The Celestial Sphere from Latitude 30° South

0100 Hours Sidereal Time

The sky from 30°S at 0100 hours sidereal time

This page contains a description of the stars, constellations, and deep-sky objects that can be seen in the sky at around 0100 hours sidereal time. It is assumed that the observer is located at approximately 30° latitude south.

To use the sky map, orient it so that the direction you are facing is at the bottom of the map. Zenith, the point directly overhead in the sky, is located at the centre of the map.

Looking South

The southeast contains a number of bright stars. Canopus is the α (alpha) star in the constellation Carina and further east is the 'Dog Star' Sirius in Canis Major. After the Sun, Sirius and Canopus are the two brightest stars in Earth's skies. However, Sirius is bright largely because it is also very close whilst Canopus is intrinsically extremely luminous.

High in the southern sky flies a flock of celestial birds. Phoenix is near zenith with Grus by its side. Below these two are Tucana and the peacock Pavo. The one truly bright object is Achernar in Eridanus which is just southeast of the phoenix. Creeping along the southern horizon is Triangulum Australe, much bigger and brighter than its northern counterpart.

Descending in the south western sky is the zodiacal constellation Sagittarius with the small half-circle of stars Corona Australis following it. Scorpius has already largely disappeared below the horizon.

Looking North

Rising just ahead of Sirius in the east is Orion, a large hourglass-shaped figure. The bright red star in the shoulder of the giant is Betelqeuse whilst the bright blue star in the opposite knee is Rigel. Orion appears to stand on his head for southern observers and his club is just above the horizon with the shield he holds out to protect himself from Taurus visible in front of him. The three stars making up the belt of Orion point toward the eye of Taurus, Aldebaran. Attached to Aldebaran is a small upside-down V of stars called the Hyades. These stars form an open cluster and although it looks as though Aldebaran is part of this cluster, this is not the case. Another open cluster, M45, the Pleiades, is just a little further west and close to the horizon.

The river Eridanus flows past Orion's feet and Cetus swims along high in the northern sky. Along the horizon, Pegasus gallops toward the west, its 'Great Square' easily visible. Joined to Pegasus at the lower right hand corner of the 'Great Square' is Andromeda. It contains no outstandingly bright stars but does have M31, the Andromeda Galaxy. At a distance of 2.5 million light years, it is the most distant object visible to the naked eye.

High in the sky above Pegasus is the bright star Fomalhaut in Piscis Austrinus. Between them lies the large but faint zodiacal constellations Pisces, Aquarius and Capricornus. The small 'Circlet' of Pisces appears just above the 'Great Square'. Finally, setting in the west is Aquila with its bright star Altair.