Friday 27 January 2012


On a fine warm summer's night, it's wonderful to go out and watch the sky. Considering Melbourne's huge size and the amount of light pollution that we have, we are fortunate to still be able to see most constellations of the Southern sky and track the position of the planets. I did a rather brave thing, shooting for the stars on my camera without a tripod, but I think the results are quite good, considering.

The first image is the planet Venus setting in the Western sky. This is the brightest object in the night sky after the moon. It is said that if one is in a place without any light pollution and it is a moonless night, the planet Venus is bright enough to cause your shadow to be cast behind you.

The second image is the constellation Orion (the three stars in a row are his belt) and to the right, the brightest star in the night sky, which is Sirius, in the constellation of Canis Major. To help with identification, I have appended screen shots from an excellent application called "Stellarium" that helps the skywatcher identify astronomical features.

The last image is our very own Southern Hemisphere constellation, the Southern Cross (Crux). The pointers are the two bright stars to the bottom right and they belong to the constellation Centaurus., being the named stars Hadar and Rigil Kent. They point to the South.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme


  1. Lovely night skies. Looking at the stars is something that I have a passion since childhood. I wish you a good weekend.

  2. Lovely captures of the stars and sky. Thanks for naming the stars and showing the constellations.

  3. Creative! This is a new one and I like it!
    I wish you a Happy Friday!

    My post is from Sydney this week!

  4. Great shots. Have you thought about that your Orion is standing on his head? Up here he is standing on his feet. With his dog at his feet. :) When you see him somewhere at the equator he is tired and lying down. :)

    1. Yes, Nature Footstep, everything is upside here Downunder! Also upside is our full moon!

  5. Amazing !

    May they provide you with a good furtune.

  6. Thanks for calling in at my page. Always great to meet Australian Bloggers!
    Great to see your night sky photos.

  7. It's interesting that your summer sky is our winter sky! I never really thought about that before seeing this post!

  8. Wow you can name the stars. It's an awesome shot!


  9. Gosh well done Nick, and hand held too. On a clear night the first planet I look for is Venus, my very favorite! Glad you had a good Australia Day, was and still is far too hot over here!!

  10. Interesting and nice post.

    Regards and best wishes

  11. We don't see alot of stars here in Toronto. TOo much light pollution.


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