The Celestial Sphere from Latitude 30° South

0500 Hours Sidereal Time

The sky from 30°S at 0500 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 0500 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

Triangulum Australe appears almost due south not far from the horizon. The two bright stars immediately to the east are Rigil Kentaurus (the closest star to the Sun) and Hadar of Centaurus, and Crux is shining just above the centaur.

The eastern sky is devoid of bright objects with Hydra snaking along the horizon. The bright star approaching zenith is Canopus of Carina, the keel of the great ship 'Argo'. Nearby are the Magellanic Clouds, small satellites to our own galaxy, the Milky Way. Continuing westwards, the next bright star encountered is Achernar in the long and winding constellation Eridanus. A flock of birds inhabit the southwestern sky, with Phoenix positioned just off of Achernar and Tucana and Grus just below. Pavo is nearly due south next to Triangulum Australe. The bright star sinking in the southwest is Fomalhaut of Piscis Austrinus.

Looking North

Faint Hydra takes up most of the eastern sky. The two bright stars near the northeastern horizon represent the heads of Castor and Pollux, the Gemini twins. Above them is one of the 'dog stars', Procyon in Canis Minor. However, the brightest star in the night resides even higher in the sky. The dominant star of Canis Major, Sirius, the 'Dog Star', is actually also one of the nearest stars to the Sun.

Orion has the obstacle of having to pursue his heavenly hunt standing on his head. His club points toward the ground. Betelgeuse marks the giant's shoulder and Rigel, his knee. Examine these two brightest stars of Orion. They should appear to be subtly different colours. Hanging (up) from the three belt stars of Orion is a fuzzy patch that resolves in a telescope into M42, the Great Orion Nebula, a place where starbirth is taking place. Lepus crouches at Orion's feet.

A line from Sirius through the belt stars intersects Aldebaran, the eye of Taurus, and then M45, the Pleiades or Seven Sisters. The Pleiades is an open cluster of young stars, much like the Hyades, the upside-down V of stars near Aldebaran. The bright yellow star near the northern horizon is Capella in Auriga. Perseus lies just west of the charioteer.

Eridanus starts near Rigel and heads up into the sky. Faint Cetus takes up most of the western sky with Pisces beginning to set.