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Star charts for autumn: March 01 at 00:00, April 01 at 22:00, and May 01 at 20:00.

Evening sky in autumn, looking east

In the south-east, the curving constellation of Scorpius, with its red star Antares, is rising, in eternal pursuit of Orion (setting in the west). Towards the north, Regulus in Leo is placed high in the sky. It lies at the top of a curve of stars known as the Sickle of Leo. Above Leo, straddling the zenith, is the largest constellation, Hydra the Water Monster. Its brightest star, Alphard, has a plain red colour when viewed through binoculars. Brilliant Arcturus in Bootes the Herdsman is prominent above the north-eastern horizon. Higher up in the eastern sky, the bright star Spica in Virgo is prominent. Look for Corvus the Crow, a distorted square of stars above it, and notice that two of the Crow's stars point directly to Spica.

Jan 1 at 04:00

Feb 1 at 02:00

Mar 1 at 00:00

Apr 1 at 22:00

May 1 at 20:00

Jun 1 at 18:00

Evening sky in autumn, looking south

The Southern Cross (Crux) is prominent high in the south. To its upper right is the False Cross asterism. The stars of the real Cross are brighter, closer together, and have two bright stars, the Pointers, pointing towards them. The long arm of Crux points to the bright star Achernar, low on the horizon. The south celestial pole can be found midway along the line joining Crux to Achernar. High in the south-west is the bright star Canopus, second-brightest in the night sky. From Canopus, look roughly in the direction of the south celestial pole for the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). A line drawn from Canopus through the LMC and extended allows the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) to be located. The beautiful cluster 47 Tucanae can be found near the SMC.

Jan 1 at 04:00

Feb 1 at 02:00

Mar 1 at 00:00

Apr 1 at 22:00

May 1 at 20:00

Jun 1 at 18:00

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Publication:Sky Guide Africa South
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Jan 1, 2019
Words:331
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