Getting to know the southern sky is for ever a wonderfully strange experience. In any new place that I visit I always feel grateful for landmarks. On Earth, I am looking for trees and buildings and mountains, in the sky I always look for the brightest stars. Here in New Zealand, there are places and times when the light of the individual stars is lost in the haze of the Milky Way as if a blanket of tiny lights is covering the Earth at night.
The next week is going to be overshadowed by the Moon a bit so it’s the perfect opportunity to do some Moon observing. There’s also a good chance to spot some interesting globular clusters.
I’ve been arguing that the Zodiacal Band is humankind’s first useful calendar. Like any calendar, it predicts the future. So for instance, when the Sun is in Sagittarius we cannot see Sagittarius.
Another year is upon us and January offers a great opportunity to get out and observe the night sky after making the best of those long summer evenings.
The evening sky is mostly devoid of visible planetary landscapes, with the exception of Mars and Jupiter late in the morning and Uranus and Neptune throughout most of the night (which you will need a telescope to see).
This is an astrophotographer-friendly blog, about what is in the night sky in August 2017.
You can read in detail about The Sky of September here. It will be the same year after year, Pluto and all.
Relax, Pluto WILL not go anywhere soon
In fact Pluto takes 248 years to orbit the Sun as it orbits at an average distance of 5.9 billion km from the Sun, while Earth only orbits at 150 million km. This means that it will take Pluto almost 20 years to shift into another constellation.
Everything else you need to know