is of course our neighbouring twin galaxy, about 2,3-million light years away and the remotest object visible to the naked eye.
Scorpius is setting, heading downwards to the horizon in the west, with the red supergiant star Antares, the “Heart of the Scorpion”, clearly visible and the ringed planet Saturn visible to the upper right. To the south the Southern Cross and the Pointers are now low above the horizon. Away from city lights, this is a good time to see our nearest neighbouring galaxies, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. Look high up above the cross and you should see two small fuzzy patches.
An arc stretching from the southeast to the northwest contains five bright stars starting with Canopus, or Naka, the Horn Star, low in the southeast, followed by Achernar halfway up in the southeast, Fomalhout almost overhead, then Altair, and ending with Vega very low above the north-western horizon. To the right (east) of Vega is
Cygnus the Swan and a little further east is the Great Square of Pegasus (mentioned above).
The morning sky is now dominated by the beautiful constellation of Orion, which is high up in the north. To the lower right (east) are the twins in Gemini, Castor and Pollux. The red supergiant star Betelgeuse is clearly visible on the lower right of Orion and forms the Great Southern Triangle with Sirius, the Dog Star, and Procyon, the Little Dog. isiLimela and the open cluster of the Hyades are visible to the lower left (west) of Orion.
This lovely tranquil and contemplative image was taken near the Huacachina oasis in the southwestern desert of Peru. It shows Venus and the Moon beneath the arc of the Milky Way - a sight we could experience on our beaches too.