View Full Version here: : Easy targets down under
23-06-2012, 11:40 PM
I'm another aussie living in the uk and am heading home next week for a few months.I've only gotten into stargazing since i've been over here so when learning the night sky i started with the easy targets (planets, m42, m45, andromeda, m81/m82 etc.
So.... I was wondering, what are concidered the easy targets in the south? I know we've got crux but I'm a bit lost after that. This must sound like a stupid question but as i say, I've got zero experience observing the southern skies. (must say I'm really looking forward to it.
Thanks for any advice you can give:confused2:
23-06-2012, 11:47 PM
Sorry, Just found Suzy's article listing just this. great article by the way Suzy, thanks:thumbsup:
Hi Scott :hi:
I'm glad my article has been of help to you. :D
Scott, have you sorted out a scope yet? I was just reading an earlier post you did telling us of you're travels back to Down Under.
If you're bringing a laptop out with you or have access to one, may I suggest (if you don't already know about it) downloading Stellarium. It's a planetary software and it's free.:thumbsup:
I'd give you the link for it but as of an hour ago my computer doesn't want to google anything. :mad2:
24-06-2012, 06:39 AM
I will have access to a laptop while I'm home (my 80 yr old mum's bless her).
I do use stellarium and have changed my co-ordinates to wollongong this morning. I must say I'm really looking forward to seeing some southern skies:). No scope as yet though I'm now thinking of biting the bullet and getting a 6" dob and selling it on when i leave. it'll be nice to get some observing time as uk summer is useless (just doesn't get dark) not to mention the permanent cloud we seem to be getting lately:(
Sorry forgot to say, thanks for your help. Thats what I love about this hobby.
Hi Scott ..... Hey, if you were in Townsville I could lend you a scope.:D
Maybe someone down south has one they could lend you so as to save buying and selling????? :question:
24-06-2012, 08:15 AM
Hi Scott, the easiest southern targets are Orion Nebula (middle star in Orions sword just below his belt), Orion is higher in the sky in summer, the Jewel box is just to the left of of Crux (Becrux), Eta Carina is halfway between Crux and the False Cross, Omega Centauri is a cluster two Crux diameters to the left of Crux and up from the main pointer and Pleiades (M45) is in Taurus. There are also a number of targets betweeen Scorpius, Sagittarius and Scutum.
Jupiter will be in opposition on December 3 at about 48.5" (-2.8 mag), Saturn is still highly visible at up to 17" (0.2 mag) in the north eastern sky for the next few months.
Depends on when you will be here a bit. Cheers, John.
NGC 6397 - a beautiful glob in Ara that is quite easy to find due to a couple of bright stars close by.
Tarantula Nebula in LMC.
The both of these are top ten Southern Sky objects IMHO. :)
25-06-2012, 03:31 AM
Once again thanks for your helpful posts. I love m45, M42/43. can't wait to see them relatively l.p. free. Seems weird talking about Saturn "to the north":thanx:
I love the aussie attitiude of helping people out. It's something I really miss (not saying you don't get the same here) I think I
would be continually worried about a loan scope though.:doh:
29-06-2012, 02:00 PM
Being a northerner who's recently moved south, I'd recommend (in addition to the excellent suggestions already) - taking in the Large and Small Magellanic clouds under a dark sky, nebulae and clusters in Sagittarius / Scorpius area, and a good bit of time exploring Eta Carinae, Crux/Centaurus and its surrounding area. In the north, we're spoilt for galaxies, but clusters and diffuse nebulae, not so much. And there's nothing like the LMC and SMC!
Taking a few evenings with binoculars and a small telescope, and some of the charts here (http://www.cloudsofmagellan.net.au/index.htm), you can have a lot of fun exploring the Magellanic Clouds - quite a tangle of nebulae and clusters and star clouds. From a dark site, even with the naked eye or binoculars they are a wonderful sight (best in spring/summer, but also visible at other times) with lots of individual nebulae and clusters visible.There's also the 47 Tucanae globular nearby.
In the Sagittarius/Scorpius area, don't miss open clusters NGC6231, M6 and M7, nebulae M8, M20, M16, M17, globular clusters M22, M4, NGC6397, NGC6541, and of course the glorious star clouds near the centre of the Galaxy (all best in autumn to early spring).
In the Carina area, you could spend ages exploring the Eta Carinae nebula, especially from a dark site, and the gorgeous clusters NGC3293, NGC3532, NGC3766, also the Southern Pleiades . Also check out Omega Centauri, Centaurus A and M83. (all best in late spring to autumn)
There's something new for all seasons in the southern sky, so whenever you're down I'm sure you'll have fun!
01-07-2012, 02:48 PM
Thanks andy for the great suggestions.can't believe how dark the skies are down here.:)
01-07-2012, 03:25 PM
Most Astronomy clubs have loan scopes. :) You could track down your nearest club, and for a modest joining fee, you'll have access not only to a scope but be able to join other amateurs while using it. :)
01-07-2012, 07:43 PM
Some books that should provide hours of fun:
See if you can get hold of Norton's Star Atlas, preferably the older editions, For each map it provides and nice "short list" of the brighter gems in the sky, easy for a beginner to hunt down and learn. If you devour all of that in a year you are doing well.
Then graduate to:
a) an essential atlas in everyone's kit for decades: Sky Atlas 2000, or
b) this: http://www.amazon.com/Hartungs-Astronomical-Objects-Southern-Telescopes/dp/0521554918
If you have an iPhone or iPad, try StarMap Pro.
30-07-2012, 04:22 AM
As a person from the North too (from Moscow) I understand you. It would be interesting to listen about Southern objets from the Northern person. For him they will be a great impression. I wonder, what will you like the most.
02-08-2012, 10:14 PM
Hi pupkin, it certainly is a great experience observing the southern skies. even though i'm an aussie i've been in the uk for the last 10 yrs and only got into astronomy in the last 12 months so i missed the opportunity until now. i've been spending a lot of time around scorpius/sagitarius/scutumand also around carina/crux/centaurus. i absolutly love it around this last group,sooo many clusters it almost seems hard to point the scope without spotting one. i'm using a 130mm newtonian while i'm hear and have seen so much more than i have with my 200mm in the uk (light pollution). i'm yet to see the large and small clouds (sorry the names escape me at the moment) but am looking forward to doing so as i'm told they're magnificent.i hope you find this interesting because its certainly been interesting for me
03-08-2012, 10:12 AM
The Magellanic Clouds are quite awesome. They are just supersaturated with nebs, globs and goups but you'll need good skies and aperture to see detail. 47 Tuc is handy as well. You might have to do some early morning stints though as they are low in the sky in the evening at present.
03-08-2012, 04:58 PM
thanks brent,thats them. think i'll wait for that moon to calm down a bit though.:thumbsup:
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