Look­ing up

Australian Geographic - - The List - with Glenn Dawes

Naked eye

Five plan­ets are vis­i­ble to the un­aided eye in the early evening sky. Bright Venus and Mer­cury are low in the west af­ter twi­light ends (Mer­cury in July only). At the same time Jupiter is due north and Saturn in the east, with Mars ris­ing be­low the ringed world – splen­did!


Near the ‘spout’ star of Sagit­tar­ius’s teapot lies the cen­tre of the Milky Way. Binoc­u­lars show the area is rich in dark clouds, scat­tered through­out with bright neb­u­lae and star clus­ters. Check out the open clus­ters, M6 and M7, near the end of Scor­pius’s tail.

Small tele­scope

You can’t miss Venus pass­ing through Leo and Virgo. July opens with its phase like a gib­bous nine-day-old Moon, which shrinks to a five-day crescent by the end of Au­gust. Re­flected sun­light off the clouds shroud­ing the planet causes its bril­liance.

Glenn Dawes is a co-au­thor of the year­book Astronomy 2018 Aus­tralia (Quasar Publishing).

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