This is a great time of year to stargaze. The winter constellations near the centre of the Milky Way, such as Scorpius and Sagittarius, are still visible low in the west. Then the summer icons of Orion and Canis Major are seen rising at about midnight – brilliant!
The Moon is a stunning binocular target, particularly the Lunar terminator – between the illuminated and dark parts – where views of craters, mountains and seas change daily. Binoculars must stay still: brace your elbows on a fence or arms of a chair to help.
Aquarius, in the northern evening sky, is home to some impressive deep-sky objects, including the Helix Nebula. Through a wide-field eyepiece this shows as a white ring with a dark centre. The north-east and south-west quadrants are noticeably brighter.
Glenn Dawes is a co-author of the yearbook Astronomy 2017 Australia