Sky Map

Evening sky in January 2020

'From Auriga (Charioteer) in the north to the Southern Cross low in the south, the Milky Way unfurls itself across our eastern night skies. Challenge yourself to identify all the stars of Eridanus (river) as it lies directly overhead, starting close to blue supergiant Rigel in Orion (hunter) and ending with bright star Achenar.

Two open star clusters, the Pleiades and Hyades, lie towards the north. The latter v-shaped stellar cluster, with the bright star Aldebaran, forms part of Taurus (bull). Further east, look out for the three distinctive belt stars and red supergiant star Betelgeuse in Orion. In African star lore, Aldebaran’s hungry wives (Pleiades) sent him to hunt down three zebras (Orion’s belt). Using his bow and a single arrow, he foolishly missed but was unable to retrieve it due to a nearby fearsome lion (Betelgeuse).  Aldebaran now sits in Taurus, caught between the lion and his angry wives back home.

Venus is a bright evening object in the west (also known currently as the 'evening star'). Mars rises a few hours before dawn, close to the bright red star Antares in Scorpius (scorpion). Antares derives its name from an Ancient Greek word meaning ‘rival of Mars’. The moon will be in the evening sky until the 14 January and then from 27 January, with full moon on 10 January.

Star Map archive 2011 - 2017