look­ing up

Australian Geographic - - Geo Buzz - with Glenn Dawes

Naked eye

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.

Small tele­scope

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 (Quasar Pub­lish­ing).

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