With the Milky Way low in the evening sky, the far southern sky is quite barren, but two stars, both associated with water, shine brightly. Achernar is in Eridanus the River. Fomalhaut is the brightest star of Piscis Austrinus, Latin for ‘southern fish’.
The colours of stars are evident in the V-shaped Hyades open cluster, the face of Taurus the Bull. The giant orange Aldebaran makes a brilliant bovine ‘eye’, with the remaining dozen or so bright members being mostly blue amid a scattering of yellow ones.
Mercury has emerged from behind the Sun into the evening twilight. Watch its changing disc as it heads towards Earth, growing from 5.1 arcseconds (”) and full-Moon shape in early November to a thin crescent, 8.7” in diameter, a month later.
Glenn Dawes is a co-author of the yearbook Astronomy 2017 Australia