Sydney Observatory night sky map

A map for each month of the year, to help you learn about the night sky

December 2012
www.sydneyobservatory.com.au

This star chart shows the stars and constellations visible in the night sky for Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Adelaide and Perth for December 2012 at about 7:30 pm (Local Standard Time) or 8:30 pm (Local Daylight Savings Time). For Darwin and similar locations the chart will still apply, but some stars will be lost off the southern edge while extra stars will be visible to the north. Stars down to a brightness or magnitude limit of 4.5 are shown. To use this chart, rotate it so that the direction you are facing (north, south, east or west) is shown at the bottom. The centre of the chart represents the point directly above your head, called the zenith, and the outer circular edge represents the horizon.

Star brightness
Capella Zero or brighter st 1 AURIGA magnitude 2nd 3rd 4th

PERSEUS

ANDROMEDA

M45 (Pleiades or Seven Sisters)

TRIANGULUM

Jupiter on 25th
Hamal

TAURUS
Aldebaran

P

ARIES TAURUS

PEGASUS PISCES

Hyades Aldebaran

Moon on 25th

NW

Moon on 20th
Mira

Betelgeuse

Betelgeuse ORION

ORION Orion's belt M42

CETUS

Rigel

ERIDANUS SCULPTOR

FORNAX LEPUS

Fomalhaut

PISCIS AUSTRINUS PISCIS AUSTRINUS

CAPRICORNUS

Mars on 25th ERIDANUS
PHOENIX GRUS MICROSCOPIUM CAELUM HOROLOGIUM Achernar COLUMBA Achernar TUCANA PICTOR RETICULUM HYDRUS DORADO Canopus INDUS

P P
SAGITTARIUS SCUTUM

Sirius

Sirius CANIS MAJOR Adhara

Mars on 15th Mars on 5th

P

SMC
TELESCOPIUM PAVO OCTANS

SAGITTARIUS

SERPENS

Tarantula Nebula MENSA
PUPPIS

LMC

CORONA AUSTRALIS

Galactic center

Centre of the Galaxy

FALSE CROSS
VOLANS

South Celestial Pole
ARA

SCORPIUS
SCORPIUS

CHAMAELEON

APUS TRIANGULUM AUSTRALE

Chart key

CARINA

DIAMOND CROSS

Bright star PYXIS Faint star VELA Ecliptic Milky Way P Planet LMC or Large Magellanic Cloud ANTLIA SMC or Small Magellanic Cloud

NORMA
MUSCA

CIRCINUS

NORMA

SW

Antares

Eta Carina

SOUTHERN CROSS

POINTERS CIRCINUS Alpha Centauri Hadar
LUPUS

CRUX

Mimosa

South

Jupiter remains visible in the early evening as a bright star-like object towards the north-east and is close to the Moon on Christmas day the 25th. On the 15th, Mars is close to the crescent Moon during the early evening. The best time to view the Moon using binoculars or a small telescope is a few days either side of the first quarter Moon on the 20th. Summer solstice on the 21st is the longest day of the year and gives Sydney 14 hours and 25 minutes of daylight. Crux (the Southern Cross) is just above the southern horizon making it difficult to locate. 2013 Australasian sky guide book
The 2013 Australasian sky guide has details on the sky for Dec. 2012 and all of 2013, including rise and set times for the Sun, Moon and planets. Available from Sydney Observatory, the Powerhouse Museum and good bookshops (RRP $16.95); also via mail order (postal charges apply) at www.powerhousemuseum.com/publications/

Daily activities
Sydney Observatory, overlooking Sydney Harbour, is open 10am to 5pm daily – except closed Good Friday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, and open 10am to noon on New Year’s Eve. Open Monday to Saturday for night telescope sessions (planetarium session if cloudy), and 3D movies about the Universe. Bookings are essential for night programs. Watson Road, Observatory Hill, The Rocks www.sydneyobservatory.com.au Ph (02) 9921 3485

Sydney Observatory is part of the Powerhouse Museum. The Sydney Observatory night sky map is prepared by Dr M Anderson using the software TheSky. © 2012 Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Sydney.

West

Saucepan

North
LACERTA

Moon phase
Last quarter: New Moon: Deneb First quarter: CYGNUS Full Moon: 07th 13th 20th 28th

Andromeda Galaxy

NE

VULPECULA

DELPHINUS EQUULEUS

SAGITTA

Altair AQUARIUS

AQUILA

East

Moon on 15th

SE

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