Monthly Highlights

Know what to look out for in the night sky! These short articles by MPAS appear every month in the Mornington Peninsula Magazine.

  • January: Let’s go hunting among the stars in Orion
    This month the constellation Orion is ideally placed high in the sky. While exploring it you will see the Orion Nebula, M42, a bright deep-sky object lying north of the […]
  • December: Clouds and meteors provide a visual feast
    The Magellanic Clouds can be seen sitting in the southern part of the night sky this month. The Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) sits in Tucana, while the Large Magellanic Cloud […]
  • November: Get your head in the clouds
    There is a lot to see in the southern skies this month with just the naked eye. Start off by looking for the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) west of the […]
  • October: Opposition attracts celestial observers
    Mars oppositions occur every two years and two months – or, to be precise, every 779.94 days – and this year Mars opposition falls on October 14. A planet is […]
  • The Eagle has landed in our September skies
    This month, be sure to enjoy the sights of Scorpius, Sagittarius, and Scutum before they disappear below the horizon. The most spectacular objects to look out for in these constellations […]
  • Stargazers spoilt for choice in August
    In the August skies, you can take your pick from a superb selection of binocular and telescope targets. You will find Sagittarius, the Archer, lying almost overhead, providing a feast […]
  • Opposites attract the eye in July’s night sky
    This month we will see our two gas giants at opposition: Jupiter on July 14 and Saturn on July 21. Opposition is when the sun is on the opposite side […]
  • Comet just one of June’s heavenly highlights
    The first event this month is a penumbral lunar eclipse on June 6 in the early morning near dawn. During this eclipse, the moon becomes immersed in the penumbral cone […]
  • May: Omega Centauri a sight for your eyes
    Sitting high in the southern sky during May is the prominent constellation Crux, the Southern Cross. If you have a small telescope, be sure to point it at Crux’s brightest […]
  • Dark nebula an April highlight
    April is the perfect time of the year for observing the dark nebula known as the Coalsack. You will find it nestled within the rich, bright star fields of the […]
  • A cluster of delights in the March sky
    Observing the night sky from southern latitudes this month you can see plenty with a good pair of binoculars, including the open cluster known as the Southern Pleiades (IC 2602). […]
  • February: Rich star fields provide a visual feast
    Observing the southern skies this month you will find two stellar beacons shining away high in the sky. These are the two brightest stars in the night sky — Sirius […]