star’). they are on opposite sides of the sky. but less than half of those are visible at any one time. Centaurus is fighting a wolf (Lupus) and Sagittarius the Archer has an arrow aimed at the fearsome Scorpion. Ophiuchus has his hands full with the serpent. and the older and more spectacular ones have myths and legends associated with them in many cultures. Libra was not its own constellation but the greatly enlarged claws on the Scorpion coming close behind. and is unknowingly trampling on a hare (Lepus). Many other constellations have been devised over the centuries but have now fallen into disuse. There is always something of interest. a small tele­ scope. Strangely.You can always pick them out and together they (and the brighter stars in them) form a grid of familiar reference points across the night sky. Not all the constellations are so exciting.The two centaurs are preoccupied. an eclipse of the Moon or even a comet. As the Goddess of Justice. Many are quite dull. so the legend goes. So the struggle goes on. or the northern figure of Draco to be the serpent that guarded the sacred grove where the Fleece hung. All constellations have names. the Moon in its phases. if you take the figure of Ophiuchus. lying between Virgo the Young Maiden and Scorpius. Myriads of stars. we also find the wonderful ram that provided the fleece (Aries). For thousands of years. Orion the Hunter. These change their posi­ tions and orientations in the sky throughout the night and the year. Hercules has his foot on the head of a Dragon. especially those more recently named in southern skies which could not be seen from the Middle East in ancient times. a planet or two. clear conditions. The panorama is constantly changing. Hercules and Orpheus the Musician. vast balls of glowing gas similar to our Sun but so far away from us that they are reduced to mere points of light. Among these we find many scientific instruments! Constellations vary greatly in size and many are surprisingly 1 . now broken into its Keel (Carina). As a result. accompa­ nied by his two dogs (Canis Major and Canis Minor). her parents Cepheus and Cassiopeia. 88 constellations are officially recognised. scattered mostly at random across the heavens. perhaps a meteor shower. Jason himself is not on show. it presents a dazzling spectacle. the story of Andromeda.THE PANORAMA OF THE NIGHT SKY When the night sky is dark and clear. her rescuer Perseus. the monster Cetus sent to devour her. Star stories For example. heroes and great deeds. but their shapes do not vary noticeably. Virgo weighed the evidence on the scales near at hand. some sight to appre­ ciate. the night sky is worth a long look. Crater the Cup. to be Aescalepius. Most likely. monsters. In one region of the sky. the ship’s doctor on the Argo. Poop (Puppis) and Compass (Pyxis). and Cancer the Crab that bit his heel while he was battling with the many headed Hydra (and was crushed as a result). There are still more. or Taurus to be one of the firebreathing bulls with horns of brass that Jason had to tame. this served as a calendar. The positions of some of the star groups are significant. Orion. Starting with the stars Most of the things we see in the night sky are stars. Even when dimmed by city lights and smog. the mighty Argo itself. Corvus the Crow and Hydra the Water Snake lie close together because of the story they share (see text to Sky Chart 8). has links to both. is recounted in no less than six constellations. In the sky. The legendary quest of the Argonauts for the Golden Fleece has many memorials in the sky. Astronomy. glowing patches of gas. To track the paths of the celestial lights today is to retrace the steps of the first observers many thousands of years ago. the maiden chained to the rock. Sail (Vela). all the star groups have to do with water. all such sights are there for the taking by anyone who cares to look up. Nowadays.The unaided human eye can detect about 6000 stars under dark. some of the Argonauts (Gemini the Twins. In addition to their ship. is in trouble with a charging bull (Taurus). through his harp Lyra). Leo recalls the Nemean Lion slain by the mighty Hercules as one of his 12 labours. even on successive nights. There are some vivid scenes. with the view never quite the same. Libra the Scales. and even the centaur Chiron (Centuarus) who tutored the expedition leader Jason. indicating when the rains would come. the science of the stars. is perhaps the most ancient form of methodical human knowledge. tales of gods. The best known of these stories are drawn from the mythology of ancient Greece and Rome. and the wonderful winged horse Pegasus (even though it was only peripheral to the Andromeda story). met his end when stung by the Scorpion. one rising while the other sets. the man holding a serpent. or just with your unaided eyes. But in some old lists. whether you are viewing with binoculars.

15 11 2 3. Table 1. the Southern Cross is less than 70 square degrees in size. The 88 constellations Proper name Andromeda Antlia Apus Aquarius Aquila Ara Aries Auriga Bootes Caelum Camelopardalis Cancer Canes Venatici Canis Major Canis Minor Carpricornus Carina Cassiopeia Centaurus Meaning The Chained Maiden The Air Pump The Bird of Paradise The Water­Carrier The Eagle The Altar The Ram The Charioteer The Herdsman (or Waggoner or Ploughman) The Engraving Tool The Giraffe The Crab The Hunting Dogs The Big Dog The Little Dog The Sea­Goat The Keel (of Argo) (mother of Andromeda) The Centaur Size (square degrees) 25 brightest stars 722 239 206 980 652 237 441 657 907 125 757 506 465 380 183 414 494 598 1060 Month when Go to highest at 8 p. Adhara Procyon Canopus Rigil Kentaurus (Alpha Centauri). Chart November April July October August July December February June January March June February February September March May 13 8 3 12 19 3 13 15 17 1 15 17 7 7.large. and half a dozen thumbs will hide it. Virgo is not far behind. 9 1 Achernar Pollux. Mimosa. 6 1. 11 18 9 8 3 19 19 1 19. 5 15 4 18 1 8. and half a dozen are 1000 square degrees or more.m. Castor 2 . The largest of all (though not otherwise spectacular) is Hydra at more than 1300 square degrees. though this is perhaps not so surprising when we realise only 88 cover the whole sky. Hadar (Beta Centauri) Cepheus Cetus Chamaeleon Circinius Columba Coma Berenices Corona Australis Corona Borealis Corvus Crater Crux Cygnus Delphinus Dorado Draco Equuleus Eridanus Fornax Gemini Grus Hercules Horologium Hydra Hydrus (father of Andromeda) The Sea Monster (or Whale) The Chamaeleon The Pair of Compasses The Dove Berenice’s Hair The Southern Crown The Northern Crown The Crow The Cup The (Southern) Cross The Swan The Dolphin The Gold­Fish The Dragon The Colt The River The Furnace The Twins The Crane The Clock The Female Water­Snake The Male Water­Snake 588 1231 132 93 270 386 128 179 184 282 68 804 189 179 1083 72 1138 398 514 366 1225 249 1303 243 Acrux. At the other end of the scale. Gacrux Deneb November April May February May July June May April May September September February September December December February October July December April December 5 2 3 6 17 4. 20 1. 9 Altair Capella Arcturus Sirius. six or seven times bigger than your hand at arm’s length.

4 10 6 4 20 14 1 1 4. their sizes. 4 16 2 9 2 19 Regulus Vega Rigel. Pages 4–5 provide a first look at the better­known and more spectacular star groups in the form of diagrams marking their shapes and more notable stars.) Proper name Indus Lacerta Leo Leo Minor Lepus Libra Lupus Lynx Lyra (Mons) Mensa Microscopium Monoceros Musca Norma (et Regula) Octans Ophiuchus Orion Pavo Pegasus Perseus Phoenix Pictor Pisces Piscis Austrinus Puppis Pyxis Reticulum Sagitta Sagittarius Scorpius Sculptor Scutum Serpens Sextans Taurus Telescopium Triangulum Triangulum Australe Tucana Ursa Major Ursa Minor Vela Virgo Volans Vulpecula Meaning The Indian The Lizard The Lion The Lesser Lion The Hare The Scales The Wolf The Lynx The Harp The Table Mountain The Microscope The Unicorn The Fly The Level (and Square) The Octant The Man with the Serpent The Hunter The Peacock The Winged Horse (rescuer of Andromeda) The Phoenix The Painter’s Easel The Fish The Southern Fish The Poop (of Argo) The Compass (of Argo) The Reticule The Arrow The Archer The Scorpion The Sculptor’s Chisel The Shield The Serpent The Sextant The Bull The Telescope The Triangle The Southern Triangle The Toucan The Great Bear The Little Bear The Sail (of Argo) The Young Maiden The Flying Fish The Fox Size (square degrees) 25 brightest stars 294 201 947 232 290 538 334 545 286 153 210 482 138 165 291 948 594 378 1121 615 469 247 889 245 673 221 114 80 867 497 475 109 637 314 797 252 132 110 295 1280 256 500 1294 141 268 Month when Go to highest at 8 p.m. 14 4 13 3 1. More details on these (and more on the stories associated with them) can be found alongside the Sky Charts later in this book (pages 48–87). 13 12 2. Chart September September April April January June June March August February September February May July All months July January October October December November February November October February March December August August July November July July April January August December July November April March May February September 4 20 16 16 6 9. 10 3 15 19 1. (cont. 2 4 7 3 3 3. their positions in the sky and on the maps in this book is given in Table 1. their brightest stars. 11 8 6. 7 2 1 19 11 10 5 12 10. Shaula Aldebaran Spica 3 . Table 1. Betelgeuse Fomalhaut Antares. the meanings of their names.A full list of the 88 constellations.

CARINA. ARIES ANDROMEDA VIRGO 2 h –10 S Pleiades CRATER CORVUS ARIES HYDRA TAURUS Aldebaran HYDRA ECL IPTI C PISCES –30 HYDRA +10 CORVUS.LIBRA HYDRA AQUARIUS 22h PISCES 0h 0 15 h 12 h –30 SCORPIUS S LUPUS CENTAURUS PEGASUS S Mimosa Hadar Rigil Kentaurus LUPUS. CENTAURUS. CRUX Best visible: April – August +30 VELA CRUX Acrux –6 0 CARINA Best visible: October – November PEGASUS ANDROMEDA 3h +60 12h 0h VELA. CANIS MAJOR. LEPUS Best visible: January – March TAURUS CANCER. ORION. PUPPIS Best visible: January – May 9h S PEGASUS VELA CENTAURUS CANIS MAJOR Adhara PERSEUS Algol ANDROMEDA PUPPIS 0 –3 CRUX 6 h +30 Acrux S TAURUS ARIES PISCES CARINA PERSEUS. CRATER 12h Best visible: March – June Betelgeuse ORION S CETUS CANIS MINOR. GEMINI Best visible: January – March Castor Pollux LEO S ARIES 3h 1h +10 CANIS MINOR Betelgeuse Procyon +30 TAURUS PISCES EC LIP TIC 0 ORION GEMINI CANCER ECLIPT IC S Mira AQUARIUS S Sirius Rigel CETUS CANIS MAJOR Procyon HYDRA LEPUS –30 ORION 9h CANIS MINOR 7 h +10 Best visible: November – January CETUS Adhara –30 PUPPIS 6h 5h 4 . ANDROMEDA Best visible: December Canopus –6 0 +30 GEMINI 5h Best visible: December – January PERSEUS TAURUS.

GRUS Best visible: August – December ARIES +30 PEGASUS –30 Fomalhaut PISCIS AUSTRINUS S EC AQUARIUS LIP TIC PISCES S GRUS CAPRICORNUS S 0 Fomalhaut PISCIS AUSTRINUS 23h Best visible: September – November AQUARIUS –30 CETUS Best visible: October – December PISCES –50 AQUARIUS 21 h 5 . Crater) Best visible: March – May –10 Regulus 9h CANCER LIBRA ECLIPT IC Antares VIRGO VIRGO EC P LI TI C 0 CRATER HYDRA Spica SCORPIUS S 15 h LUPUS CORVUS S h 18 –40 –30 SAGITTARIUS CENTAURUS 23h PISCES 21h ANDROMEDA AQUARIUS 2h 0 23h PISCIS AUSTRINUS.12 h 10h CANCER BOOTES 12 h LEO +50 S +30 +20 h 16 h VIRGO 14h Arcturus 14 S LEO S Regulus EC VIRGO LIP TIC BOOTES 0 Spica Arcturus +20 Best visible: March – May LEO HYDRA –2 LIBRA 0 Best visible: April – June VIRGO BOOTES Best visible: May – July VIRGO +10 AQUARIUS –10 CAPRICORNUS. LIBRA Best visible: May – August OPHIUCHUS HYDRA ( + Corvus. SAGITTARIUS SERPENS CAUDA CAPRICORNUS EC LI Best visible: July – October OPHIUCHUS PT IC S SERPENS CAPUT –30 –40 18 h SAGITTARIUS ECL IPT IC S 21 h OPHIUCHUS. SERPENS SAGITTARIUS SCORPIUS 16 h Best visible: June – August 18 h 12h LEO SCORPIUS SCORPIUS.

because its red colour is similar to that of the planet Ares (now called Mars). not only in their positions in the sky. how bright it seems to be from Earth. The common measure of distance in deep space is the light year. Its five main stars in order clockwise. Gamma Crucis (at the top). and 100 times brighter than a sixth magnitude star. and just brighter than 2. so that 2. Spica 220 light years. Venus can reach minus 4) and even some of the brightest stars (for example. Brighter stars will have several names. beta. usually based on various catalogues. This means that a first magnitude star is six times brighter than a third magni­ tude star. the brightest of the night­sky stars. though the system dates back to Ptolemy. Very bright objects have negative magnitudes. begin­ ning at the bottom. but also in their colours and brightnesses. Fomalhaut means ‘the mouth of the fish’. Antares (which marks the heart in the strik­ ing constellation of Scorpius the Scorpion) is officially Alpha Scorpii. Betelgeuse is 58 Orionis as well as Alpha Orionis. Sirius is now officially listed as magnitude minus 1. Nowadays this system had been extended. Rigel. and so on. Pollux in Gemini the Twins is brighter than his brother Castor but is ranked as Beta Geminorum. The nearest bright star to us (other than the Sun) is Alpha Centauri. When the Greek letters run out (which does not take long in most constellations) ordinary Roman letters are used. and so on) to the stars in a constel­ lation in general order of brightness. For example. Betelgeuse and Bellatrix in Orion the Hunter are respectively Alpha. epsilon. being the brightest stars in the constellation of Centaurus the Centaur. First magnitude stars are those brighter than 1. Latin or (particularly) Arabic in origin. the brightness of stars was judged by the experienced eye. For example. the faintest visible without aid. At least 100 of the brighter stars have proper names.5. Regulus in Leo the Lion means ‘little king’ and Deneb is ‘the tail’ of Cygnus the Swan. the Moon (minus 12). Regulus is Alpha Leonis and so on. The brightest star in a constellation is usually called alpha. Canopus 74 light years. Many of these names have become very garbled over the centuries and their origins are hard to find. are Alpha Crucis (also called Acrux). has a name meaning ‘the sparkling one’. making use of a system going back nearly 2000 years to the Greek astronomer Ptolemy. Antares means ‘the rival of Ares’. Brighter and fainter stars Not all the stars look the same. That depends not only on how bright a star actually is but also on how far away it is. which are in turn two and a half times brighter than the even more plentiful third magnitude stars.3 is just fainter than 2. Astronomers do not use these names much. mostly Greek. This numbers the stars in a constellation by position. They differ. The Greek alphabet                         alpha beta ¯ gamma delta epsı lon ¯ zeta ¯ eta ¯ theta ¯ iota ¯ kappa lambda mu ¯                         nu ¯ xı ¯ omicron pı ¯ rho ¯ sigma tau upsı lon ¯ phı ¯ chı ¯ psı ¯ omega ¯ Another naming system was begun by English Astronomer Royal John Flamsteed in 1725. and is equal to roughly 10 trillion (10 million million) kilometres. with the brightest stars being of the first magnitude.The stars by name The night sky is a friendly place. The system works for fainter stars as well. The brightness of a star is indicated by its magnitude. There are other naming systems for variable stars and for double stars. They attach the letters of the Greek alphabet (alpha. This is a little over 4 light years away. especially as only the brighter stars have them. with the faintest stars detectable with the largest tele­ scopes being of magnitude 27. modern instruments assess brightness to one hundredth of a magnitude. the two Pointers (Alpha and Beta Centauri) look to be about equal in brightness. 6 . and Rigel means ‘the foot’ (of Orion). what we have discussed so far is a star’s appar­ ent magnitude.2.4. Magnitudes can be subdivided. Instead they follow a practice popularised in the early seventeenth century by the German astronomer Johann Bayer. This is the distance travelled by a ray of light (cov­ ering 300. that is. Those stars are roughly two and a half times brighter than the more numerous second magnitude stars. usually by increasing right ascen­ sion (see page 12). Beta and Gamma Orionis. After the letter comes the name of the constellation in the possessive (or genitive) form. for example. It is fitting that Sirius. delta. The Southern Cross itself is known as Crux Australis. such as the Sun (minus 27). Originally. But Beta is in fact 10. some planets (for example.5 (there are 21 of these). The two ‘pointers’ that indicate the way to the Southern Cross are known both as Rigil Kentaurus (‘the foot of the Centaur’) and Hadar (for ‘ground’) and as Alpha and Beta Centauri. but this is not always the case. gamma. Delta Crucis and Epsilon Crucis. 61 Cygni.000 times brighter than Alpha and 100 times further away. Beta Crucis (Mimosa). the brighter of the two pointers to the Southern Cross!) How far away are the stars? To be precise. (That makes them more than 10 billion times fainter than Alpha Centauri. The discrepancy is sometimes due to stars varying in bright­ ness over the years. For example. Sirius is 9 light years distant. the brighter of the two Pointers to the Southern Cross.000 km every second) in a year. second magnitude objects are brighter than 2. He divided the brightnesses of the naked­eye stars into six levels. For example. as with Betelgeuse in Orion. You can greet many of the stars by name.5). which is now noticeably fainter than Rigel.

3 5. 1. The most distant first magnitude stars.96 (var) 0.76 0. Constellation Canis Major Carina Centaurus Bootes Lyra Auriga Orion Canis Minor Eridanus Orion Centaurus Crux Aquila Taurus Scorpius Virgo Gemini Piscis Austrinus Crux Cygnus Leo Canis Major Gemini Crux Scorpius Apparent mag.1. 4. it would outshine the Moon.3 0. 320.50 1.2 3.63 (var) 1.5 Antares 520 light years. 460. The varying distances to the stars have another implication. Such stars are also bigger and heavier than the dimmer.3 34. or Gamma Crucis).6 2.25 1. Nowadays.63 (var) Distance (l.27 0.5 4.y.46 0. very large. Both Betelgeuse and 7 . the Southern Cross may not look like a cross at all.2 0.7 2.61 (var) 0.Table 2.04 0. the hotter (and therefore bluer) they are. Our Sun has an absolute magnitude of 4. The 25 brightest stars Name Sirius Canopus Rigil Kentaurus Arcturus Vega Capella Rigel Procyon Achernar Betelgeuse Hadar Acrux Altair Aldebaran Antares Spica Pollux Fomalhaut Becrux (Mimosa) Deneb Regulus Adhara Castor Gacrux Shaula Note: var  variable. Even their great distances from us will not hide that movement if we are willing to wait a few thousand years. In contrast. If Rigel were as close as Alpha Centauri.57 1. while Rigel rates at 8. Stars cooler than our Sun are redder in colour (for example. 570.0 4. we find stars of many colours. 320. which means how bright the star would appear to be if it was 33 light years away. 1400. A class of stars known as giants are both brighter and redder (or at least yellower) than our Sun. 520. cooler.6 1. The seemingly ‘fixed’ stars are actually hurrying through space at many kilometres per second.6 0. 25. such as Rigel in the constellation of Orion the Hunter or Deneb in Cygnus the Swan.35 1. Most of the stars redder than the Sun (and therefore smaller than it) are too dim to be seen with the unaided eye. About 25 stars lie within 12 light years of the Sun.2 4. 69. we under­ stand that colour indicates how hot the surface of the star is.16 1. To be seen so clearly at such a distance they must be immensely bright. hot.2 0. are 1400 or 1500 light years away. much brighter in reality than our Sun.14 1.2 0. 1400.4 2. 22.77 0.46 0.25 (var) 1. 40. It means that the various star patterns as we see them from Earth are often purely a matter of chance and depend on our viewing point.6 74. 60.) 8.08 0. redder stars. From elsewhere in our stellar neighbourhood. blue stars exhaust their fuel in only a few million years. Nor are the patterns eternally enduring.50 (var) 0. 16. They also have shorter lives. We also now know the link between a star’s colour and its intrinsic brightness.8. 41.3 4. 1. Stars of many colours Across the sky. the brighter they are. Absolute mag.12 0.98 (var) 1. Green and purple stars may be rare but many stars have a red.1 2. 120. The difference of 13 magnitudes makes Rigel 60. There are exceptions. orange or yellow tinge. 510.5 1. 220.72 0. This is even truer for the supergiants. Our Sun has been shining for over 5 billion years and has some billions of years of life left yet.7 7.4 8. Aldebaran in Taurus the Bull. and stars hotter than our Sun are bluer in colour (for example. 11.1 0. or a hint or more of blue. The measure of intrinsic brightness is absolute magnitude.38 0.000 times brighter than the Sun in reality. 1500.4 4.03 0.8 0.2 3. 49. For at least 90 per cent of stars.4 69.3 7.85 (var) 0. Sirius or Beta Centauri).

such as Theta Tauri and Epsilon Lyrae. a pair of good binoculars with 50 mm lenses will be able to separate a pair of sixth magni­ tude stars only two and a half seconds of arc apart (a second of arc is about 2000th of the apparent angular diameter of the Moon). Placed where the Sun is they would engulf the inner planets. as use of the little finger will quickly show. Across the clenched fist (including the thumb) totals about 10 degrees at arm’s length. The latter is a good test of keen sight. the ‘demon star’ Algol (Beta Persei). Sizes and distances in the sky It is useful early on to find a simple way to indicate the appar­ ent distances between stars in the sky and the sizes of the constellations. In the case of Beta Lyrae.They are also small and represent the remains of once much brighter and bigger stars. These are double stars so aligned that one of the pair passes first in front of and then behind the other. the separations of double stars (page 8). Struve (Sigma) and Herschel (h). The Moon is therefore about 30 minutes or 1800 seconds of arc across. having no companion. and is easily covered by the little finger at arm’s length. the white dwarfs.2 to 3. 10. is only half a degree across. the nearest star to the Sun. Your hands are a good rough guide to distances. being both Sun­like.000 times or more the brightness of the Sun and perhaps 500 times its diameter. the stars are more even in brightness and the light varies more gradually over the whole period. This has let astronomers use them as ‘standard candles’ to plot distances in the universe. The third. For instance many are multiple stars. nearly all these multiples appear to be single stars. or if they are much fainter or brighter than the sixth magnitude. is sufficiently far away from the other two to be noticeably closer to us. Minutes of arc are denoted by the symbol . Cepheids are supergiant blue More than one at a time Most stars have some additional point of interest. Our Sun. use the thumb (about 2 degrees) or the little finger (about 1 degree). Under ideal conditions. a dim red star called Proxima Centauri. Three drawn on in this book are those of Dunlop (signified by a Greek delta). The stars are harder to split if they are unequal in brightness. For Cepheids (of which Delta Cephei is the prototype). Mira­type stars are red giants or supergiants and make up one fifth of all variables. For Mira­type stars (of which Omicron Ceti. The Dunlop list contains many southern stars. 17 belong to double or even triple star systems. the amount of change and the time taken cover a wide range and have a range of causes. A fist plus a span makes up 30 degrees. Though quite rare (less than 1 per cent of all vari­ ables) Cepheids are of particular interest. since the time taken for the swing is directly related to the star’s absolute bright­ ness. For small distances. seconds by . We need these small measures to describe. For smaller separations. Alpha Centauri. by a little or a lot. but in many cases binoculars or a small telescope can distinguish the separate stars. the system uses the prefixes RR to RZ. You can tell a variable star from its name. 8 . RR Lyrae is a variable star (and a famous type of variable star at that).The usual measure is in degrees with 90 degrees from the horizon to the zenith (the highest point in the sky. regularly or unpredictably. and if more names are needed. Its appar­ ently larger size near the horizon is an illusion. for example. is a triple. The way the brightness of the combined light of the two stars varies depends on their relative brightnesses. including Mars. mostly in and out. There are some notable naked­eye doubles.Antares are cool and red (at 3000 degrees their surface tem­ peratures are half that of the Sun) but they are vast in size and brightness. The letters R to Z are put in front of the name of the constellation. is in the minority. The hand spread out at arm’s length measures about 20 degrees from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the little finger. again at arm’s length. the ‘wonder­ ful star’ is the prototype). About 3 per cent of all naked­eye stars are variables. The most spectacular multiple stars are those in which the compo­ nent stars are about equal in brightness but different in colour. or the sizes of nebulae (pages 18–19). for example. About 20 per cent of variable stars are eclipsing vari­ ables. Various astronomers have assembled catalogues of multi­ ple stars. a typical range of magnitudes is 4 to 11 (that is. Their inner fires have gone out. which usually amount to some tens of minutes of arc. This varies in magnitude from 2. there will be one deep minimum in the ‘light curve’ (when the dim star hides the bright one) and one shallow maximum (when the bright star is in front). To the naked eye. two or more stars revolving about a common centre. SS to SZ and so on. For example. the size of many a large constellation. Of the 25 stars within 12 light years of our Sun. These behemoths are stars in old age. we break down each degree into 60 minutes (of arc) and each minute into 60 seconds. such as Leo or Orion or Scorpius. Two of its component stars are close and similar. while each component is itself double. are both hot and dim. A telescope of 120 mm aperture will separate a pair only 1 arc second apart. This is the case with the most famous such star. which are usually measured in seconds of arc. The Moon. For such pulsating variables. Stars that change Other stars provide fascination by varying in brightness. with a small telescope needed to resolve them. brightness will swing by two magnitudes in between one and 135 days. These variable stars are of several types. It is easy to overestimate the sizes of objects in the night sky. If one is very much brighter than the other. Far more common (more than 60 per cent of all variables) are single stars that pulsate in some way.5 every three days. with the variations taking anything from 80 to 1000 days. from a naked­eye object to one invisible even in binoculars). Another group of stars. The closer together the stars are the larger the telescope needed to separate them. directly overhead) and 90 degrees between the four main points in the compass (say from north to east).

Where the celestial equator lies in the sky depends on where you are. Since the heavens turn over roughly once a day. 90 degrees from each of the celestial poles (that is. Some maps show Greenland bigger than Australia. an imag­ inary line across the night sky. The Earth is a sphere (more or less) and the continents and seas lie on its surface (more or less). Throughout the southern hemisphere. There is no southern ‘pole star’. which marks the end of the tail of the constellation of the Little Bear (Ursa Minor). This grand motion. running around the widest part of the celestial sphere). skywatchers have been making maps and charts of the heavens for thousands of years. Sky maps are drawn from the inside of the celestial sphere looking out. The nearest star to the South Pole (Sigma Octantis) is quite faint (as its name would suggest). missing the zenith by an amount equal to the observer’s latitude. For observers further north. Instead. Mapping the sky To help us get to know the night sky better. Amateur astronomers can play a significant role here. Pointers) intersect. the stars shift by some 15 degrees every hour. Some hours later. Even 10 minutes of observing. visible to people in Europe. since it is actually the Earth that is turning from west to east. is marked by a brightish star called Polaris (or the Pole Star). On this map it marks the celestial equator. the right­hand end should mark the west. The north celestial pole. it would be above the pole at midnight and due west of it at six in the morning. using your hands to mark the position of a bright star relative to some nearby object such as a tree or building. between the The line around the middle If Map A were a map of the Earth. just as explorers and geographers have done with the surface of the Earth we live on. which lies some four cross­lengths (about 27 degrees) from Acrux. The difference arises from the fact a map of the surface of the Earth is drawn from the outside looking in. They are highest in the sky when crossing the median. the right­hand end indicates the east. amounting to a 90 degree or right angle shift every six hours. the posi­ tions of the stars change relative to the horizon and the zenith. A line passing at right angles between the Pointers also finds the Pole. and we can map them only by imagining that they are attached to the inside of a vast ‘celestial sphere’ (size unknown) centred on the Earth (Indeed. for those further south. it would lie along the horizon. but the pole is quite easy to find using some of the nearby bright stars. Generally speaking.and white stars. This means that. A point on the horizon directly below the Pole marks due south. the celestial equator still cuts the horizon due east and west. it passes right overhead from east to west. The job cannot be done without distorting the picture. That makes their swings hard if not impossible to predict and therefore more important to track. The southern stars appear to circle the pole at the same 15 degrees per hour rate. Flare stars or novae suddenly increase in brightness by a factor of a thousand or more. that is. North America and North Asia but below the horizon for us. They lie at vastly varying distances from us. it is lower in the sky. but passes across the northern sky. It shows the whole sky in four pieces. until a few hundred years ago. Betelgeuse is an example. We have kept the distortion down by drawing separate maps for the regions of sky around the north and south celestial poles. stars first appear some­ where along the eastern horizon and slowly move westwards across the sky. This point lies due south and at an angle above the horizon equal to the observer’s latitude. and south at the top. This reverses some of the directions. Skywatchers have no excuse for being lost if the southern stars are visible. will show that the stars are on the move. On a map of the Earth that would cer­ tainly be true. the turning of the earth shows as a steady clockwise movement of the stars around a fixed point known as the south celestial pole (‘south pole’ for short). which show the night sky in much greater detail. With north at the bottom of the map. and then fade away once more into obscurity. the pole lies 35 degrees above the southern horizon. if a star such as Achernar lies due east of the pole at six in the evening. like so many in the night sky. is only apparent. the stars in ques­ tion will set at some point on the western horizon. Many other stars are irregular variables or semi­ regular at best. A line extended through the long bar of the Southern Cross passes very close to the Pole. For stars high in the southern sky. the line across the middle of the rectangular chart (marked 0 degrees) would be the equator. which appear to inflate and deflate in size by about 10 per cent. The heavens in motion The heavens do not stand still. The map on pages 10–11 is an example. with the brighter stars (down to magnitude 3) and the boundaries of the 88 constellations marked. though not relative to each other (that is. Thus for an observer at 35 degrees south 9 . but the variations take two days at most. Trying to make maps on flat­plane paper of the inside of this celestial sphere meets the problem faced by cartographers on Earth. with the south celestial pole right overhead. So the Pole lies where the two lines (through the Cross. If you were at the south (geographic) pole. most people thought that really was the case!). the line north and south passing right over­ head (through the zenith).Throughout the night. it is higher. For observers on the Earth’s equator. RR Lyrae stars are similar to Cepheids. The numbers in boxes refer to Sky Charts 1 to 20 in the third part of this book. especially away from the equator. That is about one and a half fist widths at arm’s length. The stars are very differ­ ent. For an observer at 35 degrees south latitude. which is not the case. One aspect of the maps is puzzling. the constellations hold their shapes).

Whole-sky map 10 h 16 h CORONA AUSTRALIS SCORPIUS 17 h h 20 h SOUTH POLAR REGION 22 h 23 h 0h 18h 19 21 h 1h 2 h 3 10h 11h 12h–60 –50 VELA –40 PYXIS –30 –20 CRATER –10 HYDRA SEXTANS VIRGO 0 +10 LEO +20 +30 LEO MINOR +40 +50 URSA MAJOR APRIL MAY +60 .SAGITTARIUS TELESCOPIUM ARA NORMA MICROSCOPIUM LUPUS 15 CIRCINUS Rigil Kentaurus Hadar INDUS PAVO TRIANGULUM AUSTRALE GRUS 14 h APUS Mimosa CENTAURUS OCTANS –90 Acrux MUSCA CRUX TUCANA PHOENIX HYDRUS Achernar –80 CHAMAELEON MENSA HOROLOGIUM RETICULUM –70 VOLANS VELA CARINA ERIDANUS –60 Canopus EQUATORIAL REGION 0h –60 1h TUCANA Achernar –50 4h PUPPIS 8 h 5h COLUMBA –40 6h 6h 7h 9 h PICTOR h 10 h DORADO RIGHT ASCENSION 8h CARINA CENTAURUS 2h HYDRUS 3h 4h RETICULUM DORADO 5h 7h 9h 11 h 12h 13 h HOROLOGIUM Canopus –50 PHOENIX PICTOR WEST ERIDANUS –40 CAELUM COLUMBA PUPPIS ANTLIA –30 SCULPTOR FORNAX Adhara LEPUS –20 ERIDANUS CANIS MAJOR Sirius D E C L I N AT I O N CETUS –10 Rigel MONOCEROS Mira 0 C E L E S T I A L E Q U AT O R ORION Procyon +10 PISCES ECL IPT IC Aldebaran Betelgeuse CANIS MINOR Regulus +20 PEG ARIES GEMINI CANCER TAURUS Pollux +30 TRIANGULUM Castor +40 WEST ANDROMEDA Algol AURIGA PERSEUS Capella +50 CASSIOPEIA CAMELOPARDALIS LYNX +60 NOV DECEMBER JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH Map A.

HERCULES Deneb BOOTES DRACO CYGNUS 21 LACERTA 22 h CANES VENATICI URSA MINOR CEPHEUS Polaris +80 CASSIOPEIA URSA MAJOR +70 ANDROMEDA LMi CAMELOPARDALIS +60 +50 Capella PERSEUS 3 h LYNX Algol h 8h AURIGA 4 h RIGHT ASCENSION –60 7h +40 6h 18h 5h 12h CRUX 13h Mimosa 14h 15h CIRCINUS 16h 17h 19h PAVO 20h 21h 2h EQUATORIAL REGION 22h 23h TUCANA 1h 0h DRACO +90 h 23 NORMA ARA TELESCOPIUM –50 CENTAURUS LUPUS –40 SCORPIUS CORONA AUSTRALIS MICROSCOPIUM SAGITTARIUS GRUS –40 PISCIS AUSTRINUS Fomalhaut SCULPTOR –30 HYDRA Antares –30 –20 CORVUS TIC CAPRICORNUS LIBRA –20 CETUS AQUARIUS –10 Spica EC SCUTUM VIRGO OPHIUCHUS –10 0 C E L E S T I A L E Q U AT O R AQUILA EQUULEUS 0 PISCES +10 Altair SERPENS CAPUT +10 DELPHINUS +20 Arcturus SAGITTA PEGASUS COMA BERENICES VULPECULA +20 +30 CORONA BOREALIS HERCULES LYRA +30 +40 CANES VENATICI BOOTES Vega +40 Deneb LACERTA ANDROMEDA +50 CYGNUS +50 DRACO URSA MAJOR CASSIOPEIA +60 MAY JUNE JULY AUGUST SEPTEMBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER +60 11 EAST D E C L I N AT I O N LIP SERPENS CAUDA EAST h 20 h LYRA 19 h 18h 17 NORTH POLAR REGION h 16 h 15 h 14 h 13 h 12h h 11 10 h 9 0h–60 INDUS PHOENIX –50 .

which is the start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. See pages 12–13 for more on these important matters. We do not speak of north or south in describing declination. is known as declination (dec. While the stars behind the Sun will not be visible in its glare. Stars lying close to the celestial equator (such as the Belt Stars of Orion or some of the stars of Virgo) always rise and set due east and west and are above the horizon for around 12 hours at a stretch. set north of west and are visible for less than 12 hours from rising to setting. Also shown curving north and south of the equator (but going much further north and south than the ecliptic does) is a broad and patchy band of light with the popular name of the Milky Way. lines of declination are spaced 10 degrees apart. is the ecliptic. the ecliptic passes through 12 constellations. for short) and increases from zero degrees on the equator to 90 degrees at the poles. lie very close to the celestial equator. During its yearly migration along the ecliptic. Instead. These include famous northern constellations such as the Big and Little Bears. this point in time (known as the end of astronomical twilight) is not reached until more than an hour after sunset. which is measured both east and west. though each hour is equivalent to 15 degrees. On Map A and on most maps in this book RA is marked every hour. with positive declinations) rise north of east. From 35 degrees south lati­ tude. Some notable stars. The grid of the sky: (b) right ascension The celestial equivalent of longitude. At any time only half the total sky area shown on the map will be visible. For instance. the Sun reaches this point around 21 March. the more negative its declination) the longer Sun and Moon Dominating the sky by day and night are the two brightest extra­terrestrial objects. which marks the annual path of the Sun against the background of the stars. Your latitude sets the limit. curved so that it is sometimes north and sometimes south of the celestial equator. it stays in view. popularly called the Signs of the Zodiac. At latitudes around 35 degrees. Arcturus. The most northerly stars will not rise at all when viewed from south of the equator. set south of west and are above the horizon for at least 12 hours at a time. Unlike longitude. not degrees. A line north and south across the sky passing through the vernal equinox therefore marks zero hours of right ascension. the stars are not fully visible until the rotation of the Earth has taken the Sun a suitable dis­ tance (some 18 degrees) below the horizon and the sky has grown dark. On most of the star maps in this book. Vega or the stars of Gemini are examples. Distance north and south of the celestial equator. known as the solstices. The grid of the sky: (a) declination On maps of the Earth. The ecliptic cuts the equator in two places. the position of an object east or west of a fixed point. you can figure out 12 . On the celestial sphere the measurement of right ascension starts where the ecliptic cuts the celestial equator near the western end of the constellation of Pisces the Fish (one of the signs of the zodiac: see page 13). The further north the stars (the more positive their decli­ nation) the lower they are in the sky (even when crossing the meridian) and the briefer their appearances. Their move­ ments determine how much of the rest of the universe we are permitted to see. the equivalent of latitude on Earth. stars south of minus 55 degrees declination are always in view (if the sky is clear). Fomalhaut. right ascension increases in only one direction. There are some major differences from terrestrial longitude. The starting point for the measurement of longitude (zero degrees) on Earth is the Greenwich Observatory in London.latitude. that is. with negative declina­ tions) rise south of east. Many never set. Stars north of the equator (that is. The dates at the bottom of Map A indicate the month of the year when the stars on each line of right ascension will be on or close to the meridian (that is. the celestial equator crosses the northern sky 35 degrees away from the zenith. is right ascension (RA for short). the sector covering six hours of right ascension either side of the stars then crossing the meridian. So we can always see the Southern Cross and the Pointers. Declination tells a lot about how the stars appear in the night sky. Right ascension is measured in hours. highest in the sky) at nine in the evening. running from zero hours to 24 hours in one circuit of the sky. known as the equinoxes. and can therefore show you where it can be found. declination north of the celestial equator is listed as positive. or 55 degrees above the northern horizon. the Sun and the Moon. though you will find them in different parts of the sky depending on the time of the night and the year. The further south a star lies (that is. Similar lines through the other equinox and the two soltices mark 12. stars with more than plus 55 degrees declination are always out of sight. and reaches its maximum distances north and south of the equator (231 ⁄ 2 degrees) at two other points. declination south is negative. The same is true with maps of the sky. The dotted line on the map. This point is called the vernal equinox. with a few differences. From our popular viewing spot at 35 degrees south. Along the way. 6 and 18 hours of right ascension. we find our way around by using the grid of lines marking latitude and longitude. Canopus or the stars of Scorpius demonstrate this. The ecliptic and the zodiac The Sun also apparently controls which stars and constella­ tions will become visible once it sets. such as the ‘belt stars’ of Orion (see Sky Chart 6) or those of Virgo (Sky Chart 9). Stars south of the equator (that is. to the east. See page 18 for more on this.

The moving Moon The movements of the Moon. This relation­ ship. and its lit face is fully visible. which is high in the south­east in the early evening in May. Thereafter the gibbous moon wanes. The astrologers and casters of horoscopes still allocate the sign of Aries to the month beginning 21 March. and during that month the Sun is said to be ‘in’ that constellation. driven mostly by the Moon’s monthly orbit of the Earth. taking about two and a half days to pass through each zodiac sign. along a line lying close to the ecliptic. More than a few days after New Moon this sight is lost in the growing glare of the sunlit portion After seven days. tracing out the ecliptic. The yearly journey of the Earth around the Sun causes the Sun. will be setting with the Sun and will not be visible again in the night sky for a few months. the summer solstice (Midsummer’s Day) north of the equator arrives when the Sun enters Gemini. stars that never set. noon or twelve midday on the clock marks the time when the Sun is highest in the sky). This movement also affects stars high in the southern sky. this shift causes the stars to rise and set earlier each day (accord­ ing to the clock) by about four minutes. The Sun takes a month to pass through each zodiac con­ stellation. and its appearance alters as it passes through its cycle of phases.where the Sun is among the stars by looking at the stars that rise just before the Sun rises. Leo the Lion. known as the precession of the equinoxes. amounting to a change of 24 hours in the full month. But 2000 years ago this important date was marked by the Sun moving into Aries. the solstice was hosted by Leo. In November it will be low in the south­west (and almost upside­down). Day by day. The monthly cycle beings with the Moon invisible against the glare of the Sun (the strict meaning of the term New Moon). Scorpius the Scorpion. Light reflected by the Earth onto the unlit portion causes it to glow faintly (‘the Old Moon in the Young Moon’s arms’). Gemini the Twins. they are: Aries the Ram. The number of these special constel­ lations equals the number of months in the year. as seen from Earth. Virgo the Young Maiden. a slow shift is evident in the machinery of the cosmos. That is. This is a likely origin of the association between the lion and royalty (for more on this see the text to Sky Chart 16). At the same time.You can explore this in more detail on pages 21–22. and the changes in its appear­ ance. From week to week. Sagittarius the Archer. the stars are about 1 degree further west relative to the Sun every day. But 2000 years ago. on top of the faster change which occurs hourly throughout the night. the Moon moves steadily east among the stars. Aquarius the Water­Carrier. reaching Last Quarter after another seven days. the Moon moves further away from the Sun in the sky. Since the position of the Sun controls our reckoning of time (traditionally. Conversely. At a given time each evening. As the days go by. All but one of these constellations repre­ sent living things. with the left­hand half of its face lit. So stars which are rising in the east at sunset in January will be crossing overhead at sunset in April. and they make up the 12 signs of the zodiac. or set just after it sets. Each night it is positioned about 12 degrees (a little more than a fist width at arm’s length) further east. the changing phase of the Moon is the result of a changing relationship in space between the Moon. Astronomers long ago divided the stars along this path into 12 constellations. and each of these is now assigned a stretch of sky 30 degrees long. This difference gives rise to the concept of ‘sidereal time’. to move against the background of the stars. Capricornus the Sea­Goat. rising as the Sun sets and setting as it rises. the Hebrew and Islamic calendars still are. Libra the Scales. with each month (‘moonth’) beginning with the very first appearance of the Moon as a thin crescent after sunset. Four minutes a day makes two hours a month and six hours in three months. are the most obvious of all the night sky happenings. will be high in the south­west three months later. Taurus the Bull. Cancer the Crab. permits us to see a changing amount of the lit face. those stars will be found positioned about 1 degree further clockwise. The Moon then lies opposite the Sun in the sky. In this regard. Nowadays. For this reason many ancient calendars were based on the Moon. at the height of Babylonian astronomy (and astrology). Worth looking for on a very young Moon is the effect of earthshine. rising at noon and setting at mid­ night. the Moon reaches First Quarter. the Sun is among the western stars of Pisces around March 21 at the start of the northern spring. In the order they are usually given. The net result of all this is a slow change in the appearance of the night sky throughout the year. The movement of the Moon among the stars of the zodiac is the result of its orbit of the Earth from west to east (the same direction as the Earth turns on its own axis). Another seven days as a waxing gibbous moon brings it to Full Moon. and then only in the ‘small hours’. One degree a day amounts to 90 degrees in three months. Pisces the Fish. new stars and constellations are found rising in the east as the Sun goes down while those near the western horizon are steadily swallowed up by the sunset. and its crescent broadens (a waxing crescent). Since one side of the Moon is fully lit at any time. So the Southern Cross. Within a day or two it appears as a thin crescent (what is commonly called ‘a new moon’) close to the western horizon after sunset. its rising occurs about 50 minutes earlier each day. The right­hand side is lit and Moonrise Sky change throughout the year The movement of the Sun along the ecliptic places it about 1 degree further east relative to the surrounding stars each day. which means ‘the proces­ sion of the animals’. the solstice lay in Cancer (hence the now outdated term Tropic of Cancer). while an early February evening will find it low in the south­east but rising. Nowadays. time according to the stars rather than to the Sun. one sign to the east. the Sun and the Earth. The cycle of phases begins at New Moon when the Moon is on the sunward side of the Earth and we can see only the side in darkness. In July they 13 . Two thousand years earlier still.

If the eclipse is total (that is. the line dividing the lit and unlit portions of the Moon. If you are using a telescope (which inverts the view). an observer on the Moon would see the Sun rising or setting. Just before it becomes new. Two of the planets (Mercury and Venus) are closer to the Sun than we are and orbit it more quickly (the inner planets). was long regarded as the ninth planet but recently lost that status. some of the craters and mountain ranges are striking. as is our Earth. with a 12­year journey around the ecliptic. Map B identifies the main markings on the Moon’s surface. Superstitious people in ancient times referred to the Moon ‘turning to blood’. The diagram is oriented as the Moon is when seen high in the northern sky with the naked eye or with binoculars (that is. The ancient Greek astronomers called these ‘planetos’ or ‘wandering stars’. the Moon darkens to a striking coppery­red colour. showing it to be much like the face we see The movements of the outer planets Generally speaking. the Moon passes through the centre of the Earth’s cone of shadow). rocky or gaseous spheres in orbit around the Sun. the craters formed more recently by the impact of asteroids or comets. or philosophers. Seven more days as a waning crescent brings another New Moon. This simple picture is complicated by retrograding. Fainter sights such as the Milky Way are lost in its glare. from which comes our word planet. The planets From time to time. It is not correct to call the far side the ‘dark side’. it receives as much light as the side we see. its nearness (Venus is bright because it is close) or the nature of its surface (Venus again because it is covered with highly reflective cloud). as revealed at Full Moon. However. Venus. Though smaller.occurs at midnight. Over a period of some months in every year a planet ceases its usual 14 . it always keeps the same face turned towards us. up to half a dozen eclipses of the Sun and the Moon will occur. other than to say that during a total solar eclipse. The major impact of the Moon on night sky viewing comes from the light it sheds. Such an eclipse of the Moon (or lunar eclipse) can occur only at Full Moon. The craters carry mostly the names of famous people. They thought they were living things. only some of the Moon will be blacked out. Eclipses From time to time as the Moon orbits the Earth. The best time to view the stars is when the Moon is absent or merely a thin crescent. they shine only by the reflected light of the Sun. We now know them to be vast almost smooth plains of volcanic rock. turn it anti­clockwise. these planets behave as do the Sun and the Moon. turn the chart upside down. and which are therefore not marked on any star map. Like the Moon. Jupiter. Because the Moon spins on its axis in the same time inter­ val as it orbits the Earth. If the Moon is setting. the Moon is visible as a thin crescent low in the eastern sky before dawn. spacecraft have sent back images of the hidden side. it passes through our shadow. The others travel more slowly still. but the old names persist. From Earth we cannot see most of the ‘far side’ of the Moon. you will notice among the stars other points of light that do not hold their positions as the regular stars do. unlike the true stars which make their own light. A fertile imagination can turn them into the features of the face of the ‘man in the Moon’ or into other images (such as a rabbit) in other cultures. Five of these were known in ancient times (Mercury. and two more (Uranus and Neptune) have since been found using the telescope. A planet’s bright­ ness is a measure of its size (Jupiter is bright because it is big). as the Moon passes above or below the cone of shadow the Earth casts into space. Mars moves most quickly. For early evening skywatch­ ing. taking just over two years to complete one circuit of the sky and spending two months in each zodiac constellation. since throughout the month. The equivalent possibility at New Moon is for an eclipse of the Sun (or solar eclipse) with the Moon passing directly in front of the Sun and cutting off its light for a few minutes. discovered in 1930. and the low Sun casts long shadows.They appear to move eastwards along paths that lie close to the ecliptic. the mottled face of the Moon is interesting. which can dominate the light of the stars. they do not concern us here. the others lie outside the Earth’s orbit and travel more slowly (the outer planets). takes a year to pass through one sign. The most obvious markings are large dark areas called by the ancients the mare or ‘seas’. and named them accordingly. even manifestations of the Gods. passing through the zodiac constellations one by one. for so they thought them to be. Some are larger than the Earth. Lunar eclipses can be seen from wherever the Moon is above the horizon at the time of the eclipse. greatly enhanc­ ing the relief. which normally lasts several hours. though few if any will be total. In any one year. Mars. though with many fewer mare. Along this line. We now know that planets are cold. the sky does darken enough for the stars to appear. with Saturn spending two and a half years. some smaller. Uranus seven years and Neptune 14 years. The highlands are very old. The view through binoculars or a small telescope turns the interest into fascination. especially when close to the terminator. that means the period from a few days after Full Moon through until a day or two after New Moon. Since these are obviously daytime events. turn the chart clockwise (so that north is on the left). The largest of the craters are a hundred kilometres or more across. The face of the Moon Even with the naked eye. On other occasions. such as ancient and modern astronomers or other scientists. Jupiter and Saturn). the North Pole of the Moon is at the bottom). If the Moon is rising. Pluto. The ancients were puzzled by these objects and their often strange behaviour. though at most Full Moons there is no eclipse.

This odd behaviour is only apparent. it becomes stationary). but the smaller the difference it makes to the position of the planet. SINUS RORIS 15 . though the JU M ON TE ES ALP LIS AL VAL PE S SINUS IRIDUM Mairan . Mars swings through a couple of constellations as it retrogrades. moving more quickly in its orbit than the planets outside it. Bond Harpalus N Map B. The further away a planet is. the planets move steadily onwards in their orbits at an almost steady pace. the longer retrograding lasts. At opposition. the planet rises around six in the evening and crosses the meridian at midnight. but the outermost planets spend half the year moving backwards. You see the same thing when out driving. the planet reaches a point exactly opposite the Sun in the sky (that is. retrograding lasts only two months. The outer planets are brightest and appear largest in a telescope at opposition. The main features of the surface of the Moon easterly motion (that is. However. so that for a time they appear to move backwards. overtakes them ‘on the inside lane’. stops again (becomes stationary a second time) and then resumes its eastward course. In reality. as they are then closest to the Earth. while Saturn rarely leaves the constellation it was in when it became stationary. it appears to move backwards relative to the scenery. For Mars.S Blancanus Scheiner Clavius Vlacq Pitiscus Cuvier Longomontanus Faraday Tycho Stöfler Gauricus Walter Werner Regiomontanus G Sacrobosco Playfair Arzachel Abulfeda Cyrillus Theophilus Albategnius Ptolemaeus Hipparchus Delambre Sabine Maskelyne Tarantius Firmicus Condorcet Ritter Julius Ceasar Godin Agrippa Triesnecker Herschel Purbach Wilhelm Wurzelbauer Capuanus Cichus Pitatus Mercator Campanus Vieta Schickard Schiller Phocylidus Furnerius VALLIS RHEITA Rheita Fabricius Metius Rabbi Levi Maurolycus Fabricius Piccolomini Zugat Aliacensis Apianus Stevinus Snellius RU P Petavius Santbech Colombo Fracastorius Vendelinus MARE NECTARIS Mädler Isidorus Capella Catharina Tacitus MARE NUBIUM Alpetragius Alphonsus MARE HUMORUM Bullialdus ES TAI AL Mersenius Gassendi Crüger Goclenius MARE COGNITUM MONTES RIPHAEUS Langrenus Gutenberg Grimaldi E MARE FECUNDITATIS Apollonius Lansberg Reinhold OCEANIS PROCELLARUM Kepler Riccioli W MARE TRANQUILITATIS Procius Vitruvius Macrobius Cleomedes Burckhardt Geminus Franklin Cepheus Atlas Hercules Plinius MARE VAPORUM Manilius Menelaus SINUS AESTUUM E IN NN PE A S Eratosthenes Copernicus Marius MARE CRISIUM MONTES CA RPATES Wallace Aristarchus Timocharis Archimedes Euler Lambert Herodotus Seleucus MARE SERENITATIS Posidonius M O N TE S Struve VALLIS SCHRÖTERI Autolycus Aristillus Cassini OCEANIS IMBRIUM Pico RA Messala Bürg Endymion Eudoxus S M Plato Bianchini Aristoteles MARE FRIGORIS Strabo W. moves back­ wards (that is. Retrograding is due to the fact that the Earth. it comes to opposition). As you pass another car. Roughly halfway through its move backwards. towards the west). not actual.

The Sun (gold) and the Moon (silver) were also part of this scheme. seems most appropriate. At maximum magnitude it outshines everything other than the Sun and Moon. pushing east through one zodiac sign every two months. and is therefore rarely seen against a dark sky. In ancient lore. The chief attraction of Saturn is its system of rings. it is a morning star. It is interesting to watch for the disappear­ ance or re­emergence of the object. This is appropriate. small telescopes may glimpse it as a coloured disc.) Showings of Venus as an evening star are spaced about eight months apart. Mars moves among the stars.variation is more noticeable with Mars than with the more distant planets. and its movement is stately. Saturn moves the most slowly of the naked­eye planets. Mercury and Venus both show phases when viewed with telescopes. It is therefore easy to spot. It will be found within the confines of a single zodiac constellation for almost three years. Pollux. with perhaps some streaky markings. Venus a maximum of less than 50 degrees). Saturday was originally Saturn’s Day). The waltz of the planets The movement of the various planets through the zodiac at different speeds produces an endless variety of events. (Any planet can become an evening star. the forerunner of modern chemistry. which lie close to the ecliptic) or to the Moon. The Moon will sometimes occult a planet or star. They accompany the Sun in its yearly journey through the zodiac. which can be seen in small telescopes. About six or seven months after opposition. The movements of the inner planets The movements of Mercury and Venus against the background of the stars are complicated by the fact that they never get very far away from the Sun (Mercury a maximum of about 27 degrees. the planet will be an evening star (that is. and can cast a shadow on a moonless night. After conjunction. Mars to iron (its rusty redness helped there). espe­ cially in constellations with dimmer stars. and their movements from week to week or even night to night are fascinating to watch. as befits a planet named after the king of the Roman gods. and the same symbol used for both the metal and the planet. jovial (Jupiter was also called Jove) and saturnine. and sometimes lagging behind (that is. with western elongation). Spica and Antares. Venus to copper. of course. Venus on the other hand is very hard to miss. one at which the planet passes the Sun on the near side (inferior conjunction). visible above the western horizon after sunset). the other with the planet passing the Sun on the side away from the Earth (superior conjunction). with planets drawing close to each other (often within a few degrees). and returns to the same position in the sky (say to maximum eastern elongation. There is a fascinating link between the planets and the old pseudo­science of alchemy. such as in the days of the week (for example. was likened by the ancients to a drop of blood and so it was named after the god of war. Maximum brightness occurs close to the time of maximum elongation east or west. being sometimes ahead of the Sun in the sky (that is. easily tracked with the naked eye. Which planet? If you find a planet among the stars but are not sure which one it is. each heavenly object was linked to one of the seven metals known at the time. the planet is an evening star. since it stays close to the Sun and to the twilight. In a small telescope. It takes a year to pass from one zodiac sign to the next. and therefore not overly bright. but Venus is the acme. This. Before conjunction. though not as bright as Venus. pass in front of it. The planet was named after the fleet­footed messenger of the gods in ancient Roman legend. Conjunctions with the Moon are most interesting when the Moon is a crescent. it reaches conjunction with the Sun). again especially if the 16 . Unlike the redder stars (such as Antares) with which it may be com­ pared. The distinctive red or pink colour of Mars. the result of it being covered by desert. Jupiter to tin and Saturn to lead. the planet becomes a morning star (visible in the east before dawn). Like the Moon. causes the inner planets to vary greatly in apparent size and brightness. to bright stars (such as Regulus. that is. the planet dis­ appears behind the Sun for a while and cannot be seen (that is. shifting its position markedly from night to night relative to nearby stars. Between inferior conjunction and superior conjunction. We can also contemplate the way the names of the planets are imbedded in our language. the application of a few simple rules will sort the matter out Mercury is never easy to find. especially as ‘the evening star’. moving from thin crescent to full disc and back again during each orbit. and so can clear the twilight. combined with great variation in their distances from us. and its off­white colour is an added source of identification. martial. with perhaps smudgy dark markings and a touch of white at the poles. So Mercury was linked to the metal mercury. and in words like mercurial. at which time it is highest in the sky at sunset) every three months. Among these are numerous con­ junctions. The inner planets have two conjunctions with the Sun during each orbit. blazing in the west high above the sunset. after the Roman goddess of love and beauty. Between superior conjunction and inferior conjunction. At times three or even four planets will be found together in the same part of the sky. It may be found anywhere along the ecliptic. so suggesting a link to the Roman god of old age. At opposition. The giveaway is its rapid movement among the stars. It rises up to three hours before the Sun and sets up to three hours after. Its colour is almost white. Jupiter will show as a distinct disc. Jupiter is the largest planet and can get quite bright. with eastern elongation). These planets therefore never come to opposition and are never visible in the midnight sky. Its naming. venereal.

which gives the positions of four of the five naked­eye planets each month for the next ten years. Each time Ganymede completes one orbit. Europa. Comets. The moons of Jupiter line up on either side of the planet more often than you might expect. 16–27 Oct. Most lie between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt. 17 Dec. 1–6 Apr. Many other sights may be glimpsed with the naked eye. which can reach magnitude 5. comets. Europa goes round exactly twice and Io exactly four times. Ganymede and Callisto). You can also refer to Appendix B.7 these can be seen with the naked eye if conditions are right. appearing as bright streaks of light across the sky.7. and the locations of the brightest among the stars are given in an ephemeris. 3 Apr. The predicted posi­ tions of the moons are provided in an ephemeris. though most of these are very faint when viewed from Earth (magnitude 10 or fainter). 15 July 23 – Aug. producing a constantly varying distribution of bright points on either side of the planet. contains much more than the planets. Satellites. these are small rocky bodies orbiting the Sun. A variety of sights The night sky has more to offer than individual stars and planets. 9. 12 Oct. 22 Nov. Main meteor showers Quarantids (in Bootes) Lyrids Eta Aquarids Delta Aquarids Perseids Orionids Taurids Leonids Geminids Normal limits Jan. The largest. As comets orbit the Sun. Titan (period 16 days). Again. Such meteor showers (com­ monly dubbed ‘falling stars’ or ‘shooting stars’) emerge from particular points in the night sky (their radiants) at certain times of the year. Meteor showers. The brightest is Vesta. They orbit Jupiter with periods of between one and a half and 17 days. with ample space between relatively small 17 . 8. A bright comet may take thousands of years to return if it comes back at all. Many of these other objects are night­sky sights. Some of these are open clusters. the constellations hosting them do not rise until late.2 and so be a naked­eye sight on a clear dark night. Stars get together In many areas of the sky. When the Earth passes through this trail. but a number of others are worth tracking down with binoculars. together with details of some significant planetary events. Satellites. with Rhea (period four and half days) also a possibility at maximum magnitude. often pro­ viding a contrast with their varied colours. only the famous Halley’s Comet is bright enough to make a real showing to the naked eye. 19–25 May 1–10 July 15 – Aug.3. and reference is made to them in the text beside the Sky Charts. occultations and other events (such as eclipses) can be found in publications compiled by astronomical societies (such a listing is called an ephemeris) and on sale in astronomy supply shops. A few become spectacular naked­eye objects. Of the regularly returning comets. 30 Nov. meteors. More are visible with binoculars or a small telescope. This is the result of the strong gravity of Jupiter locking the orbits of the three inner moons into a resonance. At the times of year the various showers occur. and are an easy target for binocu­ lars.Table 3. and so the showers can normally be seen only in the small hours. 20 Oct. minor planets The solar system. The easiest to pick out are the four largest satellites of Jupiter (Io. Minor Planets. 22 May 6 July 29 Aug. 20 – Nov. A list of the main showers is given in Table 3. a few hundred kilo­ metres at most. 5 Nov. 13 Peak rate (average) per hour 60 10 35 20 75 25 10 10 75 Radiant (RA/Dec) 15 hr 30 min/50 18 hr 10 min/32 22 hr 20 min/01 22 hr 39 min/17 3 hr 08 min/58 6 hr 27 min/15 3 hr 47 min/14 10 hr 11 min/22 7 hr 31 min/32 Moon is a crescent. but most are small. All the planets except Mercury and Venus have ‘moons’ orbiting them. the region of space controlled by the gravity of the Sun. is within reach of binoculars at maximum magnitude. some of the rubble is swept up by gravity and burns up in the Earth’s atmosphere. Often called asteroids. There are most likely hundreds of thousands of them. Details of conjunctions. the stars cluster together. but all benefit from the use of binoculars or a small tele­ scope (you will do even better with a large telescope!). you should refer to an ephem­ eris for details. With magnitudes at oppo­ sition between 4. becoming bright and developing the char­ acteristic tail when near the Sun. but the arrival of those is unpredictable. Comets are icy bodies travelling around the Sun in long thin orbits. 7–15 Maximum Jan. Ceres. 15–20 Dec. they leave behind a trail of dust and small fragments.6 and 5. is only 1000 km across. Saturn’s brightest satellite.

10 per cent of which are similar in size and temperature to our Sun. Globular clusters are in general both very old (containing some of the most ancient stars known) and very remote (many lying 10. Auriga. 18 .000 light years away. contain from as few as 10 stars to as many as 500. and the stars within are on average about a light year apart. winding its way around the sky and passing through or close by a number of constellations. sometimes misleadingly called planetary nebulae (they have nothing to do with planets). The Milky Way is widest and most dense between Scorpius and Sagittarius. tens or even hundreds of light years across. most of them look like fuzzy stars. since we now know that they are complete star systems (galaxies) lying beyond our own. At low light levels. The blue wisps of gas surrounding the 50­million­year­old Pleiades form such a reflection nebula. letting you glimpse the spidery outline that provoked the name. Aquila. The axis of the ‘wheel’ of our galaxy can be taken to cut the celestial sphere at the North Galactic Pole (NGP) and South Galactic Pole (SGP) (just as the Earth’s axis cuts it at the North and South Celestial Poles). ‘red giant’ stars which have shed their outer layers to form glowing rings of gas. and the rest of the Milky Way is simply the consequence of looking across the galaxy along its longest dimension. all originally formed together from the one gas cloud. Other such dark nebulae (‘nebula’ is Latin for ‘a cloud’) include the Coal Sack beside the Southern Cross and the spectacular but elusive (for small telescopes anyway) Horsehead Nebula in Orion.000 light years away.000 light years thick in the centre. Some of these are ‘star nurseries’. The Vela Nebula and the Crab Nebula in Taurus lie in that category. now known as the Milky Way galaxy (or simply ‘the galaxy’). and the Jewel Box. There are also a great many bright nebulae. the human eye picks up little colour. are the nearest of these. appears as a faint band of light. emission nebulae of this kind are mostly found along the Milky Way.numbers of stars. In truth. and about 3000 light years thick out in the outer suburbs where we are (some 30. in the Scorpius/Sagittarius region and in Cygnus. The appearance of the Milky Way is the consequence of the Sun and its planets being located within a vast wheel­shaped congregation of stars. The Ring Nebula in Lyra the Harp is an example. The hub of this system lies beyond the stars of Scorpius and Sagittarius. so distant and so closely clustered together that the unaided eye cannot separate them. vast clouds of dust hanging in space block the light from the stars of the Milky Way in these regions. Indeed. It contains at least 200 thousand million stars. The Great Nebula in Orion is one such star nursery. Some nebulae associated with young stars are blue rather than pink. A few nebulae mark the locations of stars in old age. but this book will refer you to dozens of others. not with your eye directly (even with binoc­ ulars). The Milky Way The Milky Way. That is one reason why the skies of the Southern Hemisphere are so brilliant! Nebulae. Ancient observers thought it was a stream of milk from the breast of some sky goddess and used the term galaxy from the Greek for ‘milk’. slightly above the plane of the Milky Way. including Crux. Orion. the Milky Way is divided by dark lanes and broken by patches apparently devoid of stars. They are rela­ tively small and are essentially ‘satellites’ of our own Milky Way galaxy. best seen on a clear dark night.000 light years distant). These clusters are huge balls of stars. hard by the Southern Cross. Modern reckoning makes our galaxy about 100. especially looking towards the galactic centre. Others are ‘star cemeteries’. each marking the spot where very large stars at the end of their brief violent lives have blown themselves to pieces as supernovas. We should add that even through a telescope it is not easy to appreciate the true form of a globular cluster. patches of gas glowing pink from the energy of newly born stars within them. Carina. Sagittarius and Scorpius. about 10. Since the time of Galileo (though some Greeks 2000 years before guessed at the truth) we have known it is in fact made up of billions of stars.Vela. for example. which appear as faint patches of light in the southern sky. They are still worth seeking out. where the most distant observable stars are about 30. dark and bright Here and there along its length. patches and wisps of glowing gas. The Crab Nebula is the remnant of the supernova recorded by Chinese astronomers in 1054 AD. A warning about the colours. Far more thickly packed with stars are the globular clus­ ters. You will see them in photo­ graphs but. The two Clouds of Magellan.000 or 15. Binoculars or a telescope will quickly reveal many of those stars. The NGP lies in Coma Berenices. Canis Major. and most of the nebulae will appear white with a greenish tinge. Binoculars will reveal the striking Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud. as are the Trifid and Lagoon Nebulae fronting the Milky Way near Sagittarius. so we see more stars (and more bright stars) looking south than looking north. The Sun and its planets lie Nebulae beyond Still other nebulae are vastly larger and more distant. This is the result of blue light from the young hot stars being scattered by clouds of dust. Praesepe or ‘the Beehive’ in Cancer. are all notable examples.000 light years in diameter.000 light years from the hub). the SGP in Sculptor. which are commonly only 10 or 20 light years across at most. The Pleiades or ‘Seven Sisters’ in Taurus (there are actually more than 30 stars in this cluster). Cygnus. being some 200. though both are hard to resolve into anything meaningful other than in large telescopes. Such clusters. with up to a million stars crowding together like bees around a honey pot. alas. Omega Centauri (again close to the Southern Cross) and 47 Tucanae near the Small Magellanic Cloud are among the finest such clusters in the sky. Perseus.

More recent and more comprehensive is the New General Catalogue (NGC) first complied over a hundred years ago with thousands of entries. the Lagoon Nebula M16. 19 . Sculptor. the Orion Nebula M42. are thickly clustered in certain areas of the sky. Galaxies are not found near the Milky Way as the dust clouds and thickly clustered stars hide them from view. The Crab Nebula is M1. a naked­eye object in the northern sky. is the nearest of the large external galaxies. Coma Berenices and Canes Venatici. Praesepe M44. the ‘Sombrero Hat’ galaxy M104. each con­ taining billions of stars. These constella­ tions lie close to the Galactic Poles. Other letter–number combina­ tions in this book indicate other catalogues. The various clusters and nebulae have been catalogued several times. The oldest such effort was by the eighteenth­ century French comet­hunter Charles Messier. His list is still often used.The Andromeda Galaxy. who noted over 100 fuzzy objects likely to be confused with comets. Numbers of galaxies are also found in Fornax. Leo and Perseus. being two million light years distant. Most of the Messier objects are in the northern part of the sky. most notably in the constellations of Virgo. Objects listed with an N followed by a number are from the NGC. Such ‘island universes’.

.

the SkyviewS Using the Skyviews The following 24 Skyviews represent the night sky at different times of the year and different times of the night. Put another way. A year contains 365¼ solar days but 366¼ sidereal days. and therefore determine which Skyview to use. (On 21 September the solar and sidereal clocks read the same time. a sidereal day is shorter than a solar day by four minutes. 6 21 Oct. a sidereal day is the time between two successive ‘transits’ of the vernal equinox. or indeed of any particular star. gaining four minutes a day. between two passages of the Sun across the meridian. Whereas a solar day is the period between two noons. the sidereal clock runs faster than the solar clock. 6 21 Nov. 6 21 Dec. Each Skyview has been drawn to correspond with a certain sidereal time. Since the easterly motion of the Sun along the ecliptic causes the stars to rise earlier each day by about four minutes by the clock. Over the year. you can refer to Table 4. rather than by the position of the Sun. 21 . 6 21 Jan. Since the stars on show in the night sky change noticably from hour to hour during the night and week to week throughout the year. 6 22 Sep. the side­ real clock runs faster than the solar clock. 5 20 Mar. Put another way. Sidereal time is set by the stars. as in ordinary solar time. Or you can apply the following simple rule: Work out your solar time on a 24­hour clock and add four minutes for each day (or two hours for each month) that has passed since last 21 September.) table 4. that is. 6 22 May 7 22 June 6 22 July 7 22 Aug. gaining four minutes a day. Choosing the right Skyview (by hour and date of observation) Date 5 21 Feb. it is vital that you choose the right Skyview to use. To work out the sidereal time corresponding to your day and time of observing. the difference builds up to a whole day. 7 22 Apr. 17 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 18 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 19 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 1 20 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 1 2 21 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 1 2 3 22 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 1 2 3 4 Local time (h)* 23 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 1 2 3 4 5 00 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 1 2 3 4 5 6 01 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 02 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 03 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 04 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 05 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 06 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 * Subtract one hour from these times during periods of daylight saving.

which passes through the stars of the 12 zodiac signs. Add 13 hours (two hours for each of the 6½ months since last 21 September). for each Skyview. ‘The top of the sky’. To make it easy to decide which Skyview is the right one to use in the early evening (a time you will often be looking at the night sky). namely 35 degrees south. which contain stars of higher magnitudes. also refers to crossing the meridian. So sidereal time at 6 pm on 15 April is 0700 hours and therefore Skyview 7 is the one to use. used for southern stars. This means a movement from the eastern to the western half of the sky. One is ‘crossing the meridian’. Bright star­like objects not marked on these Skyviews will almost certainly be planets. So ‘three o’clock’ means due west of the pole. rising as high as possible above the South Pole of the sky. The other important feature of these Skyviews is the numbers which occur in the centres of large areas of each. the sidereal time given is reached at 9 pm (2100 hours) in the middle of the given period (either the seventh or twenty­first day of the month). Remember that these Skyviews show only stars. This means that particular Skyview accurately displays the layout of the night sky at 9 pm (taking account of daylight saving if it is in operation) in the middle of the stated fortnight (and will be very close to right throughout the whole period). That totals 31 hours. These refer the user to the more detailed Sky Charts later in this book. The outer rim represents the horizon. convert 6 pm to a 24­hour clock. In other words. namely the line marking 12 hours of right ascen­ sion. The Skyview and calculation given above let you use the Skyviews at any time of the night. Each Skyview has marked the South Pole of the sky (around which the sky appears to turn) and the prime meridian. Therefore. if you are looking south. Two expressions are commonly used in the text adjoining each Skyview. which gives 18 hours.An example: to work out sidereal time at 6 pm on 15 April. Most of the main population centres in the Southern Hemisphere lie close to this parallel of latitude. January: weeks one and two). especially if they lie close to the ecliptic. You need to be ready to move on to the next Skyview after observation for one hour. The turning of the Earth causes the positions of the stars and other objects relative to the horizon and the zenith to change surprisingly quickly and noticeably. the Skyview should be turned upside­down. Observers well to the north or to the south of this latitude will notice some differences in the visibility of stars near the northern and southern horizons. together with important sights through binoculars such as double stars and nebulae. that is. The Skyview should be turned so that the direction in which you are looking is at the bottom. (See page 14. Each Skyview shows the whole sky visible at the given side­ real time. Also marked are the celestial equator and the ecliptic. The Skyviews are drawn for only one latitude. each Skyview has a two­week period listed above it (for example. Reference is also made to positions of stars relative to the South Pole of the sky in terms of hourly readings on an ordi­ nary clock face. or 7 hours when reduced by 24 hours.) 22 . and ‘nine o’clock’ means due east.

and Fomalhaut in the Southern Fish even higher in the south­west. Of the other bright stars. A little higher in the south­east lies Canopus. It lies in Carina. with its bright stars blue­white Rigel and reddish Betelgeuse. AU RI G 20 13 A A RIES Ple iad Hy AS U ECLIP TIC es ad es PE G PISCES Al 14 de ba Bet S ra n elg eus CET EQ UU US M ira ERID 5 ANU 12 SCU EQU R ATO ORION 6 S LEPUS e 23 EAST RE T DO ra 7 ICU 4 ANA TUC pu s IS PP PU PI C VO TO R LA 2 VE LA CA R NS INA C ENT AUR US M EN S A LU 12 h CHAM M HY AELEO DRUS PHO South Pole Acrux N CRUX ENI Mimosa S CENTAURU MUSCA X OCTA Rigel K Hadar APUS NS ent G RU S Fom alh 3 CIR VO PA LUM GU LE AN TRI STRA AU CIN US TE LE SC LU PU S O AR NO PI A U RM M A SC O RP IU S SA G IT TA RI US C A O US RO TR NA AL IS SCU TUM MIC R OS CO PIU IN DU S 11 CAPRICORNUS M PISCIS US AUSTRIN WEST AQU ILA Alta ir SA GIT TA aut AQU ARI US LE DE LP HIN US US CY G U N S . Orion the Hunter. Aquarius. through Capricornus. November: weeks three and four Sidereal time 0100 SOUTH no Ca RA ha UM GI LO RO HO 1 Ach ern ar CA BA UM COL M ELU Sirius IS CAN OR J MA MONOCEROS DO Ad NAX Rigel FOR LPT OR RU TA U 19 S TRIA NGU LUM Alg ol LA CE RT A ANDROMEDA PER 0h SEU S Magnitudes 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter NORTH The grand summer panorama is now unfolding in the eastern sky. Pisces and Aries. including reddish Aldebaran and the Pleiades. In the south­east. is now clear of the horizon. Sirius. second brightest of all stars. to Taurus in the north­east. the keel of the ship Argo. the brightest of the stars. Achernar in Eridanus is high in the south. Taurus the Bull. marking the larger of the Hunter’s two dogs. The Great Square of Pegasus stands in the north­west. In the west Altair in Aquila the Eagle is setting. lies in the north­ east.Skyview 1 9 pm. The zodiac signs visible stretch from Sagitarrius now setting in the south­west. has risen.

joining Sirius and the stars of Canis Major now well up in the south­east. Further west and higher is Fomalhaut. Sagittarius is setting in the south­west and the first stars of Gemini are in view in the north­east. from west to east. second brightest of the stars after Sirius. Also in the south­east is Canopus in Carina. Aries and Taurus. and in the north­east Aldebaran and the Pleiades marking the eye and the shoulder of Taurus the Bull. Pisces. the Great Square of Pegasus is heading for the horizon. the mouth of the Southern Fish. Of the zodiac signs. December: weeks one and two Sidereal time 0200 SOUTH IS RA DO TO PIC 1 IU M G LO DO Ca R no s pu ara Adh PU PP COLU E CANIS R MAJO HO LUM MBA 7 MONOCEROS RO CA PY XIS IA TL AN LEPUS 12 ORION Rige ER ID AN 5 EQUATOR CETUS Mir a us e ge tel ra ba Be PE G AS PISC ES U S ECL IPTIC Hy s ad es 20 13 ARIES Ple iade U TA RU 14 RI GA TRIANGULUM Al S Alg ANDR OMED A ol AU Magnitudes 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter 0h PERSEU S NORTH The eastern sky contains the great sights: Orion the Hunter marked by the ‘saucepan’ and the bright stars Betelgeuse and Rigel. 24 GE de MI NI n CAN MIN IS OR Procyo US FO n RN AX 6 l Sirius EAST VO L 2 V EL A C EN TAU R US C ARI NA AN 12 h S CRUX R ET IC CH Mimosa MEN UL AMAELEO N Acrux UM SA MUSCA Hadar HYDRUS CENTAURUS Achernar South Pole Rigel Kent LU TRIANGU AUSTRALE NS OCTA APUS CA TU 3 M NA CIRC INUS VO PA AR A SC IN DU OR PIU TE LE S SC OP IU M SA G IT TA RI US CO AU RO ST NA RA LIS 4 S MI C RO S 11 M CO PIU GR US CAPRIC ORNUS PISCIS AUSTRIN US Fomalha PH AQUILA OE WEST NIX SCULPTOR ut AQUAR IUS EQU ULE US . In the north­west. Achernar in Eridanus has crossed the top of the sky. Between those constellations.Skyview 2 9 pm. Aquarius. In the east Procyon in the Little Dog has risen. lie Capricornus. and now lies slightly south­west.

Below Orion. The Cross and Pointers have pushed off from the southern horizon. G EM ARIES IN Pleia des 15 I CAN TU S Mira CER CE IS M Proc yon ID ER Rig AN US LEP 6 US 5 R HYDRA el 25 EAST 12 7 MONOCEROS UM COLUMBA Adhara IS PYX VO L 2 A TLI AN V AN S MEN SA South Pole 8 C EN TA U 12 RU S CA CR h RIN UX A PIC TO CENT AURU R Mimo Acrux CHAM Hadar sa MUSCA RET AELEO HO Rigel Kent S ICUL RO N UM HYDRUS TRIANGULUM AUSTRALE 3 Ach OCTAN S CIRCINU APUS ern ar S CA TU NA VO PA AR A TE LE SC SA OP GI AR TT IU M IU S C AU OR ST ON RA A LI S M IC R OS CO IN DU 4 CA P RIC OR NU AQUARIUS 11 S S PI UM AUS PISCIS TRIN US GR US SCU Fom alha ut LPT OR PHO ENI WEST X FO RN AX PE GA SU S . In the south­east. ending in Achernar. The east and north­east are the domain of the hunter Orion. Aries. lies through the zenith. setting south of west. The line of the zodiac then runs westwards and up the sky through Taurus. the Greater Dog with dazzling Sirius. In the north­west Pegasus moves closer to setting. His two dogs are follow­ ing him up the sky: the Lesser Dog with its bright star Procyon and. Puppis and Vela) are returning to prominence. December: weeks three and four Sidereal time 0300 SOUTH A EL s D RA no Ca 1 LO GIU M DO PU S PPI O pu CAEL CANIS MAJOR Sirius ION OR INO CAN EQUATOR ECL IPT IC Hya des Be S d Al te PIS CE U TA eb lg RU a ar n eu S se 20 13 TRIAN 14 GULU M Algol AN 0h DR AU RIG A OM ED A Cap ella Magnitudes PERSEUS 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter NORTH The long faint line of stars marking Eridanus the River.Skyview 3 9 pm. the stars of the zodiac sign Gemini continue to rise. Ahead of Orion lies the bull Taurus. with Canopus in Carina leading the way. Pisces and Aquarius to Capricornus. notable for the star cluster the Pleiades and the red star Aldebaran as the bull’s eye. with his distinctive belt and sword. further south. the stars of the Argo constellations (Carina.

Aries. is making a brief appearance. Taurus. Fomalhaut in the Southern Fish is heading west. are now in view. two bright stars are prominent: Achernar in Eridanus high in the south­west. The faint early stars of Cancer the Crab in the north­east mark the easternmost of the visible zodiac signs. High up. The Great Square of Pegasus is now setting in the north­west. Pisces and Aquarius. the far northern star Capella. Looking north. Running upwards and westwards are five other zodiac constellations. 26 Po AR IES llu x Pleiades 15 CA N Hyades A ION OR an bar lde M ON t Be CA el OC NI ge us SM ER e OS IN OR n M ira Ri CE ECL IPT R IC HYDRA EAST D OR AD O PIS HOR OLO GIU 12 IS 8 PIC CE NT AU RU S C RU X CA RIN A Mim Acr ux osa Hada VOL CHA TO Rigel Kent M r R ANS USCA MAE LEO 3 MENS N RETICULUM CIRCINUS TRIANGULUM AUSTRALE A South Pole HYDRUS OCTANS APUS M he Ac ARA rn ar TU CA NA VO PA SA GI AR TT IN DU IU S S M IC RO SC O PI UM 4 CA PR ICO R NU S P AU STR ISCIS INU S G RU S SCU Fom alha LPT PHO AQUARIUS OR ut EN IX WEST CE TU S FORNAX PI SC PE GA SU S ES . but are moving up. with the Pleiades and Aldebaran unmistakable. There also the bright stars of Gemini the Twins. but the Great and Little Dogs continue to rise in the north­ east. Gemini. Taurus the Bull is well placed. and Canopus in Carina well up in the south­east. January: weeks one and two Sidereal time 0400 SOUTH 12h LA VE T AN 2 LIA A DR HY 1 s pu no Ca PUP PYX Adhara SEXTANS CA EL U M COLUMBA CANIS MAJOR 7 5 S Siri NU us ER IDA 6 LE PU S ge l EQ TO UA R cyo Pro TAURUS 13 0h 14 IGA TR GE M I NI IAN GU Ca st or LU M Algol AUR AN DR OM ED A Magnitudes 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter PERS EUS Cape lla NORTH In the southern sky. The Cross and the Pointers remain close to the south­eastern horizon. The brilliant constellation of Orion the Hunter is above Taurus and eastwards. in Auriga the Charioteer. Below Taurus. Castor and Pollux.Skyview 4 9 pm.

Taurus the Bull has passed the meridian. Leo is therefore the easternmost of the visible zodiac signs. and Fomalhaut is nearing the south­western horizon. Orion is nearing the meridian. January: weeks three and four Sidereal time 0500 SOUTH A DR HY 2 A L VE PUPPIS PYXIS Adhara LU M 5 CAN MA IS JOR CO 7 ER OS UAT OR ER I riu s DA 6 NU S LEPUS OC M O R HYD n 0h TA UR CA te Be US es AR Hyad Aldebaran ORIO N EC LIP TIC 16 IE S Pleia des UM GE AN DR Ca OM ED A sto r Algo l AUR IGA PER Magnitudes 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter SEU S Capella NORTH In the north. Achernar is dropping down the upper south­western sky. with the brilliant blue­white Rigel in the lead. Puppis and Carina. and. are high in the south­ east. Taurus. The early stars of Leo the Lion are now rising. Gemini. Canopus is leading them up the sky. Pisces and Aries are heading for the western horizon. Behind the Argo stars come those of the Cross and Pointers. Aries and Pisces. the stars of Vela. Capella shines almost due north. once parts of the greater constellation of Argo. CA N 13 NG UL 14 MIN I CE R TR IA 15 Po llu x Reg N Pr lge IS oc us M yo e ulu IN s LEO ON RA Rige l EQ Si SEXTANS 27 EAST BA Ca no pu s 8 DORADO 1 HO AN IA TL CR R ATE 12 h CE NT A UR U S CR UX H ada r Mi m CA Rige l RI Ac ru osa NA 3 x Ken CHA CIRCIN t MUS C VO MA PIC T LA US ELE ON A NS OR TRIANGUL UM AUSTRALE MENSA CAELUM South Pole RETICULUM ARA APUS HYDRUS OCTANS UM GI LO RO Ac rn he O PAV TU ar CA NA IN DU S M IC RO SC O 4 PI U M AU ST PISC RIN IS US GR U S 12 AQUAR IUS Fom alha ut SCU LPTO R PH OE NIX FORNAX WEST PIS CE S PE GA SU S CET US M ira . still low in the south­east. but in the east Orion’s dogs and the stars of Gemini the Twins are rising high. low on the horizon. Looking south. with Regulus prominent.Skyview 5 9 pm. followed by Cancer. The faint stars of Cancer fill the space between Leo and Gemini.

the brilliance of Orion the Hunter cannot be missed. The Cross is close to nine o’clock.Skyview 6 9 pm. 28 LE M lus Betelgeuse O Pr oc yo n IN OR HY DR EC A LI PT IC EAST 0h M 5 8 CRATE R VUS COR h L VE A PICT Can OR 1 HO RO LO 2 9 CA RI NA C EN TA U RU S CR UX LU P Ha Mi Ke US da r mo nt sa Ac CIRC INU rux C HAM A MUS CA S ELE APUS TRIANGU LUM AUSTRA LE ON ARA VOL ANS opu s South Pole MENSA OCTANS RETICU DO HYDR CA LUM RA EL U DO US PAVO G IU M Ac TU he CA rn ar NA IND US 4 G RU S A U S P T R IS IN C IS U S F om a lh au t S CU L 12 PT OR AQU ARIU S PH OE NI X FORN A X ERIDANUS WEST CO CETUS LU M BA LE PU S a PIS CES AR IE S M LU . Thus six zodiac signs can be seen. just west of the meridian and high in the sky. while further down again is Auriga the Charioteer with Capella not far above the horizon. bright Canopus in Carina is nearing the meridian. Taurus lies below Orion and a little to the west. Stretched across the sky to the east of Taurus are the stars of Gemini the Twins (with Procyon in the Little Dog just above). as is even brighter Sirius in Canis Major. which is nearly overhead. from just rising Leo in the east to soon­to­set Pisces in the west. In the north­west Pisces and Aries are approaching their setting. faint Cancer and most of Leo the Lion. Looking north. February: weeks one and two Sidereal time 0600 SOUTH 3 R ige l A DR HY LIA ANT PUPPIS PYXIS 12 ha ra C M AN AJ IS OR RO 7 MO SEXTA 6 Mir Ri ge S NS Ad l Siri us NO EQ TO UA CE R Hy ad es Ald eb ORION CA aran 13 TR IA U G N Ple Re S NI gu iad es TAU R US GEMIN I Po Ca sto llu x 16 CA N R CE 14 PE Alg r 15 RS EU S AURIGA ol Capella Magnitudes 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter LYN X NORTH In the southern sky. notably Regulus. Fomalhaut is setting in the south­west. with Achernar almost opposite it at around two o’clock.

East of Gemini. lie the faint stars of Cancer the Crab. along with the Great Dog Sirius marking its heart.Skyview 7 9 pm. and lastly the early stars of Virgo. LE Casto O M 14 GEMINI r CA NC ER IN 16 O R S Pollu x LE O 29 EAST CARINA PICTOR Ca no pu DO UM 1 HO RO L FOR HY DR A 2 9 Rig e 3 RU lK LU PU S NO X RM CIR M Ha en t im A CIN da os a r Ac US ru x MU ARA T SCA RIANGU LUM AUSTR ALE VOLANS CHAMAELEON APUS South Pole MENSA RET OCTANS PAVO ICUL s US DR HY RA DO 4 CA TU Ac NA he rna IND r US GR US SC UL PT OR 0 h P HO EN IX NAX OG IU M 5 ERID AN US CA ELU M COLUM WEST CETUS Ad BA LEPU ha ra Mira S Rig el PISC ES IES . includ­ ing Regulus. Higher up but still east of the meridian is the lesser of Orion’s dogs. Orion himself. The Cross is becoming prominent in the south­east. marked by the bright star Procyon. is high in the north­west sky. with Castor and Pollux just east of north. with the well­known ‘saucepan’ and the bright stars Rigel and Betelgeuse. Puppis and Vela are nearing the top of the sky. with the Pointers following it up. Canopus has joined Achernar west of the meridian. Gemini the Twins now lies across the meridian. At the western end of the visible segment of the zodiac lie some of the stars of Pisces and Aries. now rising due east. one of the zodiac signs. then the brighter stars of Leo the Lion. The stars of Carina. They cover the large area of the sky once allotted to the one constellation Argo. February: weeks three and four Sidereal time 0700 SOUTH C S RU AU T EN C LA IA CRATER ANTL CORV VE US Spica PUPPIS PYXIS 8 VIRGO 6 M O N O SEX Siriu s CE RO S TAN S IS CAN R O MAJ 7 EQ UAT OR Be te lge es Re Hy ad eb ara n ION gu CANIS lu s 13 AR us e Pro cyon HY EC DR LI PT IC A Ald OR MINO R 12 h Pl ei ad es TA U RU PE RS 15 EU S AURIGA Cap Magnitudes 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter ella LYNX URS AM AJO R NORTH Looking south.

The western and north­western sky still belongs to Orion and his twin dogs.Skyview 8 9 pm. It stands at one o’clock and is beginning its descent of the south­western sky. with the Pointers trailing behind. Its bright star Spica lies above the eastern horizon. the true Dog Star. After only a brief appearance. the next zodiac sign Virgo the Young Maiden is now well in view. Gemini the Twins lies just west of north. with the ‘little dog star’ Procyon higher up the sky. 30 BE COM RE NI A CE S lu gu s VIRGO UA TO R C M ANI AJ S OR Si riu s 7 S CRA TER 8 EAST ge 3 NO RM A CI lK e RC nt C IN RU US ARA A X M cru im x os a Ha da r MU APUS TRIAN GUL AUST UM RALE SCA CHAMAELEON VOLANS PAVO PU South Pole MENSA OCTANS PP IS 4 RE HYD INDU TIC TUC UM UL RUS S ANA Ac HO he RO rn ar LO G IU M GR US 0h S CU LP T OR FO RN PH OE NI X 1 5 CETU S AX DO RA DO ER IDAN US CT C AE L UM O R Ca no pu s COLUMBA WEST Adha Mira Al de ba ra Hy ad es LEPUS Rig el ra n Pl eia de s PE RS EU . Almost due south of Sirius is Canopus. Sirius. March: weeks one and two Sidereal time 0800 SOUTH S PU LU Ri LA VE HYD RA 2 CARINA PI AU NT CE R US 9 ANTLIA CORVUS Spica RA LIB 6 EQ XIS PY OS Be O RI O N EC LIP tel Proc y on INOR TIC ge us HY DR A SE OC ER XT AN M ON e CAN IS M 17 Re TA U RU LE S O 14 S GEM INI Pollux Castor CANC ER 16 12h 15 AU Ca pe lla RIG A LEO MIN OR LYNX S UR AM AJ OR Magnitudes 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter NORTH The spectacular Pleiades are about to set in the north­west. is well placed to show its brilliance. with the rest of Taurus the Bull following them down. the far northern star Capella in Auriga the Charioteer is going down again west of north. coming up in the south­east. The Cross. has reached ten o’clock. Cancer the Crab and Leo the Lion are pushing through the north­eastern sky. and behind Leo. the nearest to it in brightness.

lies west of the meridian. Orion the Hunter and his two Dogs make a spectacular vista as they head for the horizon. and by Libra the Scales. with the leading star Canopus. The stars of the old Argo. the Pointers. Gemini the Twins.Skyview 9 9 pm. Higher up and a little to the south. now past one o’clock. Cancer the Crab. Carina and Puppis. The line of zodiac signs is completed by Virgo the Young Maiden. with the Pleiades first to go. are pushing the Cross up the sky in the south­east. just rising. are at the top of the sky. BO OT Pro c VIR N TA GO S CR M O N O CE RO S TL IA R yo n HYDRA ES 31 EAST 9 PUPPIS EC LIP LIB RA 10 N OR M S IU A AR Ri A g el Ke nt TR IA AU NGUL ST RA UM LE M im Ha o sa A CR cru UX x da r CIR CIN U M US C S A PAVO APUS CHAMAELEON VELA 4 OCTANS South Pole INDUS VOLA CA RIN MEN NS A R HYD SA RE TUC US C TIC ANA 0h UL UM Ac PI C TO R he HO rna D RO r LO GI UM PH O EN IX FO RN AX 1 5 OR AD O ER IDA NU S CA EL U M an op us C OLU MBA LEPUS WEST R TAU US Adhara Rigel Sir ius S NI CA JOR MA Ald eba ran Hya des Be OR IO N te lg eu se . coming up in the north­east with its bright star Spica. The ‘false cross’. is right on the meridian. and their home constellation of Centaurus. In the northern sky. lies due north between them. devoid of bright stars. second brightest in the sky. now in Vela. Taurus the Bull is close to setting. with Castor and Pollux. March: weeks three and four Sidereal time 0900 SOUTH 3 S PU LU P OR SC TIC N CE UR TA 2 US 6 A HYDR CORVUS Spica AN PYX IS 7 8 AT E R TO UA EQ X SE CA MI NIS NO R Regu lus BE CO RE M NI A CE S 14 LE O 17 GE MI NI Pollu x AU RI GA 15 Cast CANCER 16 or LEO M INOR 12h LYNX Magnitudes 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter URS A MA JOR NORTH In the north­west. made up of two stars of Vela and two of Carina. To the south. and Leo the Lion with Regulus is east of it.

Puppis and Vela. with the stars of his two dogs higher up the sky. Leo. Libra and newly risen Scorpius. have cleared the eastern horizon. Orion is now nearing the western horizon.Skyview 10 9 pm. At the top of the sky and into the south­west lie the Argo constellations of Carina. April: weeks one and two Sidereal time 1000 SOUTH S IU RP CO S An tar es 3 P LU HYDRA SERPENS CAPUT 9 COR VUS Spica ANTL IA EC 7 M ON 8 R EQ TO UA R Regulus G EM IN I Po Ca llux CAN 15 sto CER 16 r LEO MINOR A M ES CO NIC RE BE IC AT I 17 LYN Magnitudes 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter X URSA MAJOR 12 h CA N V ES EN NORTH Two new constellations. well marked by the brilliance of Canopus. with red Antares among the first to rise. with Regulus near the meridian. The second is far more spectacular. Leo is flanked by Virgo in the north­east and Gemini going down in the west. Virgo. In the south­west. Libra the Scales. Gemini is the westernmost of the zodiac signs. With Taurus now set. 32 BO OT LEO ES Arc tur 14 M CA N IN IS OR oc yo A us n HYDR VIR Pr GO SEX S TAN CR AT E EAST LI PT IC VE LA 6 LEPUS US UR TA EN C LIBR A M im 2 UX US 10 N O RM A TE L ES AR CO A PIU CI RC I M NU S TR IA N AU GUL ST RA UM LE H a Rig dar MU el SCA Ke os PAVO a A cr nt CR APUS ux 4 CHAMAELEON OCTANS South Pole INDUS LAN VO TUCAN SA MEN NA RI CA HYD S A RUS RE Ach TIC 0 h UL ern UM ar HO PH RO OE LO DO NI GI RA X FO UM DO ER ID A NU S RN AX 1 PI CT O CA EL UM R CO LU M BA CANIS MAJOR Ca no p us Adha ra PUPPIS WEST OR ION U TA RU S Rigel PYX Siriu s OC IS ER OS Be tel ge us e . both zodiac signs. with the Cross and the Pointers in conse­ quence high in the south­east. with the line then running east through faint Cancer. A brightish pair of stars marks the first. Scorpius the Scorpion forms a hook of stars. Achernar at the head of the river Eridanus is now well down. Leo the Lion lies in the middle of the northern vista.

the stars of the Argo constellations (Carina. Below the Pointers. In the north­east orange Arcturus marks the position of Bootes the Bearkeeper. Puppis and Vela) are heading down in the south­west. In the southern sky.Skyview 11 9 pm. leaving the western sky dominated by the stars of the Great and Little Dogs. while higher in the sky Spica glows in the hand of Virgo the Virgin. Achernar is almost out of sight. The Cross is nearing the top of the sky in the south­east with the stars of the Centaur grouped around. with Cancer. Gemini now in the north­west is the westernmost of the visible zodiac signs. three stars form the distinctive Southern Triangle. with Canopus leading the way. rides clear of the eastern horizon. with Regulus prominent. Libra and Scorpius lying successively further east. A NC ER LEO rc tu CA G EM ru BO OT ECLIP s ES 33 EAST TE LE S CO PIU AR M A CI R CI TR IA AU NGUL ST RA UM LE N U S PAV O 4 INDUS CR UX Mi m os a Acru x Ha Rig dar el Ke nt MUSCA APU S OCTANS TUCANA CHAMAELEON South Pole MEN VE HYDR LA SA 0 N LA VO h US CA Ach AN TLI A NA RI S erna RE TIC r UL PH PYXIS UM OE NIX PI HO CT RO O R LO E D O GI RA UM D O RI D AN U S 1 C AE LU M CO LU MB A Ca 6 LEP US Rigel no pu s Adha ra CANIS MAJO R PUPPIS WEST ORION Sirius Bete lgeu se IN I MO NO CE RO S HY DR A Pr n yo S oc NI R CA NO I M . with its red star Antares. Leo. Leo the Lion lies due north. includ­ ing Sirius and Procyon. The great constellation Orion is setting. April: weeks three and four Sidereal time 1100 SOUTH A RM OR PIU S SA A TT GI US RI A N IS RO AL CO TR S U A US LUP a Ant res 2 RU TAU S 10 OPHIUCHUS CEN S PEN SER UDA CA N O 3 SC HYDRA 7 9 SERPE NS CAPU T EQUA TOR SEX TAN S TER CRA CO RV U Sp S 8 ica LIBRA 18 RG O Re gu TIC lus VI Po llu 15 Ca x 16 LEO MIN X st or LY N MA CO ICES EN BER OR ES V TICI ENA 17 CAN Magnitudes 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter URSA MAJOR 12h NORTH Scorpius the Scorpion. Virgo.

are departing from view. The new stars in the east are a ragged square belonging to Ophiuchus. along with the faint stars of Cancer. trailing behind. with the Pointers at ten o’clock. 34 HE s RC Re gu lu VIR UL GO ES EAST 7 10 CEN A ENS SERP A CAUD 3 S PIU OR SC TUM SCU NO C IR CI NU S 2 11 T EL ES C O PI U M A IND RA US PA VO TR APU IA S AU NGU ST LU RA M LE M imo sa Acrux H Rig ada el K r ent MUSCA TUCAN OCTANS A CRU X 0h CHAMAELE South Pole PHOENIX HYDRUS MENS ON A Ache NS LA VO ERID rnar RE ANU CA TIC RI S UL NA UM HO RO LO DO PI GIU CT RA O M 1 ER I DA N U S DO R CA EL U M C OL 6 LEP US UM BA PU PP IS CAN MA IS JOR Adh ara Ca no pu s VE LA ORION Sirius PYXIS ANTLIA WEST Pro OCE ROS GE MI NI HY DR cyo n NIS CA OR N MI CA N CE A Po llu x R . The bright star Canopus is almost at three o’clock in the south­west with the stars of the old Argo constellations. May: weeks one and two Sidereal time 1200 SOUTH 4 NA RO LIS CO TRA S AU GI SA I AR TT US A RM R TAU LUP s Antare US US 9 CO RVU S Sp ica EC LIP TIC SE SE R CA PENS PU T XT AN S CRA TER EQU R ATO LIBR 8 MON OPHIUCHUS HYDR A LEO Ar ctu ru s BO O TE S 18 A N IS RO L O EA C R BO 15 16 LEO X COMA S ICE BEREN 17 LY N MIN OR CANES VENATI CI URS AM AJO R Magnitudes 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter 12h URSA MAJO R NORTH The unmistakable hook of Scorpius. is climbing the eastern sky. Castor and Pollux. remind us of the departed Orion. Leo the Lion now graces the north­west sky. the Man Wrestling with a Serpent. The Cross is almost as high as it can get in the south. both soon to set. has risen in the south­east. Puppis and Vela. Orange Arcturus in Bootes is prominent in the north­east. with red Antares in its centre. the ‘dog stars’ Sirius and Procyon. and the next zodiac sign. Above the western horizon. Carina. with Regulus prominent. and Virgo is nearing the meridian. looking more like a teapot than an archer.Skyview 12 9 pm. Sagittarius. the bright stars of Gemini.

Skyview 13
9 pm, May: weeks three and four Sidereal time 1300
SOUTH
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The sky due north is dominated by the zodiac sign Virgo with its bright star Spica. Leo the Lion with Regulus is heading for the horizon in the north­west. West of Leo lie the faint stars of Cancer the Crab. Ophiuchus the serpent man is clear of the north­eastern horizon, and another hero, Hercules, similarly large and faint, is rising further north. To the south, the Cross is now just past the meridian. Centaurus is high in the sky, and further east, the Scorpion is rising to prominence, with the teapot of Sagittarius the Archer close behind. The line of the zodiac runs north­west across the sky from Sagittarius, through Scorpius, Libra, Virgo and Leo, to the soon­to­set Cancer. To the west, Canopus is sinking low. Both Sirius in the Great Dog and Procyon in the Little Dog float above the western horizon, ready to set in an hour or two.

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Skyview 14
9 pm, June: weeks one and two Sidereal time 1400
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Most prominent in the northern sky is Bootes the Herdsman, Ploughman or Bearkeeper, depending on which interpretation of legend is taken. Its leading star Arcturus is close to the meridian. In the north­west, Leo the Lion is near to setting, with Regulus showing the way. Above Leo, Virgo is also heading down. Ophiuchus and Hercules hang in the north­east, big but dim. The Pointers have reached the top of the southern sky, pushing the Cross into the south­west. The stars of the Centaur lie in the zenith. As a result, Achernar is as low as it can get, hugging the southern horizon. Canopus in Carina, with the other old Argo stars, is well down in the south­west. Scorpius and Sagittarius stand high in the south­east, and below them the dimmer zodiac sign Capricornus the Sea­Goat is coming up.

36

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The Cross, though high in the south­west, is now descending. The many stars of the old sign of Argo, now formed into the constellations Vela, Puppis and Carina, crowd the south­west, with Canopus near the horizon. The brightish Southern Triangle is about to cross the meridian. In the east, Capricornus the Sea­Goat is all but up, so that six zodiac signs span the sky to the north­west where Leo is setting. The signs between (running east to west) are Sagittarius (the ‘teapot’), the brilliant Scorpius, the dimmer Libra and Virgo high in the north­west. Filling the northern sky are Bootes the Herdsman, with its bright star Arcturus well west of the meridian, and, further east the heroes Hercules and Ophiuchus, large but with no bright stars. In the north­east, a new bright star has risen, Altair in Aquila the Eagle.

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Virgo and the setting Leo. Vega in Lyra the Harp has risen. In the north­ west. Bootes with its bright star Arcturus vies with Virgo and Spica. standing at two o’clock. two bright stars hug the horizon: the never­setting Achernar in Eridanus. the Cross is now well past the meridian and noticeably lower in the sky. Further north the striking Scorpius is almost overhead. Zodiac signs to the west are Libra. Slightly east of north. July: weeks one and two Sidereal time 1600 SOUTH S R IS INU TO SC R LP PI ST U AU SC S RU G 0h S DU IN 4 IUM P CO OS CR MI E S T SCORPIUS IT SAG An TUM 9 ta re 11 EQ TO UA R SCU 10 LIB US s SE R CA PE U NS DA Alt air H OP IU 12h BE CO RE M NI A CE S BO OT ES CORONA BOREALIS g Ve a C VE ANE NA S TIC I Magnitudes 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter R LY A HERC ULES UR MA SA JOR NORTH In the north­east. with other zodiac signs Sagittarius and Capricornus between it and the eastern horizon.Skyview 16 9 pm. Anticlockwise from the Cross are the Pointers and the fainter Southern Triangle at the top of the sky. and Fomalhaut in the Southern Fish. Leo the Lion is setting. Low in the south­east. To the south. with Regulus already gone. making a pair with Altair in Aquila the Eagle higher in the east. 38 CY 17 18 G VU 19 N E LP U S CU LA SA 16 s GI ctu ru TT A Ar SERPENS CAPUT UI AQ DE LPH LA INU S EQU RA CH ULE US EAST IPTIC ECL S AQUARIU NA CORO LIS TRA AUS IU TAR AR 3 N OR M A S RNU RICO CAP L CO ES PI U M 12 Fo a lh m au t PH OE NI X ERI DA TU NU CA NA S HOROL PA VO Ache rna OCT ANS r HYDRUS OGIU A M 1 CIR TRIANGULUM AUSTRALE RETICULUM LUP APUS US South Pole CHAM MENSA CIN DORA Ri ge AELEO US lK r a da os Ha im en SC MU DO Ac N t rux M VOL A ANS CR Can PIC U X opu TO CA R s RIN A VE LA PU PP IS 2 PY XI S AN TL IA HYD RA CEN 8 TAU SEXTANS RU S CRATER WEST CORV US HY Spi ca DR A VIR GO LEO . a large area of sky is taken up with the less than spectacular Hercules and Ophiuchus.

In the south­east. and newly rising Aquarius the Water­Carrier. the bright star Fomalhaut is prominent. we find Lyra the Harp with Vega and Altair. and Virgo close to setting. the bright star Spica in the setting constellation Virgo is still well up. Puppis has already gone. marking the Southern Fish. In the north­west. the teapot­like Sagittarius the Archer. faint triangular Capricornus the Sea­Goat. lying across the Milky Way. the Cross and the Pointers are going down and the stars of the Argo constellations (Carina and Vela) are dropping out of sight. DE ur us SA LP Ar ct AQ U GI HI A IL TT A NU 12 h SER PE CAP NS UT S S EN RP DA SE CAU Al ta EQ 20 PEG OPHIUCHUS ir ASU S EQ UAT SC OR 39 EAST TE LE SC O PI UM SC OR PIU NO S RM A S 3 M Fom alh aut 4 0h PH OE N IX ER IDA A TU che rn NU HOR CA S NA OLO ar GIU OCT ANS PAV O HYDR M 1 RETICULU US M TRIANGULUM AUSTRALE CI ARA CIR DORADO South Pole CHAMAEL MENSA APU NU EON S N VOLA PICT Ri SC MU r da Ha ge OR S lK rux Ac A en M t CAR im os a INA CR U X 2 VE CE NT AU R US LA AN TL I A HY 8 CRATER CORVUS DR A LUPU WEST VIR S Spica LEO BE GO A M ES CO NIC RE . July: weeks three and four Sidereal time 1700 SOUTH RU S G U S CI RIN PIS ST U A S U SC T LP OR S DU IN IU COP ROS MIC S ORNU SAGITTA CORONA AUSTRALIS CAPRIC RIUS AQUA 12 RIUS 9 Antares ECLIP TIC 11 UT UM 10 LIB RA S LEU UU 17 COR O BOR NA EALIS 18 VU LP EC UL A 19 CY GN US BO OT ES HERCULES Vega A LYR Magnitudes 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter DRACO NORTH The spectacular Scorpius is now overhead.Skyview 17 9 pm. In the north­east. Running down to the eastern horizon are three other zodiac signs. In the south­west. Due north lie the large but faint star signs of Ophiuchus and Hercules. the brightest star in Aquila the Eagle. To the west of Scorpius lie a pair of stars marking Libra the Scales. while further east lies Bootes with its lead star Arcturus.

With Vega in Lyra and Altair in Aquila. In the west. on through less showy Libra to Virgo setting in the west. six zodiac signs arch across the sky. to be visible for some months. 40 PE GA NS SERPE CAUDA UU LE US HU S AQ UI LA EQU ATOR Al ta EQ SU ir S PISCE S EAST 12 h SAGITTARIUS 9 12 AQUARIUS CET h TE LES CO PIU M ARA 3 N O RM US IN 4 SC UL PTO RU R 5 DU S E RI DA NU S H OR O Ac LO he GIU rna UC A M r NA RETIC HYD U LUM RUS OCT ANS PAV O DORADO CHAMAELEON South Pole MENSA r LUM TRIANGU LE da US Ha CIN AUSTRA CIR PICTOR VOLANS APUS CARINA MU A SCA Ac ru M x im os a CR UX VE LA AN TL IA 2 HY 8 CRAT ER DR A CE NT AU RU S R Ke ige nt l CORVU S Spica LUP US Antares SCOR WEST PIUS VIRGO Ar LIBR A BE MA S CO NICE RE ct ur us .Skyview 18 9 pm. Deneb at the tail of Cygnus the Swan. the Cross is now at three o’clock in the south­west and going down. it makes up the prominent Winter Triangle. with the Pointers and the distinctive but only brightish Southern Triangle above it. from Aquarius in the north­east. Virgo with its bright star Spica is prepar­ ing to set and Arcturus in Bootes is close to setting. The large faint constellations Ophiuchus and Hercules fill the sky just west of north. Higher up still. Bright Fomalhaut in the Southern Fish lies almost due east of the Pole. August: weeks one and two Sidereal time 1800 SOUTH 1 O PH EN IX T S G S CIS NU PIS STRI AU IU COP ROS Foma lhaut M CORONA AUSTRALIS MIC NUS 0 10 OP SC U M TU 11 CAPRICOR ECLIPTI C HIU C SE R CA PE PU NS T SA GI A TT DE H LP IN U S 17 BO OT CO BO RON RE A AL IS VULP ECUL A 18 19 CY Vega 20 GN US ES HERCU LE LYRA S De ne b Magnitudes 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter DRACO NORTH In the north­east. through Capricornus and the bright well­placed Sagittarius and Scorpius. a third bright star has risen. Looking south.

and Virgo and Bootes setting in the west and north­west. The latter are outshone by Fomalhaut in the Southern Fish. and Altair in Aquila the Eagle high in the sky. Vega in Lyra the Harp almost due north. lie west and east respectively of Scorpius. The Cross is well down in the south­west.Skyview 19 9 pm. while Capricornus and Aquarius lie north­east of Sagittarius. PE US GA SU S SERPE NS CAUD A U AQ Alt air ILA EQ U U LE U S PIS CES 0 h 41 EAST ECLIP Fomalha CETUS TELE SCOPIUM 9 S CIS INU PIS STR AU IN D U S AR A A RM S O U N IN RC CI US 4 GR SC 3 COR VUS LUP PTO R FO RN AX UL 5 HO Ac h er 1 RO LO G IU M R ETI CU DOR A na r LUM DO TU HY D CA NA RU OCT ANS S PAVO PICTOR CHAMAELEON MENSA South Pole ULUM TRIANG ALE AUSTR VOLANS CARINA APU S SCA MU 2 nt Ke el ar Rig Had Ac ru x M im os a CR VE UX LA HY 12 D CE h RA N TA UR US SC Spica OR US PIU S LIBRA Antares CORONA AUSTRALIS WEST VIRGO S EN RP UT SE AP C us O BO S TE . The rest of the north is dull by compari­ son. with the Pointers above it. Deneb in Cygnus the Swan a little to the east. Aquarius and the rising Pegasus in the north­east. which is now prominent in the south­east. Libra and Sagittarius. curved Scorpius is past the meridian. The westernmost sign is the setting Virgo. August: weeks three and four Sidereal time 1900 SOUTH S U N A ID ER X NI OE PH IUM SCOP ut MICRO TIC 10 SAGIT EQU ATO R TARIU S 11 SCUTUM CAPR ICOR NUS 12 AQUARIUS 17 Arc tur OP HI UC HU S SAGITTA DE LP HIN C BO OR RE ON AL A IS 18 VUL PEC ULA 19 20 Vega HER LYRA CU LES CYGN US LA Den eb CE A RT Magnitudes 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter DRAC O NORTH The northern sky is dominated by the three bright stars of the Winter Triangle. the large but dim Ophiuchus and Hercules in the north­west. Higher still. both zodiac signs.

Of the brighter stars only Fomalhaut in the Southern Fish is high. Scorpius is plunging head­first into the west. with the early stars of Pisces the Fish following it up the sky. September: weeks one and two Sidereal time 2000 SOUTH E DA RI S NU 1 AX RN FO S RU G SCU OR LPT PH 4 TEL ESC X NI OE ECL IPT IC MICROSCOPIUM IS PISC INUS R UST Fomalhaut A 5 CETUS ER S NU IDA R 11 CAPRICORNUS AQUA EQ 12 UA TO RIUS 10 SA G SE R CA PENS UD A AQUILA Altair S E U QU LE US AS U S PE VULPECULA 18 HE RC UL 19 ES 20 0h LYRA Vega Deneb LAC A ERT Magnitudes 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter CYGNUS NORTH The southern sky has its duller spring­time look. lying in the south­east and forming a distinctive pattern with some stars of nearby Grus the Crane. Vega in Lyra the Harp and Deneb in Cygnus the Swan. with Libra the Scales leading it down and Sagittarius the Archer close behind. Canopus in Carina is against the southern horizon. No other bright stars are in sight. has risen above the north­east horizon. Further east are other fainter zodiac signs Capricornus and Aquarius. and Achernar in Eridanus is still coming up in the south­east. Due north glitter the stars of the Winter Triangle: Altair in Aquila the Eagle. 42 AN DR OM SAGIT TA DELP HINU ED G A PISC ES 13 EAST HO RO L OG IU M RE T DO RA ICU A DO ch e LU rn M ar HY D Can opu RU S T PICT UC A s OR NA MENSA CHAMAELEON PAVO VOLANS CARINA South Pole INDUS M GULU TRIAN TRALE AUS NS OCTA UM OPI 2 APU AR MUS S A CA Rig el Ke Ha CI Ac RC nt da rux IN r U VE S M LA im os CR a UX 12h CE N TA U HY D RA RU S 3 9 LU PU S Antare s NO RM A SCOR CO AUS RONA TRA LIS VIRGO PIUS LIBRA WEST SC UT UM IT TA RI U S OP S EN RP SE PUT CA HI UC HU S NA RO IS CO EAL R BO . but the Great Square of Pegasus. only brightish but distinctive.Skyview 20 9 pm. The bright stars of the Cross and Pointers are sinking in the south­west.

AR IES CE AQU ILA S Mira 43 EAST 10 CETUS 5 FOR NIX S ERID 4 IND U S NAX S ANU CA EL U M H OR OL OG I UM RE C ano p T DO R ICU us LU M PIC AD TO O Ac R he r HY na DR r US CARIN MENS VOLANS TUC A AN A CHAMAELEON OCTANS A South Pole PAVO 2 APU TE OP SC LE CA MUS S IU CIR M Rig UM E UL AL NG TR IA US TR A CIN Acr el US Ha Ke ux da nt r CR Mi UX 12 h mo sa CE A N U TA RU S HY D RA 3 9 LU PU S NO RM AR A Ant ares LIBRA SCO RPI U S CO AU RONA STR ALIS SAGITTARIUS WEST S PEN SER UT CAP OPH IUCH US SCU TUM S EN A RP D SE AU C . the Cross is low to the south­west. the mouth of the Southern Fish. Libra is close to setting and Scorpius is diving downwards. is correspondingly high in the south­east. the end of the river Eridanus. The line of the zodiac then runs eastwards through Sagittarius. September: weeks three and four Sidereal time 2100 SOUTH 1 A ID ER S NU 6 RU OE PH G MICROSCOPIUM ut alha Fom ISCIS P US TRIN AUS SCU LPTO R RIU 11 CA PR ICO RN US 12 S UA AQ EQ UAT OR ECLIPTIC Alta ir PIS EQUULE US SA GIT TA DELPHINUS G PE AS US 13 18 HE RC VULPEC ULA 19 U LE S 20 O DR M ED A LY R A Veg a CYGN US AN 0h Deneb Magnitudes 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter LA TA CER NORTH In the north­west Ophiuchus and Hercules are setting. The Winter Triangle of Vega. With the surrounding constellations such as Aquarius and Cetus the Whale (just rising). all of the faint stars of the zodiac sign Pisces the Fish are now in view. claws first. with the fainter Great Square of Pegasus in the north­east. Further east still.Skyview 21 9 pm. Achernar. Pisces makes up the ‘wet corner’ of the sky. Higher still is Fomalhaut. Altair and Deneb dominates the north­west. In the south. Capricornus and Aquarius to the newly risen Pisces. In the west.

Achernar marks the end of the river Eridanus. Further east. The faint sign Pisces lies mostly above Pegasus. representing both Pegasus and Andromeda. is making a return. the zodiac sign of Aries the Ram has risen. Vega (in Lyra the Harp) and Deneb (in Cygnus the Swan) remains prominent. October: weeks one and two Sidereal time 2200 SOUTH 1 HO RO LO G IU M NU S E CA M LU M LU CO BA 4 IX INDUS EN Fomalhaut PISCIS S AUSTRINU SCULPTO FORN PHO R AX 12 IC Mira 11 CA PR CETUS 5 AQUARI US EQU R ATO TT A VU NU S LY R A CY Ve g a GN US A Dene b TA LACER 0h R ND OM ED A Magnitudes 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter NORTH On the south­east horizon. the Winter Triangle of Altair (in Aquilia the Eagle). Fomalhaut in the Southern Fish nears the top of the sky. The north­east sky belongs to the Great Square of Pegasus.Skyview 22 9 pm. while further west are Aquarius and Capricornus. In the north­west. Canopus. balancing the sinking of the Cross and the Pointers which are now at four or five o’clock. Sagittarius and Scorpius continue their fall down the western sky. 44 TR IA N G 19 20 13 U LU LPE CU LA M AR SA GI DEL PHI PEGA SUS IES US PI 18 ir EQU ULE SC Al ta ES ECLIPTIC TAUR US EAST G RU S M IC 10 ER IDA 6 P UP P IS Ca n op us DO RA P RE T ICT DO IC OR UL CAR UM INA Ac VO he HY LAN S rn DR ar VELA US MENSA 2 TUCAN CHAMAELEON South Pole A OCTAN RO MUSC SC IN S RC APU CI LUM NGU RALE T TRIA AUS ent el K Rig dar Ha VO PA O S U PI A M ux Acr 12 h Mi CRU mo AR sa X US A CE SAG AU NT RU S LU PU S LIB RA 3 NO RM A An tar es TE LE SC O S CO RP IU S COR AUS ONA TRA LIS PI U M WEST HE OPHIUCHU S RC UL ES SCUTU M ITTA RIUS OR NU S S EN RP A SE AUD C AQ U IL A . second brightest star in the sky. Higher in the south­east sky.

AR IE HI PI PEGASUS E SC S ECLIPTIC NU S S TA U 14 45 EAST Ac S 4 E CA M LU L CO BA UM P UP P C an op u IS s DO RA DO PI CT R OR ET IC CAR VEL VO UL INA A UM LA N S 2 MEN SA he HYDRU rna CHAMAELEON r GRU South Pole S TUCANA PISCIS AUSTRINUS CENTAURUS S MUSCA Fomalhaut OCTA LUM NGU E TRIA USTRAL A 12 NS h APU x Acru VO PA S el Rig a Had CRU IN DU S Mim Ken X r osa t CI RC IN US AR CE A AU NT N O Al RM RU A S LU PU LI BR A 3 S SC OR P An ta res IU S T EL ES CO PI 10 C AU ORON STR A ALI S UM MIC R OPHIUCHUS OSC SCUTUM SAGITTARIUS WEST OPIU M CO S PEN SER DA CAU AQ UI LA SA GI A TT ta ir RN US . The ‘wet corner’ of the sky is overhead. with a distinctive pair of brightish stars. Aquarius. is the easternmost of the risen zodiac signs. Further west. October: weeks three and four Sidereal time 2300 SOUTH M IU G LO O R HO 1 LEPU NAX NIX OE 6 ERIDANUS SCULPTOR PH FOR Rigel 11 CA PRI 5 US CET Mira R TO UA EQ 12 AQ U AR IU S RU S EQ DE LP UU LE US VU LP 19 LY RA EC UL A 20 13 N IA GU LU M CY GN US LACERTA eb 12h TR Magnitudes 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter Den AND ROM EDA NORTH In the north­west. leaving Altair in Aquila the Eagle higher in the sky. In the north. lie Pisces. Capricornus. stretching both north­east and north­west. the Great Square of Pegasus is about to cross the meridian. the Winter Triangle has begun to set. Cetus. Constellations such as the Southern Fish. with Vega in Lyra the Harp first to go. Eridanus and Pisces all have watery connections. Aquarius. Aries the Ram in the north­east.Skyview 23 9 pm. In the west. Capricornus and the ‘tea­pot’ Sagittarius. Scorpius is setting. Deneb in Cygnus the Swan will be next. and running steeply up the sky.

Though fainter. straddling the meridian. Scorpius is setting. but Canopus in Carina and Achernar in Eridanus (in the south­east) and Fomalhaut in the Southern Fish (overhead) are prominent. announcing that summer is coming. through Capricornus. reddish Aldebaran has joined the Pleiades marking Taurus the Bull. Cygnus is setting. The Cross is upside­down against the southern horizon.Skyview 24 9 pm. In the south­west. the rising of Rigel signals the return of the brilliant constellation Orion the Hunter. November: weeks one and two Sidereal time 2400 SOUTH 2 u op n Ca h Ad LU CO A MB ara s 7 NIS CA OR J MA M ELU CA OG OL ENIX LEPU HO R S PHO FORNAX 12 ha SCU Fo m al ut 5 R ATO EQU ERIDANUS LPT OR T CE US TAU RU Mi ra S ECLIPTIC PEG ASU S Ple iad AR IES es 19 20 13 TR IAN GU M LU PE RS EU S CY GN US M DRO EDA o Alg l LACER Magnitudes 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter TA AN 0h NORTH In the east. and Aquila with its bright star Altair is headed the same way. The latter makes a lop­sided cross with stars of Grus the Crane. the Great Square of Pegasus is prominent. and the visible zodiac signs run from Sagittarius in the west. 46 Hy ad PISC ES es 14 Ald eb aran EAST 11 CAPR 6 Rigel ORION s Siriu M IU 4 IN DU S 1 Ach e rna r DO RA DO PU PP I S V ELA CA PIC RIN A TO R VO LAN S R ETI C UL UM MEN SA CHAMA CENTAURUS HYDRUS ELEON South Pole 12h TUCAN Acrux OCTA MUSCA A ULUM TRIANG LE A AUSTR CRUX Mimosa US GR NS Hadar Rigel S APU Kent RU TAU CEN VO PA CIR S CIN US 3 AR A P LU NO SC OP IU M RM US A SC OR P 10 OPH IUCH US IU S T EL E C O AU RON STR A ALI S SAG IT TA RIUS MI CR SCUTUM O SC OP OPHIUCHUS IUM WEST IS PISC US RIN AUST U ICORN S SERPEN CAUDA U AQ ILA a Alt ir S EQ UU LE R UA AQ IU S VU LPE CU LA DE LP HI NU S US GI SA A TT . to Aries and Taurus in the north­east. taking Deneb. Aquarius and Pisces. In the north­west. To the north­east.

For instance. the region near Leo the Lion (in the north-western sky) bears the number 16. 47 . on the Skyview for 9 pm in early June (No. •    he sky areas covered by these charts are above the horizon  T for around 8 to 10 hours at a stretch. Charts 5 to 12 •  These charts are to be read looking to the north. 14). Each chart is accompanied by information about the celestial objects visible in the particular region of the night sky and about the stories behind the stars and constellations. •    he  stars  shown  on  these  charts  will  be  found  in  a  band  T running from north-east to north-west and crossing the lower half of the northern sky.THE NIGHT SKY IN DETAIL Using the Sky Charts The 20 charts in this section cover the whole night sky visible from around 35 degrees south latitude in much greater detail than the Skyviews in the previous section.  •    he sky areas covered by these charts are above the horizon  T for about 14 hours at a stretch. Charts 1 to 4 •    ost of the sky area covered by these charts is always above  M the horizon. •  These charts are to be read looking to the south. Charts 13 to 20 •  These charts are to be read looking to the north. indicating that Sky Chart 16 shows this region in greater detail. •    he  stars  shown  on  these  charts  will  be  found  in  a  band  T running from east to west and crossing the sky high up to the north of the zenith. To determine which of the Sky Charts to use. refer to the large numbers distributed across the Skyviews. There are three groups of charts in this section.

marks the end of the long winding constellation Eridanus the River. as a look through binoc   ars will reveal. It is far enough north to have been seen (and named) from Egypt in ancient times.) ia and varies from magnitude 4. Of these. commonly seen as yellow and blue. R Hor lies close to the border with Eridanus (near 3 hr. 63 deg. being the nearest star systems or gal  x es to our own. 48 . a couple of birds (a toucan and a phoenix). The Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC).4) separated by 12 arc seconds (near 4 hr 50. The nebula sur  ounds a star called 30 Doradus. A smaller globular cluster (N362) abuts the SMC on the side away from the pole. It was near to this nebula that the supernova known as 1987A r appeared in February 1987. 50 deg. a male water serpent (Hydrus). spectacular in binoculars or smaller telescopes and astonishing in bigger ones. A pair of stars (magnitudes 5.).000).3 to 14. tucked on the clockwise side of the tri  n  le of stars that covers most of Hydrus. This weaving line of faintish stars (only Achernar is brighter than magnitude 3) is the longest of the constellations. Two degrees (a thumb’s width) clockwise from  the  SMC  lies  one  of  the  finest  glob   ar  clus ers  in  the  heavens. is only one sixth the apparent size of its neighbour. These two misty patches of light are visible to the naked eye only in a clear dark sky. 54 deg.).9. and begins way to the north near Orion. which is about the size of the Full Moon.  p aa ul but lie beyond the Milky Way. A double star worth seeking is Herschel 3670 in the constellation Reticulum (near 4 hr 30. though none of the stars is bright other than Achernar.3 every 404 days. with a roughly ‘Australia-shaped’ collection of brightish to mediocre stars lying clockwise of Eridanus. a pair of yellow stars (magnitudes 5. and further away (200. a swordfish (Dorado). In the sky they lie roughly equi­ a i distant from each other and from the South (Celestial) Pole. 8. Of far greater interest are the two Clouds of Magellan. the width of a fist at arm’s length in each  a g direc ion (or 20 times the width of the Full Moon). which lies in Tucana. Caelum (the engraving tool!). This first magnitude star. Horologium boasts a notable Mira­type var   ble. In Pictor lies Dunlop 18 (Iota Pictoris). Eridanus is most likely a heavenly representation of the Nile.000 light years rather than 160. It is about 10 degrees square. The colour contrast is strong.CHArT 1 0 Hours to 6 Hours rA 90 to 45 degrees Dec This is a crowded corner of the sky in terms of constellations. This is ul t t 47 Tucanae (N104). Grouped about Eridanus and mostly further south are a host of minor star pictures named much more recently. of vast numbers of sep  r  te stars. The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) lies mostly in the constellation Dorado. the ‘table mountain’ (Mensa) and four very dull ones: Pictor (the painter’s easel). a grid used for making star maps).6 and 6.  bet ered  only  by  Omega Centauri. and should reveal within the Cloud  t the spider-like Tarantula Nebula (N2070). Binoculars will clarify its shape. like the Milky Way. also called the Great Looped Nebula. the most interesting is perhaps Phoenix. Both are com  osed. They were seen by the first Portuguese sailors to round the Cape of Good Hope some decades earlier and were known for a time as the Cape Clouds. Horologium (the clock) and Reticulum (the reticle. but seems brighter.4) are separated by a largeish 32 seconds of arc. ninth in order of brightness among the stars. named after the great Spanish navigator but not discovered by him.

3 APUS –80° –70° RS 2 –60° A O –50° –40° CHAMAELEON VOLANS CARINA N Y G –90° South Celestial Pole Canopus R TZ 2070 Tarantula SN1987A Nebula PUPPIS G –80° OCTANS MENSA LMC WZ 6h PICTOR COLUMBA 1672 18 1851 DORADO h 3670 R HYDRUS SMC R 1313 1566 1808 INDUS –70° 47 Tuc (104) 362 RETICULUM CAELUM 5h 4 TUCANA Achernar p q1 q2 HOROLOGIUM 1433 43 41 6 R y e f h –60° g i –30° 1291 ERIDANUS 1316 s 1365 1399 4h Acamar FORNAX –50° 1398 1360 GRUS 1097 –20° PHOENIX –40° Ankaa 1232 SCULPTOR 55 300 ERIDANUS 1h 0h 5 DEEPSKY OBJECTS –30° 2h –20° 3h MAGNITUDES 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies 49 .

 Many maps  e e show it as marking nothing more important than the end of one of the oars. Five degrees polewards from Eta Carina is the bright open cluster I2602 (also called Theta Carinae). 9.9 every 149 days. separation 28 arc seconds. Herschel (h) 4332 is blue and white. magnitude 2. It is often thought the star most likely to form the next supernova visible from Earth. The star Eta Carinae lies at the heart of the nebula. the  nt et et nebula is a naked-eye object on dark nights. Now at seventh magnitude. blue-white stars of magnitude 1. Only 650 light years away. which lies 40 degrees anti-clockwise. but last century it outshone all but Sirius. It contains about 30 blue-white stars. It is large (75 minutes by 50 minutes) but faint (magnitude 7). it is visible only with optical aid. Canopus. R Carinae (near 9 hr 30. larger and fainter than the ‘real’ Southern Cross. magnitude 2 and nearly a degree across. and not all of them are marked on this chart (see Chart 7). 50 . The fading of Eta Carinae has dimmed the outlines of the Keyhole Nebula. The Milky Way flows across this region of sky. from visible to invisible with the naked eye) every 141 days.2. though more ancient sources place it on the rudder. which lies 10 degrees anti-clockwise and a similar distance further away from the pole.6. diameter 50). clockwise from the Southern Cross about 30 degrees (about one hour on an ordinary clockface) and therefore about 101 ⁄ 2 hours of RA. One expla  a ion of the name is that it is from a famous sea captain at the time of the Trojan War.5 and back every 309 days. which lies about 10 degrees polewards and anti-clockwise of Gamma Velorum. close enough to be in the same field of view (near 10 hr 45. m Canopus is a guide to the notable semi-regular variable star L2 Puppis. but oriented similarly in the sky.CHArT 2 6 Hours to 12 Hours rA 90 to 45 degrees Dec This part of the sky was once ruled by the mighty constellation Argo Navis.6 magnitude companion 40 arc seconds distant.5. L2 Pup shifts from magnitude 2. magnitudes 7. The stars of Puppis and Pyxis lie further away from the South Pole than the other two constellations.). and Pyxis the Mariner’s Compass. most luminous and most unstable stars known. Gamma Velorum is a relatively easy double. another rectangle of stars marking Puppis the Poop. it is one of the closer clusters. both found close to the 10 hours  ia RA meridian. Two stars of Vela and two of Carina are commonly grouped to form the False Cross. the ship Argo. At mag  i ude 3 and 2 degrees diam   er (four times the diam   er of the Full Moon). Vela contains a pair of doubles (four stars altogether).3. delin  at ng one of the spiral arms of the galaxy in which we live. the bright  st star in the area and the second bright  st in the whole night sky. 61 deg. Another cluster (N3766. Herschel (h) 4330 has a yellow 5. The ram from which the fleece came is rep  e  ented else  here in  r s w the sky by the zodiac sign Aries.  e i Against  the  Milky Way. and is one of the largest.) moves between 4. separated by 41 seconds of arc. the misshapen pentagon of Vela the Sail. 49 deg. and occupying the most clockwise position among the brightish stars in that constellation. as the Eta Carinae Nebula was called by John Herschel. 63 deg. lies in Carina. You might also chase I2391 (Omicron Velorum.) moves from 3.2 (that is. Two notable Mira­type var   bles inhabit Carina. In the Argo the ancient Greek hero Jason and his band of 50 ‘argonauts’ rowed and sailed west  ard into the Black Sea in quest of the magical  w Golden Fleece in the century before the Trojan War.8 and 4.5 and 9. which is hard to find. when he  nt com  anded the ship of King Menaleus.  binoc   ars  will  reveal  some  of  the  bright  and  dark  intri  a  ies  of  the  Eta Carinae Nebula ul c c (N3372). Argo is broken down into four constellations on modern maps.6 to 6. known as the Pearl Cluster) lies 10 degrees clockwise of Alpha Crux (or roughly halfway between Alpha Crux and I2602). Perhaps because it took up so much of the sky. Also within Vela. the roughly rectangular Carina the Keel.9 to 10. S Carinae (near 10 hr 09. Several bright star clusters surround it.1 magnitude primary with a blue 8.

2395 O A Q V J MY H Q P I L1 L2 C D E A F y d1-3 z e f 2527 M T O N h2 AH e 2547 B A n b w d h S f a g l k1 k2 2997 c z –60° –30° CARINA D ANTLIA 10h Canopus N PYXIS –50° PICTOR G Y Naos a b c 2477 2451 h1 2546 q r w G PUPPIS HYDRA –20° MZ COLUMBA –40° 1851 x v2 v1 2439 6h 7h 7 DEEPSKY OBJECTS –30° 8h –20° 9h MAGNITUDES 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies 51 .2 f 2867 g R N O Q 3201 q 3132 LMC VOLANS D1 2 D 2516 C B I 1 Avior L M K u m DORADO G WZ 8 VELA y F I.2448 Miaplacides l R k m h n 2808 i 3144 11h U r –70° SN1987A 2070 Tarantula Nebula c Aspidiske a d e1 e2 b1.2581 J z x Y p t s i C1 12h –80° HYI TZ I RS H G K I.4 –80° –70° 3 –60° 4755 H –50° e w –40° n APUS S 4833 R 4609 Mimosa Gacrux G l CHAMAELEON –90° South Celestial Pole Acrux 4372 S F u OCTANS R 3195 MUSCA CRUX 3918 3766 A CENTAURUS E D B C3 C2 3532 u 3293 r I.2391 E C I.2602 L M 3211 z1 z2 T Eta Carinae U Nebula 3372 p q S w t1 t2 s MENSA E I.

 Though rel   ively faint.000 times more light. and Ara in t the Altar. the Southern Cross. beginning with Acrux at the bottom. Squeezed between  in the Coal Sack and Beta Crucis is the Jewel Box (N4755). Binoculars will reveal its unstar-like fuzziness and may reveal individual stars in outlying regions. and lying 2 degrees away from the primary. Alpha is a multiple. They lie less than 5 degrees apart. The globular cluster Omega Centauri (N5139) is almost the size of the Full Moon. Centaurs were mythical beasts.9). though it has been sug  ested that the con  tel a ion. a diffuse nebula surrounds the star Lambda Crucis. the Triangle and Ara. locate his hindlegs. being a red giant star.). Gamma Crucis at the top is distinctly reddish. Acrux is a multiple star.). Also in the area (but dim) are Norma the Set Square. Alpha is not only the nearest bright star to our Sun. Anti­clockwise of the Cross lies the imag   a ively named Southern Triangle (Triangulum Australe). magnitudes 4. Beta Crucis is often called Mimosa (a name for wattle). half man and half horse and often held to be wise and noble. Polewards of the Cross we find the small constellation Musca the Fly. and showing the way to it. the smallest of the official constellations. it is half the width of the Full Moon and among the bright  st and largest of the exter­ at e nal galaxies (near 13 hr 25. but the components are only 4 arc seconds apart and difficult to separate in small instruments. In the upper reaches of the Centaur are two sights worth seeking out. a multi-coloured open cluster of at least 50 stars grouped around the red giant Kappa Crucis. the Pointers. The Pointers look about equally bright but are in reality very dif er  nt. Five degrees anti-clockwise from Gamma Crucis. the stars are known as Rigil Kentaurus and Hadar (or Agena). it is also the most Sun-like of the nearby stars. The Milky Way runs behind  ul s the Cross. with two semicircular segments separated by a dark lane of dust. which abuts the Scorpion. the Centaur stands astride the Cross. A large dark nebula dubbed the Coal Sack. One is the giant elliptical galaxy Centaurus A (N5128. lying 4 degrees closer to the pole. The constellation may represent the centaur Chiron. It is bright because it is close (16. is a dim red dwarf. was formed out of stars of Centaurus by early navigators of the South Seas. facing anti-clockwise. The five main stars in Crux decrease in brightness moving clockwise around the constellation. resem  les more a  g s lt e b badly made kite than a cross! Crux. Proxima Centauri.5 deg. 43 deg. are the two Pointers. Trailing the Cross in its journey around the southern sky. The region around the Cross is full of sights for users of binoc   ars or small tele  copes. The third star in the system. even with the naked eye.3. Stars representing his upper body lie further away from the Pole and anti-clockwise. with stars in a rough cross shape around Alpha Muscae. which is the small  st in the sky. with a very similar absolute magnitude and surface temperature (though about twice the mass and four times the intrinsic brightness). its bright components are white stars (magnitudes 1. and looking like a hole through the Milky Way. lying 90 arc seconds apart. Large telescopes are needed to resolve the hundreds of thousands of stars that fill it. It is prom   ent on a dark night. under whom the hero Jason was educated.CHArT 3 12 Hours to 18 Hours rA 90 to 40 degrees Dec The stars of Crux Australis. Epsilon Crucis. In the Centaur’s hand is a spear with which he is dealing with a wolf (Lupus). The fifth star. and one immediately clockwise from it. 5.4) lying 21 seconds apart. are well known from their presence on the Australian and New Zealand national flags. The Pointers mark his forelegs and two stars to the upper right of the Cross (when upright). touches the Cross between Alpha and Beta Crucis.000 light years) as globular clusters go. is on the lower right when the Cross is upright. The other. and an easy naked­eye object at mag  i ude 3. being the two brightest stars in the constellation of Centaurus the Centaur which surrounds the Cross on three sides. It is currently the nearest star to the Sun. hard to find at magnitude 11. magnitudes 1.  nt 47. the two main components being blue-white. 35 arc seconds apart. On the old star charts. Circinus the Compasses and Apus the Bird of Paradise. magnitude 6. or Alpha and Beta Centauri. On the other side of the Cross.5.5 and 5.0 and 1. 52 . Beta being 100 times further way than Alpha  f e and emitting 10.8 (near 13 hr 26. More  formally. is among the real jewels of the southern sky. and was officially entered on the charts in the sixteenth century. Mu Crucis is an easy double in binoculars: two white stars. The brighter star is itself double.

1 HYI –80° –70° 4 6744 –60° –50° –40° OCTANS TZ TELESCOPIUM PAVO CORONA AUSTRALIS 6541 6362 6397 R –90° South Celestial Pole MENSA APUS Atria 18h –80° 3195 ARA S I.4406 5139 Omega Centauri a c1 5128 VELA CRUX F K 16h LUPUS b c2 2 –50° E C1 C2 C3 D B w f LIBRA CENTAURUS d n 5102 z y 2 l T Menkent 58 5897 –20° HYDRA 3 12h 13h 9 DEEPSKY OBJECTS –30° 14h EC LIP –40° u TIC 1 –20° 15h MAGNITUDES 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies 53 .4651 6388 Q Shaula Lesath X CHAMAELEON I K 4372 6025 S 6087 6193 6067 RS TRIANGULUM AUSTRALE MUSCA S 4833 R 5189 Tr24 6302 6281 –70° CIRCINUS 5315 Proxima Centauri T 6231 6242 17h CARINA NORMA 5617 R V 5662 v c b 5882 e d 5822 R g 6124 H N Rigel Kent 2 I.2602 4609 z1 z2 m 5281 5316 Hadar J 4755 SCORPIUS 10 Acrux 3766 –60° T U u 3532 Mimosa 5986 h GG k –30° Gacrux 3918 A G H 4945 e Q N M a 4560 5643 I.

was changed into a peacock when the ship was taken into the heavens. 5. Octans and a bit of Microscopium). 54 . an attractive double. and about 5 degrees polewards. a  Among the few things worth searching for with binoculars are the largish globular cluster N6752 (magnitude 5. Dunlop (delta) 227 in Telescopium (near 19 hr 50. A few birds are represented by groupings of faint stars (Pavo the Peacock. 55 deg. Pavo is about the only asterism here with a story. Ancient legend says that Argos. 60 deg. yellow and white. It is all but bereft of bright nebulae and open clus ers. the Milky Way. The fifth magnitude star Sigma Octantis is the naked-eye star closest to the Pole. separation an easy 23 arc seconds. Grus the Crane and much of Tucana the Toucan) along with Indus the Indian and a clutch of scientific instruments (Telescopium. this region is barren. just  t c t clips one edge. The brighter stars of Grus form a notable lopsided pattern with Fomalhaut in the Southern Fish further away from the Pole (see Chart 12).5. the magnitude 8. with no bright stars and few constellations of interest.). 20 diameter) in Pavo (near 19 hr 10.4.8 and 6. builder of the mighty Argo which sails nearby. along the length of which those sights are con  en rated. The constellations here are mostly of modern origin and generally devoid of legendary associations.CHArT 4 18 Hours to 24 Hours rA 90 to 40 degrees Dec This chart indicates how unevenly the wonders of the heaven are spread. In comparison with the glories of the stretch of sky lying clockwise from it.5 galaxy N6744. Octans the Octant (an instrument for measuring angles) is of note as the constellation in which the South Celestial Pole currently lies. and so is the southern equiv  lent of Polaris the North Pole Star (though Polaris is much brighter).) is worth a look.

1459 23h –70° Atria INDUS Alnair 6362 6744 3 TRA PAVO GRUS Peacock 12 –30° –60° 6752 227 T ARA 22h TELESCOPIUM 6397 PISCIS AUSTRINUS MICROSCOPIUM –50° I.2 CHA TZ R –80° –70° 1 –60° –50° –40° MENSA HYDRUS 362 SMC South Celestial Pole –90° 47 Tuc (104) PHOENIX Ankaa 55 0h –80° TUCANA SCL OCTANS Y SX APUS I.4651 Arkab 24 Rukbat 6388 6541 –20° SAGITTARIUS SCORPIUS –40° Q CORONA AUSTRALIS 18h 6723 M55 RR CAPRICORNUS 20h –20° T LIP EC IC 19h 11 DEEPSKY OBJECTS –30° 21h MAGNITUDES 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies 55 .

At its brightest it outshines Beta.9. near 0 hr 50. Over a period of 11 months it moves from magnitude 2 to magnitude 10 and back again. clusters and nebulae are rare. The stars of Cetus form two rough polygons. 39 deg. Two such lie in Sculptor. meaning ‘nose’). Its  n status as a ‘variable star’ was established in the mid-seventeenth century. Cetus was the beast sent to devour the maiden Andromeda. with a pair of white or yellow stars (magnitudes 3. 4. Polewards of Fornax lies the double star Theta Eridani (near 3 hr.  fourth largest of all the con  tel a ions (after Hydra. near 0 hr 15.  ul South of Cetus lie more modern constellations. covering most of the region. These are faint but contain numbers of galaxies. These lie mostly in Sculptor and Fornax. The same is true around the North Galactic Pole.). Cetus was com  only shown in old star  s lt m pictures as swimming in the nearby river Eridanus or resting on its bank. Beta Ceti at magnitude 2. is Cetus the Sea Monster (or Whale).4) separated by 8. this was the first star observed to change its bright  ess over time. Fornax the Furnace and Sculptor the Sculptor’s Chisel.4) with a bright central star (near 3 hr 30.). So we are well away from the riches of the Milky Way.4.4 is usually the brightest star in the constellation (Alpha Ceti bears the name Menkar. The larger to the south-west makes up the body of the beast.). 27 deg. at its faintest it becomes invisible in binoc   ars. Virgo and Ursa Major). so it is linked to constellations which lie further north in the sky (see Chart 13).CHArT 5 0 Hours to 3 Hours rA 40 to 10 degrees Dec When we survey this stretch of night sky. we are looking at right angles to the plane of the galaxy.4. According to ancient legend.5 arc seconds. Bright  stars. 25 deg.).2. which lies in Coma Berenices (see Chart 17). lying about 30 degrees north-east of Beta. 26 deg. Many ‘Mira variables’ are found in other parts of the sky. Close to the eastern edge of Fornax lies the rel   ively large (one third diam   er of the Moon) plan   ary nebula N1360 at et et (magnitude 9. and so glimpse some of the nearer external galaxies (extragalactic nebulae) hidden from us in other parts of the sky by the richness of our own star system.) and N253 (magnitude 7. On the other hand. 56 . None of the numerous galaxies in Fornax are brighter than magnitude 8. The South Galactic Pole (SGP) lies here (in Sculptor near 0 hr 50. Of far more interest is Omicron Ceti. The largest and brightest constellation here. Otherwise known as Mira (the Wonderful Star). N55 (magnitude 7. we are able to look almost unimpeded into intergalactic space. the smaller to the north-east (where it abuts Aries and Pisces) forms the head. some of which can be seen in binoculars. halfway along the creature’s neck. 40 deg.

23h 0h 1h 1 2h 3h HOROLOGIUM 4h e ERIDANUS –40° PHOENIX Ankaa s –40° y Acamar 1291 h f g i GRUS PSA 55 1316 1365 1399 300 FORNAX 7793 –30° S SCULPTOR –30° R 1097 613 1398 1360 SGP 253 288 –20° 98 99 T 7 247 1232 –20° 12 R 2 Deneb Kaitos Baten Kaitos 6 ERIDANUS –10° Z –10° AQUARIUS AR 30 CETUS Mira 0° XZ EC 0° M77 LIP TIC TAU Menkar Alrescha TX PISCES +10° +10° PEGASUS 0h 1h ARIES 13 DEEPSKY OBJECTS 2h 3h MAGNITUDES 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies 57 .

not Rigel. 20 deg.2. with Taurus and the head of Cetus the Sea Monster to the north and west. emerges from the north-eastern part of Orion (close to its border with Gemini) around 16 to 27 October. white and violet. making the area a great sight in binoculars. In the centre of the group is the well-known ‘saucepan’. Betelgeuse shifts between magnitudes 0. with stars of magnitude 3 and 7 separated by 12 arc seconds. and 6. which appear as one to the naked eye (Theta Orionis). to the south the brilliant blue-white Rigel (seventh brightest) locates one of his feet. Stars of Canis Major and Monoceros the Unicorn border this stretch of sky to the east. Those animals are on adjoining pieces of sky. diameter 20) marks the end of the sword.4 and 1. associated with Comet Halley. The region has a couple of Mira­type var   bles. N1981 is an open cluster to the north (nearer the belt) Surrounding the ‘saucepan’ are bright stars rep  e  ent ng Orion’s body.5 to 11.7 in 432 days. The Orionids meteor shower. with Columba the Dove further south again. lies at the northern end of this stretch of night sky. Delta Orionis (the most westerly of the stars in the Belt) is a wide double (2. Betelgeuse means ‘arm’ or ‘shoulder’.  s lt e i  Betelgeuse is a variable star like many red giants.6 every 372 days. Imbedded in the 20-light-year-wide cloud of gas and dust is a cluster of (at least) four newly hatched blue stars (‘the Trapezium’).5. For example. East of Orion are the headwaters of Eridanus.3 over a period of around seven years. But it is a stunning sight. It takes a sharp turn around Fornax which intrudes from the west. R Lep (from 5. including the double Iota Orionis.8 to 12. The jewel in the sword is the pale green glow of the Orion Nebula (M42/N1976). Its stars strad  le the celes ial equator. even though it. one of the glories of the heavens and perhaps the best known of all constellations. Much of this  stretch of sky is taken up with the meanderings of the heavenly river.CHArT 6 3 Hours to 6 Hours rA 40 to 10 degrees Dec Orion the Hunter. always rising and  d t setting due east and west. When Orion is highest in the sky. Galileo did not mention it when first viewing the night sky with his telescope in 1609. Lepus the Hare. Traditional pictures in our culture have him armed with a club and net. while the eye is more sensitive to the green colour of glowing oxygen. Strangely.) and ia U Ori (4.). warrior or giant in the star stories of many cultures. M42 (and nearby M43/N1982 which is part of the same nebula) lies about 1300 light years away. Film picks up the red glow from hydrogen. whatever you use to view it. near 5 hr 55. we in the Southern Hemisphere see him standing on his head. The sight of this majestic constellation rising late in the evening is a sign that the Southern Hemisphere summer is at hand. early on  r s i summer evenings. and is often fainter than Rigel. the cluster N1980 (magnitude 2. Rigel means ‘foot’. accompanied by two dogs (Canis Major and Canis Minor) and fighting with a bull (Taurus). N1980 contains a couple of multiple stars. This shows up pink or red in most photographs due to the different colour sensitivities of the human eye and photographic film. just west of the Milky Way. Rigel is always the first bright star of the con  tel a ion to be seen from south  rn lat tudes. It is a ‘stellar nursery’ like many such nebulae. with a quad  i at  ral of bright sh stars. is listed as Alpha Orionis. 58 . Orion is a hunter. Other brightish stars and star clusters are grouped around.8. 53 seconds of arc). When Orion is rising. near 5 hr. The rest of the region is dull in comparison. is beneath the rl e i Hunter’s feet. 15 deg. peaking on 22 October. though the three brightish stars marking the base of the pan actually represent Orion’s belt and the handle is his sword. To the north the red giant Betelgeuse (currently tenth brightest among the stars) and the fainter Bellatrix (the Female Warrior) mark the arms and shoul­ ders.

434 Horsehead Nebula 2024 2232 CETUS Beid Cursa 1973/75/77 32 V Alnitak 0° M77 10 W Alnilam Mintaka M78 0° Menkar TAURUS ORION Bellatrix 32 8 T Betelgeuse +10° +10° ARIES 3h 4h 88 1662 Meissa 14 DEEPSKY OBJECTS 5h 6h MAGNITUDES 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies 59 .2165 LEPUS I.418 –10° –10° Rigel Saiph 29 1980 Keid MONOCEROS M42 / M43 Orion Nebula 1981 I.2h 3h 1433 4h 1 5h 6h 7h PICTOR CAELUM PUPPIS C PHOENIX –40° s e HOROLOGIUM –40° Acamar 1291 y 1851 SX 1316 1365 h f g 1808 Wazn Phact 1399 i 43 41 –30° 1097 FORNAX COLUMBA Furud –30° CANIS MAJOR 1398 1360 M79 S –20° 1232 54 –20° Nihal Arneb Mirzam 5 ERIDANUS Zaurak Z 1535 RX 53 7 I.

•    2354 and N2362.5. to the east of Puppis.CHArT 7 6 Hours to 9 Hours rA 40 to 10 degrees Dec This region of sky is dominated by the presence of stars representing two dogs. diameter 20) than its very near neighbour (magnitude 4. lying less than nine light years from the Sun. but they are usually thought of as the companions of Orion the Hunter to the west. such as Cerebus the three-headed dog that guarded the way to Hell.1.8 magnitude. The first appearance of Sirius (or Soothis) in the rays of the rising Sun (the helical rising) was taken by the Egyptians of 2000 BC as a sign that the Nile was about to flood. Both the Dogs are worth watching. Nearby Adhara (Epsilon  nt CMa) is also double but a much tougher call. q t Intruding into the region from the east is the head of Hydra the Water Snake. the incon­ se  uen ial  Pyxis the Compass. with 16 stars in a huddle visible with optical aid. lying east of Canis Minor. is the second brightest star in the constellation. It was an important element in the calendars of ancient peoples. namely.5 and 7. eighth on the list of brightest stars.6 and 9. The pres  nce of the Milky Way ensures the avail  bil ty of sky sights worth inves i  at ng with the help of binoc  lars.  nt aa 60 .5 are separated by 20 arc seconds. close to Eta in Monoceros (near 6 hr 30. k Puppis. The other two star groups (Vela the Sail and Carina the Keel) are further south. diam   er 50 seconds of arc). 15 deg. with mag  i ude 1. diameter 20). If you are looking for other double stars.5 seconds of arc. The less spectacular Little Dog has Procyon. at the northern end of Puppis (5 degrees east of Delta Canis Majoris). N e nt et N2437 (M46) is nearby (magnitude 6. makes a distinctive pairing. a few degrees away. Sirius is one of the nearest stars.1. stars of magnitude 5. Powerful telescopes reveal the surrounding Rosette Nebula (N2237). The open cluster N2244. •  N2287 (M41) (magnitude 4. Between Canis Major (the Big Dog) and Canis Minor (the Little Dog) runs the Milky Way.8. Struve (sigma) 1121 has components both magnitude 8 lying 8 seconds c of arc apart. diam   er 25).4 stars sep  r  ted by 7. diameter 54) east of the Milky Way on the Hydra/Monoceros    border.4.8.   •    2423 (M47) on the Milky Way at the north  rn end of Puppis (mag  i ude 4. diameter 8). Two double stars are asso  iated with M47.  with  N2354  both  N t fainter and larger (magnitude 6. Alpha Canis Majoris is Sirius. Beta Canis Majoris or Mirzam nearby is a front leg and a tri  n  le of bright sh stars to the south show the hind  uar ers. boasts a pair of matched fifth mag  i ude yellow stars lying about 10 arc seconds apart. even though it is listed only as Epsilon. just west of the Milky Way in the midst    nt et of Puppis. •  N2548 (M48) (magnitude 5. Adhara. They could represent many different dogs.). diameter 38) about 4 degrees south of Sirius. the roughly rectangular Puppis the Poop.  e a i tg i u  These include the following open clusters: •  N2451 (mag  i ude 2. which lies south­east of Canis Major and. Both Sirius and Procyon have faint white dwarf companions and are among the 20 stars lying within 12 light years of the Sun Two of the four constellations that formerly made up Argo Navis (the Ship Argo) are in this part of the sky.1. in Struve (sigma) 1120. The  a g i q t brightest of these. the brightest star in the sky other than the Sun. is a naked-eye object.  two  clus ers  among  the  rump  stars  of  Canis  Major. while between the Little  Dog and his master are inconspicuous stars belonging to Monoceros the Unicorn. at 4. Beta Canis Minoris. Old pictures have it marking the eye or heart of the Dog. the faintly glowing cloud of gas from which the stars formed. Its name means the ‘shining one’ or ‘scorching one’.

434 Horsehead Nebula 2343 M50 2353 –10° Alphard U 2232 10 M48 HYDRA C Alnitak 0° Alnilam Mintaka M78 2024 ORION V MONOCEROS 0° 2301 10 2244 8 Rosette Nebula 2237 13 BC 14 CANIS MINOR Procyon Gomeisa Betelgeuse T LEO CANCER M67 +10° Meissa 2264 S +10° Acubens 6h 7h 15 DEEPSKY OBJECTS 8h 9h MAGNITUDES 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies 61 .2165 –10° Saiph 1980 M42 / M43 Orion Nebula 1973/75/77 1981 I.5h 6h 7h I L1 L2 C M 2 J Q P O N 8h b AH n a g 9h 10h CAE –40° 1851 PICTOR VELA y z e d w –40° 1808 D A E F y T c 2451 a b 2477 Naos h1 h2 2546 q r h l 2 k1 k Wazn Phact x SX v1 v2 d1-3 z e f ANTLIA 2997 w –30° COLUMBA PUPPIS Furud 2439 MZ –30° S Adhara Aludra p 3 k 2467 2527 M79 LEPUS Nihal Wezen S CANIS MAJOR 2354 m 2362 n M93 11 PYXIS G –20° Arnab M41 –20° 6 Mirzam 2440 16 8 Sirius R 1120 M47 2423 1097 1121 M46 2438 2539 12 I.

a small collection of faintish stars indicates the beast’s head. at magnitude 2. Though  faint. 62 . hosting (at the present epoch) the northern autumn equinox. He dallied by a fig tree. The rest of the region is taken up with faint and generally unmemorable constellations.). on the Antilla/Vela border. At magnitude 7. Some 15 degrees north-west near Cancer the Crab. Worth search ng for with binoc  lars or a small tele  cope is the plan   ary nebula N3242. winding past Corvus the Crow and almost to Libra. near 11 hr 30. Twenty degrees almost due south. Its name Alphard means (appropriately) ‘the solitary one’. The Crow was sent by his master Apollo to fetch a drink. Ursa Major. located some 12 degrees i u  s et south-east of Alphard (that is. the biggest of the rest. one of the legendary foes of the hero Hercules. it is among the three brightest such objects in the sky. Sextans the Sextant and Antlia the Air Pump (all sorts of scientific instruments find a place among the southern stars!). Hydra stretches a quarter of the way  p around the sky. from east of Canis Major to just north of Centaurus. lying as it does well east of the Milky Way and south of the eclip ic.8. waiting for the fruit to ripen. From its appearance.  Hydra  can  boast  of  being  the  largest  of  the  rec  g  ised  88  con  tel a ions. stands out due to the lack of other bright stars near it.  Covering  1300  square  o n s lt degrees. cuts the celes ial equator at the merid an making  t t i 12 hours of RA. Crater does have a story linking it to Hydra and also to Corvus to the east. it is sometimes dubbed ‘the ghost of Jupiter’ (and may help to explain the misleading term ‘plan   ary nebula’!). Cetus and Hercules. 18 deg. Being late back. Much of it is taken up with the long line of stars marking Hydra the Female Water Snake. The tail of the water snake continues to the east. pushing south­east. he blamed the snake for delaying him. it sur  asses Virgo. lies N3132. and Crater the Cup.CHArT 8 9 Hours to 12 Hours rA 40 to 10 degrees Dec There is not a lot to note in this part of the sky. Orange-coloured Alpha Hydrae. This lies where the eclip ic.  t A little of the Zodiac sign Virgo the Young Maiden lies to the north-east. another planetary et nebula rated at magnitude 9 but with a bright central star.

N 8h a 9h f g c 10h 2 p 3201 t s 11h C2 C1 12h D B 13h VELA z y m u –40° Naos h1 e h2 CENTAURUS n d h w –40° q 3132 r U i u l q r l k 1 k2 X1 X2 p w PUPPIS –30° PYXIS 2997 ANTLIA 3621 –30° S 3585 HYDRA Alchiba I M68 –20° G CRATER b3 R –20° 7 12 3242 b1 b2 Alkes Gienah Algorab 9 CORVUS U –10° –10° Alphard 3115 SEXTANS HYDRA 0° p1 VIRGO Zaniah 0° 3521 Zavijava TIC M61 EC LIP VY 4365 CANCER +10° M67 31 LEO 4371 +10° Acubens 9h 10h Regulus 16 DEEPSKY OBJECTS 11h 12h MAGNITUDES 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies 63 .

the famous ‘Sombrero Hat’ galaxy (magnitude 8. It lies face on to the viewer (near 13 hr 37. the goddess of justice.  On  the Virgo/Corvus  border  (near  12  hr  40. the female water snake. weighing truth and innocence on the scales that form the zodiac sign Libra. diameter 9). The north-western sector of Virgo.  12 deg. South of Corvus sprawls the tail of Hydra. The stars of Virgo are not outstandingly bright. Virgo could stand for any number of young and innocent maidens.4 (near 12 hr 30. which is almost on the ecliptic. the rest of which lies to the west. Virgo the Young Maiden. The story linking Hydra. Some 20 galaxies at mag  i ude 10 or brighter can be found in the 10 degree square patch of sky north of M49.). As for other constellations in the area: the distinctive rhomboid of second and third magnitude stars representing Corvus the Crow  lies  south­west  of  Virgo. Rated as the second largest of the constellations. 64 . The Sun in its yearly journey through the zodiac reaches the western parts of Virgo around 21 September. together with parts of constellations further north. 8 deg. Spica represents an ear of wheat in her hand. the daughter of Ceres.3. Corvus and Crater is told in the text for Chart 8. 30 deg.5 (diameter 11). In other pictures. at magnitude 8. one of the brightest external galaxies at magnitude 7. we have on display one of the more dis in  uished of the signs of the  t t g Zodiac. known as the Virgo Cluster and containing many hundreds of ‘island universes’ at distances estimated at 40 or 50 million light years.Virgo measures more than 30 degrees (three fist widths) in both directions. In different cultures. Virgo is the blindfolded Justina or Astraea. is notable for the presence of a major collection of external galaxies.). Some of these are visible as faint smudges in small telescopes or even binoculars. One interesting scale fallen from the tail is N5236 (M83). The brightest is N4472 (M49) in Virgo. perhaps Persephone.CHArT 9 12 Hours to 15 Hours rA 40 to 10 degrees Dec With the eclip ic passing though this zone of sky. In the best-known representation. other than the blue-white Spica. Virgo is a goddess of spring or of the harvest. with the largest in actual  nt size being the giant elliptical galaxy M87 (N4486). which lies to the east. which is the spring equinox for the Southern Hemisphere (the autum  al equinox for  n northern latitudes).) lies N4594 (M104).

4406 15h 5882 e d g 16h VELA i –40° –40° GG k h 5986 ANT n u l 5128 d a b X1 3621 X2 p 5102 z 2 T 1 y Menkent c1 c2 CENTAURUS LUPUS –30° 2 –30° r 3 M83 58 M68 HYDRA Alchiba CRATER –20° 5068 R R 5897 –20° 8 Gienah Algorab Zubenelgenubi 10 CORVUS M104 Sombrero Galaxy –10° Spica LIBRA Zubeneschamali –10° 4699 S 4697 16 0° Zaniah VIRGO Porrima 4753 109 4636 110 0° Zavijava M5 M61 4365 M49 R 4526 4535 5248 SERPENS CAPUT +10° +10° LEO 12h 4371 M59 M60 Vindemiatrix BOOTES 13h 17 DEEPSKY OBJECTS 14h 15h MAGNITUDES 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies 65 .11h 12h B D 13h 5139 3 Omega Centauri 14h a 5643 I.

9. In some ancient maps.6. North-west along the ecliptic.3.2.8 and 5. diameter 70). which lies just north of the second brightest star in the constellation (that is.8 and diameter 26. 66 . the first on record. A degree or so west of Antares lies the globular cluster N6121 (M4). This stretch of sky has many good targets for binoculars. like many star signs. diameter 33). two brightish stars almost a fist width apart.CHArT 10 15 to 18 Hours rA 40 to 10 degrees Dec In one of the most spec ac  lar regions of the night sky. For once little imagination is needed to see the creature among the stars.2) mean most people will need binoculars. and  t u  discover the stunning constellation Scorpius the Scorpion. one of the larger and brighter examples at magnitude 5. The Sun. magnitude 4. Here in 134 BC the Greek astronomer Hipparchos saw a ‘new star’ (a nova). The heart of the Scorpion is marked by the red giant star Antares (Alpha Scorpii). Although Scorpius is a zodiac sign. Ophiuchus. separation 13 seconds of arc). but other images are pos  ible. So one is always rising as the other sets. the usual names for these two stars mean ‘the northern claw’ and ‘the southern claw’. but the magnitudes (2. are likely to be located not in Scorpius but in the southern parts of the constellation of Ophiuchus the Serpent-Holder. when  t in this region. The serpent is another symbol of medical wisdom. A long polygon of stars marks where a man is apparently wrestling with a serpent. diameter 26). Alpha Librae is a very wide double. the Butterfly Cluster. Scorpius played a key role in the development of astronomy. second brightest in the constellation. One is that it represents Aesculapius. between Scorpius and Virgo the Young Maiden (see Chart 9). A close approach of Mars and Antares (which happens  il i every few years since Antares lies very close to the ecliptic) will soon confirm the comparison. Moon and planets. In legend.2.6 and 4. has more than one interpretation. it is a challenge even in a 80 mm telescope. with the beast stinging Orion to death. while the beast itself rates separate star groupings to indicate its head (Serpens Caput to the west) and its tail (Serpens Cauda to the east. complete with a close pair of stars to indi  ate the sting. which lies immediately to the north. magnitude 3. diameter 60). the ship’s doctor on the Argo and the founder of modern medicine. Among the double stars visible in binoculars is Beta Scorpii. Comparing his charts with those from Babylon 2000 years before led to discoveries like the precession of the equinoxes. Antares is itself double. The New Zealand Maoris saw in it the fish hook which one of their leg  n  ary heroes baited with  s e d his own blood and then dragged up the South Island from beneath the sea. Very close and just to the north is the open cluster Trumpler 24 (magnitude about 5. A line of three bright stars west of Antares marks the creature’s claws. which lies on the curve of the Scorpion’s tail. the larger and brighter N6475 (M7. coils towards the south­east. most of it lies way off the eclip ic to the south. near 17 hr 50.9 apart. The tail. lying across the Milky Way. almost certainly those of Justice. we here reach the Milky Way at its widest and densest. with the components 3. In fact. This was the man who tried to revive Orion after he was killed by the sting of the Scorpion. make up the zodiac sign Libra the Scales. but with the primary much brighter than the secondary and only 3 seconds away. This led him to compile a detailed star map (so he could detect any other ‘new stars’). The brighter  c of the ‘sting stars’ is Shaula (Gamma Scorpii).) The brightest star in the constellation (Rasalhague or ‘the head of the serpent charmer’) can be found where Ophiuchus continues to the north on Chart 18. marking the left claw (magnitudes 2. the stars of Libra are blended with those of Scorpius to produce greatly enlarged claws. Binocular sights in Ophiuchus include the open cluster I4665 (magnitude 4. so named from its sim  ar ty in colour to the planet Ares (Mars). North-east of the sting are a pair of noticeable open clusters: N6405 (M6. the Scorpion and Orion the Hunter were deadly enemies. diameter 80). and a few degrees away. together with a few fainter ones further east. The hook of stars that represents the Scorpion’s tail certainly invites that interpretation. 8 degrees). Brighter but smaller than either of these is N6231 (magnitude 2.

4665 6633 6572 +10° HERCULES BOOTES 15h 16h 72 +10° 18 DEEPSKY OBJECTS 17h Rasalhague 18h MAGNITUDES 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies 67 .4776 M69 M70 CENTAURUS –30° LUPUS N SAGITTARIUS Alnasl W SCORPIUS 2 –30° Kaus Media HYDRA 58 Kaus Borealis Lagoon Nebula Trifid Nebula 6530 M8 M20 M21 M28 M22 Antares M19 44 LIBRA –20° 5897 M80 ECLIPTIC M23 M24 Star Cloud Y –20° M25 M9 U 9 Graffias Zubenelgenubi U M18 M17 Omega Nebula 11 Sabik 48 M107 M16 Eagle Nebula SERPENS CAUDA –10° Zubeneschamali SCT –10° OPHIUCHUS Y 16 Yed Posterior Yed Prior M10 M14 0° 109 M12 59 110 M5 U 68 70 0° VIRGO SERPENS CAPUT Unukalhai 67 Cebalrai I.4406 5643 15h 5882 e d g 16h 3 17h 18h 6541 TEL 19h NORMA RS 6388 –40° a GG 6124 b k h 5986 6302 H 6383 M6 RR M62 45 X M4 36 BM 6231 Tr24 6242 6281 Q –40° CORONA AUSTRALIS Lesath Shaula M7 RS Menkent c1 G c2 Kaus Australis I.14h I.

0. the ‘Trifid Nebula’ N6514. This stretch of sky has an extraordinary concentration of Messier objects (see page 19). In a mere 10 degrees of arc along the galac ic equator. at a point on the meridian marking 18 hours of right ascen  ion.9. diameter 25. magnitude 6. diameter 21. The view through a small telescope is even better. though the pedantic might say that the arrow looks like it will miss. diameter 90. magnitude 5. though individually brighter objects are found else  here. through Serpens Cauda (the Tail of the Serpent) to Aquila the Eagle. diameter 30. the line of the Milky Way takes us north­east. s lt ‘the Wild Duck nebula’.   •    21. Sagittarius the Archer. the ‘Lagoon Nebula’ N6523/30. A couple of degrees east of M24 is M25 (the open cluster I4725. around the end of June. Binoculars  will reveal some hing more. at this same point the ecliptic crosses the galactic equator. Sagittarius the Archer stands in front of the Milky Way. It is the ultraviolet light pouring from these stars that makes the nebulae glow. magnitude 5. Between Scorpius and  a Sagittarius it is wider and denser than at any other point along its length. Galactic lon  i ude here is less than 10 degrees.  m s n ul t behind Omega Centauri (see Chart 3) and 47 Tucanae (see Chart 1). Interestingly. M22 is com  only ranked third in impres  ive  ess among glob   ar clus ers.6. The bright  st star is Epsilon Sagittarii.   Both the Lagoon and Trifid Nebulae have small clusters of bright. marking the longest day of the year. we find: •    16.  t t These objects. This reveals the pres  nce  e of vast clouds of dust hanging in space in front of the Milky Way. telescopes a glitter ng spray of more than 100 stars. Binoculars show a misty patch.   •  M8. The Sun. young. arriv­ s t t t ing at this point around 21 December. indi  at ng that the core of our wheel­shaped galac ic system lies  gt c i t behind the stars in this region of the sky. M •  M20.CHArT 11 18 Hours to 21 Hours rA 40 to 10 degrees Dec Between Scorpius and the next zodiac sign. then stands at the summer solstice for the southern hemisphere. A number of not very bright stars form a shape more sug­ gestive of a teapot than a Centaur firing an arrow at the heart of the Scorpion. From Sagittarius. M •    17.1. magnitude 6. magnitude 6. are concentrated into the plane of the galaxy. a ‘star cloud’.9. Still. begin  ing at the south­east  w t n corner of Serpens Cauda and moving south-west. as the old star pictures show. like stars in general. magnitude 4. fanned out like a flight of wild birds. many bright nebulae and star clus ers seen against the light and dark of the Milky Way. cutting off the light from the stars behind. And 10 degrees south­west of M8 (close to the sting of the Scorpion)  are the open clusters M7 and M6. blue stars within them. M •  M24.3. For more on Aquila see Chart 19. which is called Kaus Australis or the ‘southern bow’. A visual clue is the appear  nce of the Milky Way itself. Nor is that all the region offers. Even with binoculars these can be a fine sight. a line running down the centre of the Milky  Way. diameter 15. 68 . To name just a few others: 5 or 6 degrees east of M21 is the glob   ar cluster M22 ul (N6656. diameter 10 minutes of arc). South of Aquila lies the tiny con  tel a ion of Scutum the Shield. magnitude 4. diameter 24). It follows that these same stars will be passing overhead at midnight six months earlier. the ‘Swan Nebula’ N6618. the open cluster N6611. diameter 8. magnitude 6. M •    18. the open cluster N6531. the eclip ic reaches its maximum dis ance (23. magnitude 6. notable mostly from the open cluster N6705 (M11.5 degrees) south of the celes ial equator. magnitude about 2 and 2 degrees by 1 degree in size. i For much of its length in this region of the sky the Milky Way appears split by a great cleft. i e Gamma Sagittarii has the name Alnasl. the open cluster N6613. Its first magnitude star Altair is flanked by a fainter star.6. the shape is quite strik ng.0. which means ‘the head of the arrow’. diameter 30).

4776 M69 RY M70 M54 MICROSCOPIUM –30° M55 RR –30° 45 36 Alnasl X W SAGITTARIUS Ascella Kaus Media OPHIUCHUS 44 Nunki Lagoon Nebula Trifid Nebula 6530 M8 M20 M21 59 62 24 M30 Kaus Borealis M28 M22 52 CAPRICORNUS ECLIPTI –20° M23 M24 Star Cloud M25 Y M18 –20° C M75 RT U 10 12 M17 Omega Nebula 6822 SERPENS CAUDA –10° M16 Eagle Nebula Dabih M72 M73 7009 6818 SCUTUM M26 Algedi –10° Albali Y R M14 M11 12 U V 3 Sadalsuud AQUILA 0° 68 67 70 59 71 AQUARIUS 0° Cebalrai I.4665 I.4756 6572 72 6633 X 6709 R EQUULEUS Alya Alshain Kitalpha OPHIUCHUS +10° DELPHINUS Altair Tarazed +10° Rasalhague 18h 19h 19 DEEPSKY OBJECTS 20h 21h MAGNITUDES 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies 69 .17h 6388 6231 ARA 18h 19h 4 20h 21h 22h T TELESCOPIUM 6541 INDUS –40° Tr24 SCORPIUS CORONA AUSTRALIS G Arkab GRUS –40° 6281 Q 6302 Rukbat Lesath Shaula M7 6383 PISCIS AUSTRINUS 6723 RS BM M6 Kaus Australis I.

to the north.). Though half the size of the Full Moon.2 separated by 6. have any bright stars. nor the Water­Carrier pouring out water from an urn on  his shoulder. which rides high in the southern sky early in winter evenings.CHArT 12 21 Hours to 24 Hours rA 40 to 10 degrees Dec This is a dull stretch of sky with few bright stars. The compilers of horoscopes still use Capricornus to represent people born in the month commencing 21 December. They include the two zodiac signs Capricornus the Sea-Goat and Aquarius the Water-Carrier (as well as the next sign to come. with Fomalhaut representing that mouth. Fomalhaut makes up a distinctive and easily recognised e trapezium or cross. East of Aquarius lies Cetus the Sea Monster. with stars of magnitudes 3.1 magnitude components lie 3. stars which marked points along the zodiac linked to the seasons. the Eta Aquarids of early May (peaking 6 May). In old star pic ures Aquarius was  t shown pouring a stream of water into the mouth of the Southern Fish. and c the double-barrelled Delta Aquarids of late July and early August (peaking on July 29 and August 7). Both are wide doubles. Four thousand years ago. Regulus in Leo (northern summer) and Antares in Scorpius (northern autumn). asso  iated with Comet Halley. N7293 (the Helix Nebula). Aquarius is an ancient sign. 21 deg. the Sun would have neared Fomalhaut around northern mid winter (the solstice then lying among the dull stars of Aquarius just to the north). Binoculars reveal it as a misty patch. 4000 years or more ago. and geographers use the term ‘Tropic of Capricorn’ to link those points on Earth at which the Sun is overhead at noon on that day. The brightest star in the area is the first magnitude Fomalhaut in Piscis Austrinus. Certainly. The stream pouring from the  Water­Carrier’s urn or barrel rep  e  ented the time of the annual flood. It may be that thousands of years ago (when these constellations were first named).1 and 6. Neither the Sea­Goat. The other royal stars were Aldebaran in Taurus (marking  northern spring). since many of the constellations here and nearby have something to do with water. Capricornus hosted the southern summer solstice (reached by the Sun around 21 December) 2000 years ago. Beta is harder to see and binoculars are needed. They are marked separately on this chart. This region might be dubbed the ‘wet corner of the sky’. Pisces the Fish). Fomalhaut was one of the four Royal Stars of Ancient Persia. Alpha Capricornii. is one for the keen naked eye. Aquarius  is home to two meteor showers. the Sun in its yearly travels reached this part of the sky during or just before the wet season of the year. The interest is in the associations of the constellations.6 and 4.3 minutes of arc. and Piscis Austrinus the Southern Fish. 70 . is the closest and apparently largest of the planetary e d nebulae. With the three bright  st stars in Grus the Crane to the south. Ancient people used the stars as a calendar. Its 3. the nebula is quite faint. A pair of faintish stars about 3 degrees (a couple of fingers) apart at the western end of Capricornus are distinctive.4 minutes of arc apart. the figure of a goat with a fish’s tail. dating back to Babylonian times. which lies close to r s the south  rn boun  ary of Aquarius (near 22 hr 30.

1459 SCULPTOR 7793 S PISCIS AUSTRINUS –30° –30° Fomalhaut 24 86 M30 Helix Nebula 7293 88 98 99 2 7 T CAPRICORNUS –20° –20° 11 Nashira Deneb Algedi M72 M73 5 CETUS AQUARIUS Skat R –10° Albali 7009 –10° AQL Ancha 3 Sadalsuud 30 71 0° Sadachbia M2 ECL IPTIC XZ 0° Sadalmelik EQUULEUS Kitalpha Biham TX PISCES DELPHINUS +10° Enif PEGASUS 55 +10° Homam 21h 22h 20 DEEPSKY OBJECTS 23h 0h MAGNITUDES 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies 71 .20h TEL 21h 22h Alnair 4 23h 0h 1h INDUS –40° GRUS SAGITTARIUS PHOENIX Ankaa –40° 55 300 MICROSCOPIUM I.

 Most of the char  c ers in this tale are in  a t the sky around about: Cetus the Sea Monster to the south (see Chart 5). More prom   ent is N598 (M33. in the south-east corner.3. magnitude 8. close together and easily recognisable. all fainter than M31 to our eyes. about 10 degrees to the south­east (above and to the right) in  nt Triangulum.2) and N205 (M110.8. The brightest star. swimming in opposite directions. N224. Beta and Gamma Andromedae carry the line north-east towards the horizon. nt in mag  i ude 5. lines of brightish stars mark the whereabouts of Andromeda the Woman Chained. Two thou  and years ago this event occurred further east. next door to the east. Above (south of) Aries. the Sun crosses the celes ial equator going north and reaches a point among the western stars  t of Pisces around 21 March. the nebula appears as a faint smudge to the naked eye on a dark night. North of (below) Aries and Pisces and the small constellation Triangulum. Aries. magnitude 5. and is marked by the old astrological symbol for Aries. Behind the con  tel a ion lies the story of the magical flying ram which rescued two chil  ren from their  s lt d wicked stepmother. The vernal equinox is still often called the First Point of Aries. and. commonly called the Andromeda Galaxy or M31. a pen a  on of stars marks the  il tg head of Cetus the Sea Monster. Three other members of our ‘local group’ of gal  x  es lie nearby in the sky. Gamma Andromedae is itself double (magnitudes 2. The constellation recalls the legend of the princess chained to a rock in atonement for a boast made by her mother about her (Andromeda’s) beauty and rescued from a sea monster by Perseus. This near twin of our Milky Way system lies about two million light  years distant and is found about 6 degrees below and to the left of Beta Andromedae. 4. the maiden’s parents Cepheus and Cassiopeia. Tradition dies hard. and whose Golden Fleece.0) are close to M31. lying about 10 degrees apart. marks the knot joining the two strings. m i The meteor shower known as the Arietids emerges from a point in the southern part of Aries (about 10 degrees above and to the left of the Pleiades) in the first two weeks of June. In our present epoch. Six times wider than the Full Moon. Pisces. hanging in a sacred grove in far away Colchis. Alpheratz. The change since that time results from the precession of the equinoxes. marks the maiden’s head and forms part of the Great Square of Pegasus (see Chart 20). The brighter of the two is Hamal. The entry of the Sun into Pisces there ore marks the north  rn vernal equinox (the autumn f e equinox for the Southern Hemisphere). peaking on 7 June. Pisces the Fish and Aries the Ram.  a i N221 (M32. and with an inte  rated mag  i ude of 3. About 5 degrees south of Gamma Andromedae (close to the border with Triangulum) lies the open cluster N752 (diameter 50. yellowish and bluish. lured Jason and the Argonauts in a per  ous quest in the years before the Trojan War.7 and twice the size of the Full Moon).5. which has no bright stars. 72 . The westernmost and brightest star. with the Sun enter ng  s i Aries. 10 seconds apart). it lies just above (south) and to the east of the Great Square of Pegasus (see Chart 20). possesses two brightish stars. further north. The compilers of horoscopes continue to insist that Aries is the sign for people born in the month com  enc ng 21 March. The region has other sights worth looking for with binoculars. The constellation is notable for the presence within it of the nearest and brightest of the external galaxies.8). Her rescuer is next door on the eastern side (Chart 14).  g nt and is a good target for binoculars and small telescopes. is commonly drawn as a pair of fish with their tails tied together with long strings. mag  i ude 8. Looking north.CHArT 13 0 Hours to 3 Hours rA 0 to 55 degrees Dec The most significant constellations in this part of the sky are a pair of zodiac signs.

0h 1h 5 2h 3h ERIDANUS 0° XZ M77 Alrescha 0° TX CETUS Menkar PISCES +10° EC LIP TIC +10° 70 Algenib M74 5 TV Mesartim Sheratan ARIES RZ +20° RR Hamal +20° 20 PEGASUS Alpheratz M33 6 41 14 TAURUS +30° Atik TRIANGULUM +30° Mirach 925 R 17 ANDROMEDA R M32 M110 M31 Andromeda Galaxy 891 M43 W 752 16 1023 1342 1499 California Nebula Menkib Almaak Algol +40° 7662 PERSEUS +40° 185 147 51 7 R M76 LACERTA 4 Mirphak b1 48 CASSIOPEIA Shedir 7789 457 869 884 Double Cluster 1528 1545 b2 +50° CAMELOPARDALIS 3h 4h +50° 23h 0h 1h 2h MAGNITUDES DEEPSKY OBJECTS 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies 73 .

Close to the other tip you can find the Crab Nebula (N1952 or M1). Taurus has some great sights.6) and Sigma Tauri (magnitudes 4. These stars were the markers of the seasons as they lay then. which appropriately marks the eye of the Bull. Three degrees by one. Filling out the constellation to the east are stars delineating the horns of the beast. others still with the fire-breathing brazenhoofed bulls Jason had to tame on his route to the Golden Fleece. separation 7. is often shown on maps as marking the eye of the snake-haired monster Medusa. 74 . Antares and Fomalhaut.) One hundred and fifty light years distant. this open cluster of young. along with Regulus. are the Pleiades or the Seven d s lt Sisters (M45). The Bull is among the most ancient of the star signs. It does boast the fifth magnitude California Nebula (N1499) (the shape gives the name). this star is elusive from southern latitudes.8. Algol. they represent two groups of sisters. bright. Then it hosted the vernal equinox that now lies to the west in Pisces. The earliest references to the cluster are from China more than 4000 years ago. dubbed ‘the devil star’.4 and 3. open cluster (Melotte 20).9. the Hyades as a reward for nursing one of the god’s children. From our point of view Aldebaran is superimposed on a more distant V-shaped star cluster known as the Hyades. Higher in the sky lies one of the great zodiac signs. dating back to at least Babylonian times 4000 years ago. all daughters of Atlas but with different mothers. which lies near 4 hr. with Beta Tauri (Alnath.3). this is the nearest of the major open clusters. This nebula is the remnant of a supernova seen by Chinese astronomers in 1056. Following the Pleiades across the sky (its name means as much) is the red giant star Aldebaran. the ‘butting one’) making the tip of the northern horn. The rising and setting of the Hyades and Pleiades were traditionally associated with rain. hot. Orion is defending himself with a club (see Chart 6). Four times the diam   er of the Full Moon. (At one time. the Taurids. others with the disguise used by Zeus to seduce Europa. Taurus the Bull.1. Though only the front half of the Bull is shown (as if it was coming out of water). is surrounded r i by a large. It is commonly depicted as rushing at nearby Orion the Hunter. Though bright. Alpha Persei. Both the Hyades and the Pleiades have mythological associations. emerges from two points in the night sky above the Pleiades over the month following 25 October. whose severed head Perseus is car  y ng. the whole cluster was called Aldebaran. Both were placed by Zeus among the stars. In one tradition. Perseus has no bright stars. Marking the shoul  er of the Bull. The brightest is Alcyone at magnitude 2. This was one of the Royal Stars of ancient Persia. which is marked by the first magnitude star Capella (sixth in order of brightness among the stars). easily resolved with the naked eye or with binoculars: Theta Tauri (magnitudes 3. Two of the stars in the Hyades are wide doubles. It is associated with Comet Enke and may produce about 12 meteors an hour. separation 5. Some sources iden ify Taurus with the Cretan Bull  t tamed by Hercules. it is rated mag  i ude 8. The name means ‘little goat’. which lies to the south-east (above and to the right). from most centres of population it rises barely 10 degrees above the northern horizon. and the first stars to appear as the con  tel a ion rises. blue stars is a superb spec­ et tacle even with the naked eye. One fifth the width of the Full Moon. On clear dark nights keen eyes will find eight or even ten to be naked-eye objects.5 and back every three days.7. some 8 degrees further north. nt One of the year’s lesser meteor showers. with a peak around 7 November.CHArT 14 3 Hours to 6 Hours rA 0 to 55 degrees Dec The northern parts of this stretch of sky are filled with the stars of Perseus. Ten degrees to the west and a little lower in the sky is the famous eclipsing variable star Algol (Beta Persei) that changes magnitude from 2 to 3. Binoculars or a small telescope will reveal 30 or more stars. 5. 36 deg. Old star pictures of the latter also show a goat. the hero who rescued Andromeda. it is rated magnitude 5. the Pleiades as a protection against the amorous advances of Orion. and of Auriga the Charioteer.

20 M45 Pleiades 27 BU M1 1746 Crab Nebula 1 TV Propus +20° Alcyone TAURUS M35 13 Alnath 41 15 Mebsuta GEMINI Atik RT M37 M36 M38 WW +30° 6 AR +30° TRIANGULUM 925 R 17 1342 Menkib 1499 California Nebula PERSEUS 16 1023 752 58 AURIGA UU PU 2281 Algol +40° Almaak W 891 M43 Capella 48 +40° Menkalinan ANDROMEDA Mirphak 1545 b1 1528 7 R 21 b2 LYNX 51 CAMELOPARDALIS +50° CAS M76 +50° 2h 3h 4h 5h 6h 7h MAGNITUDES DEEPSKY OBJECTS 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies 75 .3h 4h 6 5h Mintaka Alnitak 2024 6h V ERI 10 ERI W Alnilam M78 0° M77 0° Menkar Bellatrix 32 8 CETUS 88 1662 Betelgeuse T Meissa MON +10° 2169 +10° 5 71 Hyades 90 ORION Aldebaran ECLIPTIC RZ 37 1647 HU U 119 BL +20° ARIES 23 17 19.

These are marked by the two nearest stars. This point on the celes ial sphere there ore marks the (north  rn) summer solstice. the Twins are upside down when viewed from the Southern Hemisphere. Gemini too boasts a bright sh cluster. At the western end of Gemini. Castor and Pollux were sons of Leda. Legends suggest that such was its fate. emerges from the night sky close to Castor from 7 to 15 December.9 and 2. which bear formal names meaning the ‘the northern and southern donkeys’. Both were voyagers with Jason on the Argo in search of the Golden Fleece. Though listed as Alpha Geminorum. Monoceros. at 6 hours of right ascension.  In 600 years it would need to be changed again. but it is actually six stars in close association. Queen of Sparta. The star names are also the names of the heroes. which lies a few degrees north­west of Gamma Canceri. was the son of a mortal. Castor is currently fainter than Pollux. Canis Minor and Hydra border Cancer and Gemini to the south. but is well worth a look through binoculars. lie only 4 seconds of arc apart. the heads of the pair are  t g l s lt marked by the bright stars Castor and Pollux. all born long ago from the same cloud of gas. Each com  o  ent star is a very close double. and brothers to Helen of Troy. Castor looks like a single star to the unaided eye. and other stars  i p n also form part of the action. the summer solstice now found in Gemini lay in Cancer. nt East of Gemini lies another zodiac constellation. and circle each other every 400 years. Castor. Lying only 450 light years away. Consistency would seem to require a change in name to ‘Tropic of Gemini’. it is no match for the  nt et Pleiades. A small cluster (N2682). you may see 50 meteors an hour. Gamma and Delta. The Twins’ feet are close to the head of Orion the Hunter. being the son of Zeus (who seduced Leda in the guise of a swan). but that is now unlikely. and a sniff of Ursa Major the Great Bear. To the north we find some faint stars  of Auriga and Lynx. Such stars as there are make up a three-pointed figure centred on Gamma Canceri that lies on the ecliptic. At the north­eastern end of this roughly rec an  u ar con  tel a ion. cross ng among other things the feet of  i Gemini the Heavenly Twins. Pollux (or Polydeuces). Under the right conditions. Cancer’s main offering to skywatchers is Praesepe or the Beehive Cluster (N2632. Two thousand years ago. most of which lies on the other side of the Milky Way. with a peak around 13 December. a famous horseman.CHArT 15 6 Hours to 9 Hours rA 0 to 55 degrees Dec The Milky Way cuts through the south­west corner of this area of night sky. the ecliptic reaches its maximum distance north of the celes ial equator. This is the short  st day of the year (winter sol  tice) south of the equator. which served as food for a pair of donkeys. Cancer the Crab. reached by the t t f e Sun around 21 June. still worth a Messier number (M67). Like so many star groups. which will easily reveal 15 or so stars (Galileo was the first to do this). lying in front of the Milky Way at the south­western end of the con  tel­ i s lation (near 6 hr 10. A pair of white stars. one of the consistent performers among the meteor showers. lies south of (above) the Beehive. magnitudes 1.9. Cancer is bereft of bright or even brightish stars. 24 deg). the Beehive is close as open clusters go. noted by William Herschel in 1803. The old name for the Beehive is ‘the Manger’. was immortal and was famed as a boxer. having been crushed as punishment for biting the heel of Hercules as he was battling with the Hydra.  e s The Geminids. At mag  i ude 3 and diam   er three times that of the Full Moon. 76 . Castor was in fact the first pair of stars known to be orbit ng each other. In Greek legend. indicating that it has waned or Pollux waxed in brightness in recent centuries. N2168 (M35) is the size of the Full Moon and is rated at mag  i ude 5. a few degrees west of Alpha Canceri. M44). This fact persists in the name ‘Tropic of Cancer’ for the imaginary line around the Earth linking all locations at which the Sun is overhead at noon on 21 June. A small telescope will divide Castor in two.

I.434 Horsehead Nebula 6h 7h 2301 7 8h 9h Alnitak 2024 Alnilam 0° M78 10 BC 14 HYDRA 0° ORION 8 T 2244 Rosette Nebula 2237 CANIS MINOR Procyon MONOCEROS 13 2264 S Gomeisa Betelgeuse 6 +10° Meissa 30 2169 BL R M67 +10° Acubens Alhena BQ CANCER X GEMINI Mekbuda 119 U TV Crab Nebula M1 1 Asellus Australis 2392 M44 ECLIPT IC Propus R Wasat Praesepe Asellus Borealis +20° +20° 2903 Mebsuta M35 Alterf TAURUS 14 Alnath RT WW Pollux 16 LEO Castor RS +30° M37 2683 +30° AR M36 M38 UU 2281 R 38 10 LEO MINOR 10 UMa 31 +40° PU AURIGA Menkalinan +40° LYNX 21 Capella Talitha URSA MAJOR 15 2841 26 +50° 1545 PERSEUS 7 CAM 5h CAM 6h RR 15 +50° 7h 8h 9h 10h MAGNITUDES DEEPSKY OBJECTS 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies 77 .

along with Aldebaran.5. As a result. slain by the mighty Hercules of Greek and Roman legend as one of his Twelve Labours. With a sep  r   ion of only 4 seconds of arc. Antares and Fomalhaut. nt a at s 5 degrees west of Regulus. Beneath the belly of the Lion (that is. as usual. outliers of the Virgo Cluster (see text to Chart 9). The number of meteors increases to a peak every 33 years (1999 was a peak year). A hooked line of stars at the western end of the group profiles the beast’s head and neck. The easiest to find are N3623 and N3627 (M65 and M66). swing ng between mag  i udes 4. 12 deg. and have been noted for at least 1000 years. R Leonis. the second brightest star in the hook. North of Leo lies the much smaller Leo Minor and then the stars of the major Northern Hemisphere constellation Ursa Major the Great Bear. ending with the first magnitude star Regulus to mark a front paw (or perhaps the lion’s heart).3 and 3. Regulus lies just north of the ecliptic. a small tele  cope is needed to split them. is a double. A 100 mm telescope is needed to reveal their shapes. These stars rise only 10 or 20 degrees at most above the northern horizon and the constellation is not easy to discern. is a Mira­type var   ble. by a planet. but there are.4 and 11. It is associated with Comet Temple 1 that last came by in 1866.). ia i nt Leo is the site of one of the more erratic meteor showers. since 4000 years ago it was home to the summer solstice now located in Gemini. the Leonids emerge from near Gamma Leonis around 15 to 20 November. t ul Gamma Leonis or Algieba. None is brighter than the eighth magnitude. 78 .3 every 312 days. Allowing for the fact that the constellation is upside-down to Southern Hemisphere viewers.CHArT 16 9 Hours to 12 Hours rA 0 to 55 degrees Dec This stretch of sky belongs to Leo the Lion. The name Regulus is derived from a word for ‘king’. The brightest of those stars is Denebola. Regulus was one of the Royal Stars of Persia. it is commonly approached. A close approach by Mars or Jupiter can be a spec ac   ar sight. not a lot of imagination is needed to discern a lion among the stars. Links between the Sun and Leo are therefore very ancient and may explain the common and long-standing link between the lion and royalty (such as the lion being the ‘king of beasts’). The association of a lion with these stars is much older. Leo is generally held to represent the Nemean Lion. peaking around 17 November. with a pair of yellow stars rated at mag  i udes 2. A triangle of stars two fists width to the east marks the rump and tail. other possibilities. that name coming from the Greek for ‘tail’. or even occulted. which good binoculars will pick up as fuzzy spots on a dark night (near 11 hr 20. above it as it stands in the sky) lie a number of external galaxies.

9h 10h 8 11h 3521 12h Zaniah 0° 0° HYDRA SEXTANS VY Zavijava VIRGO M61 31 M95 M105 4365 R Regulus M96 3348 M65 M66 4216 4371 +10° M67 Acubens +10° 3628 M87 M84 M86 4435/38 M88 M100 LEO X Chertan Denebola M99 M98 E C PTI CLI 60 Asellus Australis M44 Praesepe 2903 Algieba Zosma 93 M85 +20° Asellus Borealis Alterf Adhafera 3344 54 CANCER Rasalas COMA BERENICES Mel 111 4494 4565 +20° 15 LEO MINOR RS 46 R 2683 10 38 4214 21 17 Alula Australis Alula Borealis 4559 +30° +30° 4631 Tania Australis 3184 10 UMa CANIS VENATICI Cor Carola Tania Borealis 4490 +40° 31 ST 4449 Chara M94 +40° Y LYNX Talitha 2841 15 26 Owl Nebula M97 M106 URSA MAJOR Phad TU M109 21 W CG Merak +50° M108 +50° 8h 9h 10h 11h 12h 13h UMA MAGNITUDES DEEPSKY OBJECTS 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies 79 .

binoculars will reveal M3 (N5272) in the southern realm of Canes Venatici (near 13 hr 40. Many gal  x es of mag  i ude 9  a i nt and fainter are scat ered over the sky about 5 degrees north of M49. The best starting point is with the magnitude 8. They are notable mostly for the numbers of galaxies within their borders. 80 . It is remote from the Milky Way. brighter and cooler. for the region where  the two bears (major and minor) are high in the night sky. with the  North Galactic Pole (NGP) to be found within the constellation Coma Berenices (near 12 hr 50. at magnitude 6. peaking around 3 January. The two constellations can be linked in several ways. Coma Berenices (Berenice’s Hair) and Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs) are largish but dull constellations. marking the head of Bootes. fourth brightest in the sky (after Sirius. The Quadrantids meteor shower. It weighs almost the same as our Sun. 27 deg. an elongated pentagon of stars runs north-east towards Ursa Major the Great Bear. Bootes is the Ploughman or  Waggoner. From Arcturus. with Virgo the nearest zodiac constellation. generally the year’s brightest. 28 deg. the Greek for ‘bear’) we get our word ‘arctic’. a cluster commonly called the Virgo Cluster (see Chart 9). In images in which the stars of Ursa Major become a plough or a wagon. More gal  x es still are widely scat ered in Canes Venatici. which is both bright (integrated magnitude 1. The name comes from the now abandoned constellation Quadrans Muralis  (the Wall  Quadrant). Some of these may be glimpsed as fuzzy points of light in binoculars and small telescopes. Bootes as Herdsman drives the Great Bear around the North Pole. Canopus and Alpha Centauri).). has its radiant in the northern part of Bootes.4 galaxy N4472 (M49) in Virgo (near 12 hr 30. which used to occupy this part of the sky.CHArT 17 12 Hours to 15 Hours rA 0 to 45 degrees Dec This area of sky possesses few bright stars other than Arcturus in Bootes. 8 degrees). all characteristics of a Sun-like star in old age.8) and large (almost 5 degrees across). The ecliptic passes to the south. Bootes the Herdsman.). across the Virgo/Coma Berenices border. A few  t more lie at the north  rn end of Coma near the galac ic pole. From Arcturus (or more from ‘arktos’. located at distances estimated at 40 to 60 million light years. lying to the east of the two star groups mentioned earlier. This contains many hundreds of spiral and elliptical galaxies. but is larger. is dominated by the orange giant star Arcturus. For hunters after globular clusters. These continue the cluster centred in the northern regions of Virgo.  e t a i t Five degrees west of the Pole and near Gamma Coma Berenices we find the open cluster Melotte 111 (the Coma Cluster).

12h Zaniah Porrima 4753 13h 9 14h 15h LIBRA VIRGO 109 0° Zavijava M61 R 4365 M49 4526 4535 4636 0° 110 M5 5248 4371 +10° 4216 M99 M98 M87 M58 M59 Vindemiatrix M60 M86 M84 4435/38 M89 M90 +10° Denebola M88 M91 M100 M53 M85 Muphrid Arcturus +20° 93 COMA BERENICES Mel 111 4494 4565 M64 FS +20° 4725 LEO SERPENS CAPUT W M3 NGP 16 Izar Alphekka Nusakan 4559 18 4631 +30° Alula Australis A +30° Alula Borealis 4214 Cor Caroli R Seginus Alkalurops CORONA BOREALIS Chara M94 M63 +40° 4449 Y TU M106 CANES VENATICI Whirlpool Galaxy M51 5195 BOOTES Nekkar +40° ST Alkaid i URSA MAJOR Mizar Alioth Megrez X HERCULES Phad M109 80 Alcor M101 +50° Owl Nebula M97 5866 DRACO 16h +50° 11h 12h 13h 14h 15h MAGNITUDES DEEPSKY OBJECTS 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies 81 .

82 . a few degrees above Eta. Rasalgethi (‘the Kneeler’s Head’) lies at the southern (upper) end of the constellation. Interestingly. This is an indication of the latitude from which those who formed the constellations viewed the sky. per ormer of the famous Twelve Labours and voyager on the Argo with Jason in the quest  f for the Golden Fleece.2 and twice the diameter of the Full Moon. with an interesting arc of small stars.000 stars in a space  t 100 light years across and lies about 22. and a bit of Bootes. though at magnitude 5. On old star charts. M13 con ains some 300. With a little imag   a ion. which is head down for us. These stars have been formed into the image of a hero since Babylonian times. In giving the stars to Hercules.CHArT 18 15 Hours to 18 Hours rA 0 to 55 degrees Dec There are no bright stars in this corner of the sky and no strik ng con  tel a ions. Its brightest star. 4000 or more years ago. within a few degrees of Rasalhague (‘the Serpent-Charmers Head’) in Ophiuchus. the northern stars of Serpens Caput (the head of the serpent being wrestled by Ophiuchus further south).7 and diameter 17 minutes of arc. One item of interest in this region is the location of the so-called Apex of the Sun’s Motion. the point in the heavens towards which the Sun appears to be moving as it circles the Galaxy. in the top half dozen constellations for size. you can find I4665 about 10 degrees south of Alpha Ophiuchi (Rasalhague). being magnitude 4. a far north  rn con  tel a ion. In Ophiuchus itself. unlike Ophiuchus just to the south (see Chart 10). it is no match for Omega Centauri or 47 Tucanae in the south. close to its boundary with Lyra the Harp. Hercules is certainly big. Much of the sky is taken up with the  i s lt scattered stars of Hercules.000 light years away. The best binocular or small telescope sight here is among the western stars of Hercules. Measurements of the appar  nt move  ents of the  e m stars suggest that this lies in the eastern part of Hercules. Hercules is the right way up. kneeling with his foot on the head of Draco the Dragon. Hercules is often shown with club and lion skin. the Greeks were merely continuing an old tradition. the observer can recover the  e s lt in t image of a man with great arms and legs from the scattered stars. N6205 (M13) is the brightest globular cluster in the northern sky. for Southern Hemisphere viewers. The rest of the sky here contains the small constellation Corona Borealis the Northern Crown. This is a loose cluster worth seeking with binoculars.

4593 6633 +10° R S Rasalhague Rasalgethi +10° HERCULES U s Kornephoros +20° SERPENS CAPUT LQ 6210 95 102 +20° 109 Alphekka 17 W Izar Nusakan 19 CORONA BOREALIS +30° M13 c u HERCULES +30° M57 Sheliak A Ring Nebula Alkalurops Vega M92 Seginus g Nekkar +40° BOOTES X i OP XY LYRA R +40° CANES VENATICI 16.15h 16h 10 17h 18h LIBRA 0° 109 110 U M5 SERPENS CAUDA 68 67 70 I.4665 0° VIRGO Cebalrai Unukalhai OPHIUCHUS 6572 72 I. 17 Rastaban Etamin Alrakis Alkaid DRACO CYGNUS +50° +50° URSA MAJOR M101 5866 Grumium R 14h 15h 16h 17h 18h 19h MAGNITUDES DEEPSKY OBJECTS 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies 83 .

Epsilon Lyrae (a ‘double double’). Its two fifth magnitude components lie over 3 minutes of arc apart. Smaller but brighter than the Ring Nebula is N6853 (the Dumbbell Nebula. About 10 degrees south-west of the Dumbbell Nebula on the border with Sagitta is the distinctive open cluster dubbed the Coat-Hanger. unlike them. The con  tel a ion Cygnus is the form of a cross that evokes a swan flying south  a i s lt along the Milky Way. its pos  ible asso  i   ions  s lt t s c at include Leda.CHArT 19 18 Hours to 21 Hours rA 0 to 55 degrees Dec This is a spec ac   ar stretch of sky. This is rated magnitude 4 and covers more than 12 times the area of the Full Moon. The pair form a distinctive grouping. M57). with one striking star Vega (fifth in brightness in the sky). being only  nt et 1000 light years away. Several bright nebulae show up against the background stars. Vulpecula the Fox and Delphinus the Dolphin) take up further space.000 times brighter than our Sun. But the bright primary is an eclipsing variable. Gamma and Epsilon as the cross bar. and the star with the greatest intrinsic brightness. so called because they are most prominent on early evenings in winter in the South  rn Hemi  phere (it is the Summer Triangle north of the equator). A large telescope is needed to reveal its ring-like shape. One of the more elusive sights of Lyra is the well-known Ring Nebula (N6720. As a swan. Of the  e ul t 20 or so brightest stars as seen from Earth. one of the heavenly twins. the Milky Way appears divided. first and eighth magnitudes) easily split in small telescopes. Deneb (‘the tail’) is the first mag  i ude star that brings up the rear of the swan. With dec i  a­ nt ln tion 45 degrees. For all its length in this region.3. The ‘big three’ on the other hand are Lyra the Harp. more formally known as Collinder 399. seduced by Zeus in the guise of a swan. a constant magnitude 3.3 every 13 days. As with Deneb. crossed by the Milky Way from south­west to north­east. finding this nebula needs a clear north  rn horizon. Gamma and Alpha Cygni. though the con  tel a ion has some imes been drawn as a hen. 84 . To the west and a little higher in the sky lies Lyra the Harp. only mag  i ude 7 but 7 Moon diam  ters  nt e  wide. is a good test for keen eyes. due to the pres  nce of a band of dust com  only  e m found in the spiral arms of gal  x es. the brightest star in Aquila the Eagle. it has another brightish star (Gamma Aquilae) only a few degrees away. 5 degrees east of Deneb. Imagination is certainly needed here to find a harp among these stars! A degree or so away from Vega on the lower right. in front of the Milky Way in  Vulpecula (near 20 hr.3 to 4. An absolute magnitude of 8 makes it some 25. M27). A few small. Completing the Winter Triangle is Altair.). 23 deg. With mag  i ude 7. notably the appropriately shaped North America Nebula (N7000). Binoculars will confirm this. about 7 degrees south-east of Vega. with Delta. It lies much higher in the sky than Deneb and Vega and. and a small telescope will reveal that each star is itself a double. Cygnus the Swan and Aquila the Eagle. Beta Lyrae. This nebula. Gamma Lyrae. it is as bright as any plan   ary nebula in the sky. can be used for comparison. a planetary nebula lying between Beta and Gamma. Altair). On the western side we find  e s fragments of the heroes Hercules and Ophiuchus. It is a double (yellow-white and blue. shifting from magnitude 3. The much larger but fainter and more  e elusive Veil Nebula (N6960) is some 15 degrees south of Deneb. Eta. so giving birth to the hero Pollux. it is no easy target. Vega. is a supernova remnant. is another star with surprises. dim constellations (Sagitta the Arrow. The long bar of the Northern Cross is made up of Beta. Deneb remains low in the north  rn sky for most centres of pop   a ion south of the equator. Deneb is the most distant (nearly 2000 light years).8 and little more than 1 minute of arc across. and home to the three  t ul bright stars of the Winter Triangle (Deneb.2 nearby. At magnitude 8.

4665 72 AQUILA R X Alshain Kitalpha 6633 OPHIUCHUS +10° Rasalhague Altair Tarazed 6709 DELPHINUS EQUULEUS +10° M15 FF 111 U 110 102 1 109 113 Coll 399 U M27 13 S SAGITTA M71 U PEGASUS 1 +20° 95 Dumbbell Nebula +20° VULPECULA Albireo M56 Ring Nebula M57 6882/85 23 6940 SU 41 52 6960 31 T 2 20 18 6992-95 DT Sulafat 39 +30° Sheliak 6871 Veil Nebula T X +30° HERCULES u Vega c XY P M29 Sadr 6910 R Pelican Nebula I.5067-70 PEG 61 LYRA +40° M92 OP CYGNUS AF 6811 RT R 6826 7027 +40° Deneb 7000 North America Nebula W 63 M39 AR 2 Etamin Rastaban DRACO 33 LACERTA 4 7243 5 +50° Alrakis Grumium CEPHEUS 21h 22h CEP +50° 17h 18h 19h 20h MAGNITUDES DEEPSKY OBJECTS 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 brighter Double stars Variable stars Open star clusters Globular star clusters Planetary Nebulae Diffuse nebulae Galaxies 85 .4756 AQUARIUS 0° 67 Cebalrai 6572 I.18h 59 19h 11 20h 71 21h 0° 68 70 SERPENS CAUDA Alya I.

CHArT 20
21 Hours to 24 Hours rA 0 to 55 degrees Dec

Though not one of the more spectacular stretches of night sky, there are many things of interest here. The most obvious feature is a rough square of mod  r  tely bright stars known as the Great Square of Pegasus. The square, lying to the  ea east of Cygnus the Swan, is large, some 15 degrees or one and a half fists wide in each direction. Strictly speaking, only three of the four stars belong to Pegasus the Flying Horse. The north-east star (on the lower right) is nowadays given to the constellation of Andromeda the Chained Maiden, in which it marks the head of the princess (see Chart 13). However, its name Alpheratz (‘the navel of the horse’) indicates its former association. Most people asso  iate Pegasus with Perseus, the rescuer of Andromeda. However, legend gives the honour of riding c Pegasus to Bellerophon, the hero noted for his fatal boldness in seeking to ride to heaven. The role of Perseus was in bring ng the winged steed into being, since Pegasus was created from the blood of the mon  trous Medusa, slain by  i s Perseus, falling into the sea. Unlike most north  rn con  tel a ions, Pegasus is upright when viewed from our part of the world. What is more, the  e s lt stars do, with little imag   a ion, suggest the front portion of a horse gal op ng (or flying) to the west. From the top  in t l i left­hand corner of the square a curved line of stars traces the horse’s head and neck. This begins with Alpha Pegasi (Markab for ‘saddle’) and ends at the orange supergiant star Enif (‘nose’). The latter is the brightest in the constellation, even though it is labelled only Epsilon Pegasi. Lines of stars from the lower left-hand star (Beta Pegasi or Scheat, meaning ‘upper arm’) mark out the horse’s front legs. A few degrees north-west of Enif lies the globular cluster M15, 30,000 light years away. At magnitude 6.0 and diameter 12 minutes of arc, this is larger and brighter than many. It shows up as a fuzzy patch in binoculars, and small telescopes show its bright core, though they cannot resolve individual stars. The rest of the sky here is not memorable; fragments and edges of Andromeda and other nearby constellations, and the insignificant constellations Equuleus the Colt or Foal and Lacerta the Lizard. The nearest zodiac sign is Pisces the Fish, lying south­east (that is, above and to the right) of the Great Square. 

86

21h
M2

22h

Sadachbia Sadalmelik

12

23h

24h

71

AQUARIUS
TX

XZ ECLIPTIC

AQL
Kitalpha Biham

PISCES EQUULEUS DELPHINUS
+10°
M15

Enif Homam

55

70

+10°

Markab Algenib

9

PEGASUS
TV

U

1

+20°

2

+20°
Sadalbari

VULPECULA

19
T 23 6940

Scheat
31

13
Alpheratz

Matar
6992-95

41

52 6960

DT Veil Nebula 7331

+30°
39

+30°

T X 6871 P M29 1

PSC

61 R

Sadr

CYGNUS
7027 Pelican Nebula I.5067-70 7000 North America Nebula W AR

6 11

7662

ANDROMEDA
M110 M32

+40°

6910

2

LACERTA
5 7 185

M31 Andromeda Galaxy

+40°

Deneb
63

M39

7243

4

147 R RT R 6826 RW

CASSIOPEIA
7789

+50°

CEPHEUS
20h 21h 22h 23h

+50°

0h

1h

PER

MAGNITUDES

DEEPSKY OBJECTS

6

5

4

3

2

1

0

brighter

Double stars

Variable stars

Open star clusters

Globular star clusters

Planetary Nebulae

Diffuse nebulae

Galaxies

87

88

  ul Rest your arms on something. making visible stars down The next step up is to a small (or small sh) tele  cope. they have greater reso­ T If you want some light to read the maps in this book when lution). This  was  about  the  light  grasp  of  refractor (with a large lens at the front to collect the light) or nt Galileo’s first tele  cope. Such As with naked­eye viewing. reason  bly  steady.  but  a  reflec or  will  be  notice  bly  ul t a arate many double stars. •    hey can see finer detail (that is.Appendix A: Using binoculars and telescopes Helping the eye The main problem with binoc   ars is holding them steady. Avoid street lights and house •    hey collect more light than does the naked eye (they have lights.  et ul which is about the highest useful mag  ifi  a ion. Avoid moonlit nights if possible. n ct diam   er. con  rmed the phases of Venus and dis  ov  red  at an astronomical supply store. T ence. Half an hour makes a great dif er­ f •    hey magnify objects. 89 . or use a torch with an almost­flat battery. On to a telescope More impor antly.  the four eenth mag  i ude. the 50 mm lenses will collect 50 times  t as much light as the unaided eye. a small telescope to improve the view of the night sky. both light  For  a  certain  aper ure.  a  refrac or  will  in  general  give  a  t t and dark. Higher mag­ n ct nifi  a ions amplify the inev  a  le shaking of hand­held binoc­ ct it b ulars to an unacceptable degree. the darker the sky the better.  instruments do several things. cheaper. are quite affordable.  or  even  s t three arc seconds across.  Above  about  80  mm  aper ure.  clearer  image.  Such  binoc   ars  will  magnify  objects  10  times. put red cellophane over your torch. With it.  This  com  ares  with  the  15  or  20  arc    a p A 200 mm tele  cope will collect over one thou  and times  s s seconds achiev  ble with the eye alone. And give your eyes time  i and more distant objects. so that it gives a dim  which  means  mag  ifi  a ion  10  and  with  lenses  50  mm  in  reddish light.  but  reflec ors  to  200  or  300  mm. binoculars will discern details two or very  expen  ive. making them seem larger. will show up well with binoc   ars and you can sep­ brighter. Or lie on your back on a rug. t the Moon. Red light does not upset night vision. either a  i s to  mag  i ude  10  or  11. to become dark­adapted. you are under the stars. Three arc seconds is  as much light as the naked eye and will reveal stars down to a about  1/600th  the  appar  nt  diam   er  of  the  Full  Moon. though it mag  ified 30 times. An ordinary pair of binoculars would be rated 10 by 50. The brighter of the nebulae. and the longer you stay out the more you will see. That light grasp will reveal even the  e et t nt which means an object about 6 km across at the dis ance of  elusive planet Pluto. fi c e the moons of Jupiter. provided seeing conditions are more. broke the Milky Way  scope is a complex matter and it is best to take expert advice  t up into stars. Get away from the glare of the city to the bush or a T a greater light grasp) and so enable the user to see fainter beach or even a large sport ng field.  refrac ors  become  t t As for resolution.  a reflec or (with a mirror at the lower end). Buying a tele­ s n t Galileo saw the moun ains of the Moon. like the top of a fence or the References are made in this book to the use of binoculars or arms of a deck chair.

Jupiter and Saturn). Some will occur when the planets involved are positioned in the morning sky before sunrise. the months in which it is retrograding (moving to the west).Appendix B: Planet positions The following table provides information on the positions of  four of the five naked­eye planets and their relationships with  the zodiac constellations.  others  will  take  place  when  the  planets lie too close to be Sun to be visible. Between these two dates. The  final  column  of  the  table  provides  information  on  conjunctions between the four planets listed. the orbits of which lie outside that of the Earth. the table shows  whether Venus is a morning star (visible before sunrise in the  east) or an evening star (visible after sunset in the west). rather than in the more­conven­ ient­to­view  evening  sky. The positions given are for the period  around the start of each month. not all  will be readily visible (to the naked eye at least). that is. Most of the information in the table refers to the exterior  planets (Mars. No information is supplied regarding the planet Mercury. Inferior con­ junction marks the transition from evening star to morning star. While all of the conjunctions listed will occur. the Sun and each other over the years 2008 to 2017. information is not provided regarding its position on the zodiac. Because  its movement is relatively rapid. Mercury is also relatively faint and hard to detect. 9  0 . The table indicates in which zodiac  constellation the planet can be found around the start of each month. the dates on which they reach the same right ascen­ sion).  the table shows when the planet is in conjunction with the Sun (at which time the planet cannot be seen). It also gives the date of its maximum elongation east (greatest  height above the sunset) and its maximum elongation west  (greatest height above the sunrise). Mercury moves so quickly against the background of the stars that information provided once a month is of little value. superior conjunction marks the reverse transition. and the dates on which the planet comes into opposi­ tion (directly opposite the Sun in the sky and therefore cross­ ing the meridian at midnight) and reaches conjunction (passing behind the Sun and therefore undetectable) with the Sun. Somewhat similar considerations apply to Venus. and because its brilliance makes it generally unmistakable. the dates when the planets come close together in the sky (to be more precise. However.

 Elong East 14 Evening Inf Conj 27 Morning Morning Max. Elong West 05 Morning Morning Morning Morning Morning Morning Sagittarius Sagittarius Capricornus Aquarius Pisces Pisces Aries Taurus Gemini Gemini Cancer Cancer Conj Sun 24 Capricornus Capricornus Capricornus Capricornus Capricornus Capricornus R Capricornus R Opp 14 Capricornus R Capricornus R Capricornus Capricornus Leo R Leo R Leo R Opp 08 Leo R Leo R Leo Leo Leo Conj Sun 17 Leo Leo Leo Venus/Saturn 13 9  1 .Table 5. Planet positions 2008–2017 Planet positions 2008 Mars Venus/Jupiter 01 Jupiter Saturn Conjunctions Month Venus January February March April May June July August September October November December Morning Morning Morning Morning Morning Sup Conj 09 Evening Evening Evening Evening Evening Evening Taurus R Taurus R Taurus R Gemini Gemini Cancer Leo Leo Virgo Virgo Libra Conj Sun 05 Sagittarius Sagittarius Sagittarius Sagittarius Sagittarius Sagittarius R Sagittarius R Opp 09 Sagittarius R Sagittarius R Sagittarius Sagittarius Sagittarius Leo R Leo R Opp 24 Leo R Leo R Leo R Leo Leo Leo Conj Sun 04 Leo Leo Leo Mars/Saturn 11 Venus/Saturn 13 Venus/Mars 11 Venus/Jupiter 01 Planet positions 2009 Mars Jupiter Saturn Conjunctions Mars/Jupiter 17 Venus/Mars 18 Venus/Mars 19 Month Venus January February March April May June July August September October November December Max.

9  2 Mars Cancer R Opp 29 Cancer R Cancer R Cancer Cancer Cancer Leo Virgo Mars/Saturn 01 Venus/Saturn 10 Venus/Mars 23 Venus/Mars 29 Capricornus Conj Sun 28 Aquarius Aquarius Aquarius Aquarius Pisces Pisces Virgo Virgo R Virgo R Opp 22 Virgo R Virgo R Virgo R Virgo Virgo Venus/Jupiter 16 Jupiter Saturn Conjunctions Virgo Libra Scorpius Scorpius Pisces R Opp 21 Aquarius R Aquarius R Aquarius R Virgo Conj Sun 01 Virgo Virgo Mars Sagittarius Conj Sun 04 Aquarius Aquarius Pisces Aquarius Pisces Pisces Conj Sun 06 Pisces Jupiter Saturn Virgo Virgo R Virgo R Virgo R Opp 03 Virgo R Conjunctions Mars/Jupiter 01 Venus/Jupiter 11 Venus/Mars 22 Aries Taurus Taurus Gemini Cancer Cancer Leo Pisces Aries Aries Aries Aries R Opp 29 Aries R Aries R Virgo R Virgo Virgo Virgo Conj Sun 13 Virgo Virgo Venus/Saturn 30 Planet positions 2010 Month Venus January February March April May June July August Morning Sup Conj 11 Evening Evening Evening Evening Evening Max. Elong East 20 September October November December Evening Inf Conj 29 Morning Morning Planet positions 2011 Month Venus January February March April May Max. Elong West 08 Morning Morning Morning Morning June July August September October November December Morning Morning Sup Conj 16  Evening Evening Evening Evening .

Planet positions 2012 Mars Jupiter Saturn Conjunctions Month Venus Venus/Jupiter 15 Mars/Saturn 17 January February March April May June July August September October November December Venus/Saturn 27 Evening Evening Max. Elong East 01  Evening Capricornus Capricornus Aquarius Conj Sun 18 Aries Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Cancer Leo Leo Taurus R Taurus R Taurus Taurus Taurus Conj Sun 19 Taurus Gemini Gemini Gemini Gemini Gemini R Libra Libra Libra R Libra R Opp 28 Libra R Libra R Libra R Libra Libra Libra Conj Sun 06 Libra 9  3 . Elong East 27 Evening Evening Inf Conj 06 Morning Max. Elong West 26 Morning Morning Morning Morning Leo Leo R Leo R Opp 03 Leo R Leo R Leo Leo Virgo Libra Libra Scorpius Sagittarius Aries R Aries Aries Aries Conj Sun 13 Taurus Taurus Taurus Taurus Taurus Taurus R Taurus R Opp 03 Virgo Virgo R Virgo R Virgo R Opp 15 Virgo R Virgo R Virgo Virgo Virgo Conj Sun 25 Libra Libra Planet positions 2013 Mars Jupiter Saturn Conjunctions Month Venus Venus/Mars 06 Venus/Jupiter 28 Mars/Jupiter 22 Venus/Saturn 20 January February March April May June July August September October November December Morning Morning Sup Conj 28  Evening Evening Evening Evening Evening Evening Evening Max.

 31 Venus/Mars 29 Mars/Jupiter 17 Venus/Jupiter 26 Venus/Mars 03 Planet positions 2014 Month Venus January February March April May June July August Inf Conj 11 Morning Max. Elong West 22  Morning Morning Morning Morning Morning September October November December Morning Sup Conj 25 Evening Evening Planet positions 2015 Month Venus January February March April May June July August September October Evening Evening Evening Evening Evening Max. Elong East 06 Evening Inf Conj 15 Morning Max.9  4 Mars Virgo Virgo Virgo R Virgo R Opp 08 Virgo R Virgo R Virgo Virgo Venus/Jupiter 18 Mars/Saturn 27 Gemini R Opp 5 Gemini R Gemini R Gemini Gemini Gemini Conj Sun 24 Cancer Libra Libra Libra R Libra R Libra R Opp 10 Libra R Libra R Libra R Jupiter Saturn Conjunctions Libra Scorpius Sagittarius Sagittarius Cancer Cancer Cancer Cancer Libra Libra Conj Sun 18 Libra Venus/Saturn 13 Mars Jupiter Saturn Conjunctions Venus/Mars 21 Capricornus Aquarius Pisces Pisces Taurus Conj Sun 14 Gemini Gemini Cancer Leo Leo Virgo Leo Leo Cancer R Cancer R Opp 6 Cancer R Cancer R Cancer Cancer Cancer Conj Sun 26 Leo Leo Libra Scorpius Scorpius Scorpius R Scorpius R Opp 23 Scorpius R Scorpius R Scorpius R Scorpius Scorpius Conj Sun 30 Scorpius Venus/Jupiter 01. Elong West 26 November December Morning Morning .

 Max. Elong West 03 Morning Morning Morning Morning Morning Morning Venus/Mars 05 Venus/Jupiter 13 Venus/Saturn 25 Notes: R = retrograding. Elong East 12 Evening Inf Conj 25 Morning Morning Max. Opp = opposition. Conj Sun = conjunction with the Sun.Planet positions 2016 Mars Virgo Libra Libra Scorpius R Scorpius R Opp 22 Libra R Libra Libra Mars/Saturn 25 Venus/Jupiter 27 Venus/Saturn 30 Scorpius Scorpius Sagittarius Capricornus Conj Sun 26 Virgo Virgo Virgo Scorpius R Scorpius Scorpius Conj Sun 10 Leo Leo R Leo R Leo R Opp 08 Leo R Leo Leo Leo Scorpius Scorpius Scorpius Scorpius R Scorpius R Scorpius R Opp 03 Scorpius R Scorpius R Venus/Saturn 09 Jupiter Saturn Conjunctions Month Venus January February March April May June July August Morning Morning Morning Morning Morning Sup Conj 06 Evening Evening September October November December Evening Evening Evening Evening Planet positions 2017 Mars Aquarius Aquarius Pisces Aries Taurus Taurus Conj Sun 27 Gemini Gemini Leo Virgo Virgo Virgo Virgo Virgo R Virgo R Opp 07 Virgo R Virgo R Virgo Virgo Virgo Conj Sun 26 Libra Libra Jupiter Saturn Scorpius Scorpius Scorpius Scorpius R Scorpius R Scorpius R Opp 15 Scorpius R Scorpius R Scorpius R Scorpius Scorpius Conj Sun 21 Conjunctions Month Venus January February March April May June July August September October November December Max. Sup Conj = superior conjunction. Elong = maximum  elongation 9  5 . Inf Conj = inferior conjunction.

9  6 .

 80 Gamma Aquilae 84 Gamma Canceri 76 Gamma Velorum 50 Gemini the Twins 76 Geminids meteor shower 76 Giant stars 7 Globular clusters 18   47 Tucanae 48   M3 (N5272) 80   M4 (N6121) 66   M13 (N6205) 82   M15 86   M22 (N6656) 68   N6752 54   NGC 362 48   Omega Centauri (N5139) 52 Great Square of Pegasus. the 18 Mimosa (Beta Crucis) 52 Minor planets 17 Mira (Omicron Ceti) 56 Mirzam (Beta Canis Majoris) 60 Monoceros the Unicorn 60 Moon. 70 Hadar (Beta Centauri) 52 Hamal (Alpha Arietes) 72 Helical rising 60 Helix Nebula 70 Hercules 82 Herschel 3670 48 Herschel 4330 50 Herschel 4332 50 Hipparchos 66 Horologium the Clock 48 Hyades 74 Hydra the Female Water Snake 60. 52 Jupiter 16 Kappa Crucis 52 Kaus Australis (Epsilon Sagittaurii) 68 Lacerta the Lizard 86 Large Magellanic Cloud 48 Leo the Lion 78 Leo Minor the Small Lion 78 Leonids meteor shower 78 Lepus the Hare 58 Libra the Scales 66 Light grasp 89 Light year 6 Lupus the Wolf 52 Lyra the Harp 84 M1 (Crab Nebula) 74 M3 (N5272) 80 M4 (NGC 6121) 66 M6 (Butterfly Cluster) 66 M7 (NGC 6475) 66 M8 (Lagoon Nebula) 68 M11 (Wild Duck Nebula) 68 M13 (NGC 6205) 82 M15 86 M16 (NGC 6611) 68 M17 (Swan Nebula) 68 M18 (N6613) 68 M20 (Trifid Nebula) 68 M21 (NGC 6531) 68 M22 (NGC 6656) 68 M24 68 M25 (I4725) 68 M27 (Dumbbell Nebula) 84 M31 (Andromeda Galaxy) 72 M32 (NGC 221) 72 M33 (NGC 598) 72 M35 (NGC 2168) 76 M41 (NGC 2287) 60 M42 (Orion Nebula) 58 M43 (NGC 1982) 58 M44 (Praesepe) 76 M45 (Pleiades) 74 M46 (NGC 2437) 60 M47 (NGC 2423) 60 M48 (NGC 2548) 60 M49 (NGC 4472) 64 M57 (Ring Nebula) 84 M65 (NGC 3623) 78 M66 (NGC 3627) 78 M67 (NGC 2682) 76 M83 (NGC 5236) 64 M87 (NGC 4486) 64 M104 (‘Sombrero Hat’ galaxy)  64 M110 (NGC 205) 72 Magellanic Clouds 48 Magnitude of stars 6 Manger. 52 Columba the Dove 58 Coma Berenices (Berenice’s Hair)  80 Coma Cluster (Melotte 111) 80 Comets 17 Conjunction of planet 16 Constellations 1 Constellations. Andromeda  Galaxy) 72   N253 56   N598 (M33) 72   N3623 (M65) 78   N3627 (M66) 78   N4472 (M49) 64. the (Praesepe) 76 Maria 14 Markab (Alpha Pegasi) 86 Mars 16 Melotte 20 74 Melotte 111 (Coma Cluster) 80 Menkar (Alpha Ceti) 56 Mensa the Table Mountain 48 Mercury 16 Messier catalogue 19 Meteor showers 17   Arietids 72   Delta Aquarids 70   Eta Aquarids 70   Geminids 76   Leonids 78   Orionids 58   Quadrantids 80   table of brightest 17   Taurids 74 Microscopium the Microscope 54 Milky Way. main features of 14 Morning star 16 Multiple stars 8   Acrux 52 Adhara (Epsilon Canis Majoris) 60   Algeiba (Gamma Leonis) 78   Alpha Centauri 52   Beta Lyrae 84   Castor 76   Delta Orionis 58   Dunlop 227 54   Gamma Andromedae 72 9  7 . the 72. 80   N4486 (M87) 64   N4594 (M104) 64   N5128 (Centaurus A) 52   N5236 (M83) 64   N6744 54 Galaxies 18. 58 Eta Aquarids meteor shower 70 Eta Carinae 50 Evening star 16 False Cross 50 First Point of Aries 72 Flamsteed numbers 6 Flare stars 9 Fomalhaut (Alpha Piscis Austrini)  70 Fornax the Furnace 56 Galactic equator 68 Galaxies   N55 56   N205 (M110) 72   N221 (M32) 72   N224 (M31. 84 Andromeda Galaxy (M31) 72 Andromeda the Chained Maiden 72.Index Absolute magnitude 7 Achernar (Alpha Eridani) 48 Acrux 52 Adhara (Epsilon Canis Majoris) 60 Alcyone (in Pleiades) 74 Aldebaran (Alpha Tauri) 74 Algieba (Gamma Leonis) 78 Algol (Beta Persei) 8. 66 Antlia the Air Pump 62 Apex of the Sun’s Motion 82 Apparent magnitude 6 Apus the Bird of Paradise 52 Aquarius the Water­Carrier 70 Aquila the Eagle 68. 74 Alnasl (Gamma Sagittarii) 68 Alnath (Beta Tauri) 74 Alphard (Alpha Hydrae) 62 Alpheratz (Alpha Andomedae) 72. the 18. 18–19. 58 Binoculars 89 Bootes the Herdsman 80 Caelum the Engraving Tool 48 California Nebula (N1499) 74 Cancer the Crab 76 Canes Venatici the Hunting Dogs  80 Canis Major the Great Dog 60 Canis Minor the Small Dog 60 Canopus (Alpha Carinae) 50 Capella (Alpha Aurigae) 74 Capricornus the Sea­Goat 70 Carina the Ship’s Keel 50 Castor (Alpha Geminorum) 76 Celestial equator 9 Celestial poles 9 Celestial sphere 9 Centaurus A 52 Centaurus the Centaur 52 Cepheid variables 8 Cetus the Sea Monster 56 Circinus the Compasses 52 Clouds of Magellan 48 Coal Sack. 86 Altair (Alpha Aquilae) 68. 64 Hydrus the Male Water Snake 48 I2391 (Omicron Velorum) 50 I2602 50 I4665 82 Indus the Indian 54 Inferior conjunction 16 Iota Pictoris (Dunlop 18) 48 Irregular variable stars 9 Jewel Box. 86 Grus the Crane 54. the 18.  76 Bellatrix (Gamma Orionis) 58 Beta Ceti 56 Beta Lyrae 84 Betelgeuse (Alpha Orionis) 9. 62. 86 Antares (Alpha Scorpii) 6. The (Praesepe. table of brightest 2–3 Corona Borealis the Northern  Crown 82 Corvus the Crow 64 Crab Nebula (M1) 74 Crater the Cup 62 Crossing the meridian 9 Crux the (Southern) Cross 52 Cygnus the Swan 84 Dark nebulae 18 Declination 12 Delphinus the Dolphin 84 Delta Aquarids meteor shower 70 Deneb (Alpha Cygni) 84 Denebola (Beta Leonis) 78 Distances in sky 8 Dorado the Swordfish 48 30 Doradus 48 Double stars 8 Draco the Dragon 82 Dunlop 18 (Iota Pictoris) 48 Dunlop 227 54 Eclipses of Moon 14 Eclipses of Sun 14 Ecliptic 12 Emission nebulae 18 Enif (Epsilon Pegasi) 86 Epsilon Lyrae 84 Equuleus the Colt 86 Eridanus the River 48. M44) 18. 84 Ara the Altar 52 Arcturus (Alpha Bootis) 80 Argo Navis the Ship Argo 50 Aries the Ram 72 Asterisms 1 Astronomical twilight 12 Auriga the Charioteer 74 Beehive.

80 Virgo the Young Maiden 64 Vulpecula the Fox 84 White dwarf stars 8 Wild Duck Nebula (M11) 68 Winter Triangle. 72 Procyon (Alpha Canis Minoris) 60 Proxima Centauri 8. 66. the 58 Scheat (Beta Pegasi) 86 Scorpius the Scorpion 66 Sculptor the Sculptor’s Chisel 56 Scutum the Shield 68 Serpens Caput the Serpent’s Head  66 Serpens Cauda the Serpent’s Tail  66. table of brightest 7 Struve 1120 60 Struve 1121 60 Summer Solstice 76 Supergiant stars 7 Superior conjunction 16 Supernovas 18 Taurids meteor shower 74 Taurus the Bull 74 Teapot. 74. 68 Tropic of Cancer 76 Tropic of Capricorn 70 Trumpler 24 66 Tucana the Toucan 48. 72 Virgo Cluster 64. 52 Omicron Velorum 50 Open clusters 17–18   Butterfly Cluster (M6) 66   Collinder 399 84   Coma Cluster (Melotte 111)  80   Hyades 74   I4665 66. movements of outer 14–16 Pleiades 18. movements of inner 16 Planets. M44)  76 Precession of the Equinoxes 13. NGC 1976)  58 Orion the Hunter 58 Pavo the Peacock 54 Pegasus the Flying Horse 86 Perseus 74. 74 Pointers. 48 Ursa Major the Great Bear 78. the (in Sagittarius) 68 Telescopes 89 Telescopium the Telescope 54 Terminator 14 Theta Carinae 50 Theta Eridani 56 Theta Orionis 58 Trapezium. 82 Opposition. identifying 16 Planets. the 52 Polaris 54 Pollux (Beta Geminorum) 76 Praesepe (Beehive Cluster. 86 Phases of Moon 13 Phoenis the Phoenix 48 Pictor the Painter’s Easel 48 Pisces the Fish 72 Piscis Austrinus the Southern Fish  70 Planetary movements. 54 47 Tucanae 18. the 58 Triangulum 72 Triangulum Australe 52 Trifid Nebula 18. 52 Puppis the Ship’s Poop 60 Pyxis the Ship’s Compass 60 Quarantids meteor shower 80 Rasalgethi (Alpha Herculi) 82 Rasalhague (Alpha Ophiuchi) 82 Reflection nebulae 18 Regulus (Alpha Leonis) 78 Resolution 89 Reticulum the Reticle 48 Retrograding of planet 14–15 Rigel (Beta Orionis) 58 Right ascension 12 Rigil Kent (Alpha Centauri) 52 Rosette Nebula 60 Royal Stars of Persia 70. 68 Sextans the Sextant 62 Shaula (Gamma Scorpii) 66 Sidereal time 21 Sigma Octantis 54 Sirius (Alpha Canis Majoris) 60 Small Magellanic Cloud 48 Soothis (Sirius) 60 South celestial pole 9 South Galactic Pole 56 Spica (Alpha Virginis) 64 Stars 1 Stars. 82   Jewel Box (N4755) 52   M7 (N6475) 66   M8 (N6613) 68   M16 (N6611) 68   M21 (N6531) 68   M24 (‘star cloud’) 68   M25 (I4725) 68   M35 (N2168) 76   M41 (N2287) 60   M46 (N2437) 60   M47 (N2423) 60   M48 (N2548) 60   M67 (N2682) 76   Melotte 20 (Alpha Persei) 74   N752 72   N1980 58   N1981 58   N2362 60   N2451 60   N3766 50   N6231 66   Omicron Velorum (I2391) 50   Pleiades (M45) 74   Praesepe (M44) 76   Theta Carinae (I2602) 50   Trapezium (Theta Orionis) 58   Trumpler 24 66 Ophiuchus the Serpent­Holder  66. 80 Variable stars 8   Mira­type     Mira 56     R Car 50     R Hor 48     R Leo 78     R Lep 58     S Car 50     U Ori 58 Eclipsing     Algol 74     Beta Lyrae 84   Semi­regular L2 Puppis 50 Vega (Alpha Lyrae) 84 Vela the Ship’s Sail 50 Venus 16 Vernal equinox 12.  Gamma Velorum 50   Herschel 3670 48   Herschel 4330 50   Herschel 4332 50   Iota Orionis 58   Iota Pictoris (Dunlop 18) 48   k Puppis 60   Mu Crucis 52   Struve 1120 60   Struve 1121 60   Theta Eridani 56 Musca the Fly 52 N4472 (M49) 80 N5272 (M3) 80 naked­eye doubles   Alpha Librae 66   Epsilon Lyrae 84   Sigma Tauri 74   Theta Tauri 74 Nebulae 18–19   California Nebula (N1499) 74   Coal Sack (dark) 52   Crab Nebula (M1) 74   Eta Carinae Nebula (N3372)  50   Keyhole Nebula (N3372) 50   Lagoon Nebula (M8) 68   Lambda Crucis 52   M43 (N1982) 58 North America Nebula (N7000) 84   Orion Nebula (N1976) 58   Rosette Nebula (N2237) 60   Swan Nebula (M17) 68   Tarantula Nebula (N2070) 48   Trifid Nebula (M20) 68   Veil Nebula (N6960) 84   Wild Duck Nebula (M11) 68 New General Catalogue 19 NGC 55 56 NGC 104 (47 Tucanae) 48 NGC 253 56 NGC 362 48 NGC 1360 56 NGC 1499 (California Nebula)  74 NGC 1952 (M1) 74 NGC 1976 (Orion Nebula) 58 NGC 1980 58 NGC 1981 58 NGC 1982 (M43) 58 NGC 2070 (Tarantula Nebula) 48 NGC 2168 (M35) 76 NGC 2237 (Rosette Nebula) 60 NGC 2287 60 NGC 2354 60 NGC 2362 60 NGC 2423 60 NGC 2437 60 NGC 2451 60 NGC 2548 60 NGC 2682 (M67) 76 NGC 3242 62 NGC 3372 (Eta Carinae Nebula)  50 NGC 3766 50 NGC 4472 64 NGC 4486 64 NGC 4594 64 NGC 4755 (Jewel Box Cluster)  52 NGC 5128 (Centaurus A) 52 NGC 5139 (Omega Centauri) 52   NGC 6205 (M13) 82 NGC 6231 66 NGC 6705 (M11) 68 NGC 6720 (Ring Nebula) 84 NGC 6744 54 NGC 6752 54 NGC 6853 (Dumbbell Nebula)  84 NGC 6960 (Veil Nebula) 84 NGC 7000 (North America  Nebula) 84 NGC 7293 (Helix Nebula) 70 Norma the Set Square 52 North Galactic Pole 80 Northern Cross 84 Novae 9. the 84 Zodiac 13 98 . 66 Occultation 16 Octans the Octant 54 Omega Centauri 18. table of 91–95 Planetary nebulae 18   Dumbbell Nebula 84   Helix Nebula (N7293) 70   N1360 56   N3132 62   N3242 62   Ring Nebula 84 Planets. 78 Sagitta the Arrow 84 Sagittarius the Archer 68 Satellites 17 Saturn 16 Saucepan. planet at 15 Orion Nebula (M42.

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