Monthly Night Sky Highlights Monthly Night Sky Highlights

‘For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky’ as said by Antoine de Saint-Exupery from The Little Prince. 

First quarter Moon is on Sunday the 5th at 10:32pm
The Moon will be full on Monday the13th at 1:54am
Last quarter is Tuesday 21st at 2:58am, and
The New Moon is on Tuesday the 28th at 1:57pm

The autumn equinox is Monday 20th at 9:29pm.

One of the nicest vistas will be on March the 1st looking west shortly after sunset. The constellation of Pisces will host Venus which is very bright but it sets at 8:28pm less than an hour after the Sun, Mars which is not bright and the young crescent Moon (~9%). By the 2nd the Moon will have moved from below and to the left of Mars to above and the right.

Only Mars is visible all month in the evening sky but don’t get too excited as it is rather dim being on the opposite side of the Sun to us at around 310million km away.

It stars the month very low in Pisces before moving into Aries by the end of the first week. It’s dim and small even through a big telescope but don’t worry because next year in July, Mars will be at its closest since 2003 and for the next 15 years or so. Make sure you plan a visit to Sydney Observatory if you can and enjoy the view of our red neighbour in July 2018.

Jove or Jupiter, king of the Roman gods will starts the month rising in the east about an hour after sunset and by the end of the month by an hour 20 minutes. It will be in Virgo close to the its’ brightest star Spica. The waxing gibbous Moon will be to the left, or north, of Jupiter and Spica on the 14th all rising around 8:30pm.

For those up early, Venus will become the ‘Morning star’ in the last week though it will rise only up to about 30min ahead of the Sun and therefore be hard to see.

The jewel of the night sky, Saturn will be in Sagittarius all month rising at 1am on the 1st and by 11pm by the end of the month so it’s a few months away from being visible in our night tours.