The Milky Way is hugging the horizon, leaving an unobstructed view of the southern universe. Look for two bright isolated stars, Achernar and Fomalhaut; The latter is near the constellation of Grus the Crane, which looks more like an archer’s bow.
Close to the northern horizon lies the Andromeda galaxy (M31). About three binocular fields to its upper right lies another hazy ovalshaped patch, the Triangulum Galaxy, M33. The light from both has travelled 2 million years before entering your eyes!
Achernar might be the brightest star in the constellation of Eridanus, but its real gem is Acamar (Theta Eridani). A telescope reveals this luminary is really two stars fitting snugly together. Brilliant white in colour, perhaps ‘Diamond’ might be a better name.
Glenn Dawes is a co-author of the yearbook Astronomy 2018 Australia(Quasar Publishing).