look­ing up

Australian Geographic - - The List - with Glenn Dawes

Naked eye

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!

Small te­le­scope

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).

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