Astronomy - What to see from Melbourne in Summer?

In addition to the objects below, at present Saturn is visible in Summer for the next few years.

Objects transiting the meridian:


Objects in December:

"The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). If an observer's Nirvana exists anywhere, in my opinion it is the LMC. I have spent many happy months locating and studying the hundreds of fascinating clusters, nebulae, star clouds and stellar associations in this astonishing satellite of our Milky Way galaxy. In fact, there are so many that the real problem is to avoid getting lost in the maze! Even though we are confining ourselves to the larger and brighter objects, there are so many in the LMC that we will need to spend a couple of months on them. The biggest problem is finding a good enough chart. Sadly, once again, Sky Atlas 2000 shows the outline of the LMC but only marks seven objects, making it virtually useless. By contrast, the Herald Bobroff Astroatlas, being produced in Australia, devotes no less than fourteen charts at differing scales to the LMC and offers a wealth of detail. If, like me, you get hooked on the LMC, you will find the HB atlas invaluable.

There are a few aspects of the LMC that are useful to know before starting to observe it. Most people look at the biggest and brightest object - The Tarantula Nebula - then ignore everything else. Why? Perhaps because the profusion of objects confuses them. It is easy to have this happen unless you know something about the structure of the LMC. For our purposes the major structural features are:


  1. The main axis of the galaxy - the so-called "Bar" - which crosses the Cloud from north-west to south-east and contains most of the multitude of small clusters and other features in a broad band of confusing detail.
  2. The so-called "wings" that rise north from the Bar at the eastern end and north and south of the bar at the western end. The 'wings" contain most of the larger, bright groupings of objects, including many of those we shall be looking at.

Objects in January:

Objects in February: