Little Desert Nature Lodge
Lists of objects to observe
This page attempts to answer "what can/should a star party beginner try to observe?"
for daily predictions and finder charts, go to the Heavens-Above website, or use their smartphone app.
- PLANETS, bright COMETS & bright ASTEROIDS:
For positions, ephemerides and finder charts, go to the Heavens-Above website.
- DEEP SKY OBJECTS (clusters, nebulae, galaxies) for small telescopes:
We merged the Messier, Bennett and Caldwell Catalogues to produce a list of 280 objects that are visible from the latitude of VicSouth in small telescopes. Nearly all of these objects are also in the NGC Catalogue, thus easily located with a go-to telescope.
During the 2017 VicSouth 219 of these objects were observed over two evenings with a 127mm telescope, before clouds halted the search. Many of these objects looked quite nice in a 127mm telescope, but if you have a larger telescope the views will be even better.
Commonly seen, especially when meteor showers are happening during our dates.
- ZODIACAL LIGHT:
Easily visible on clear nights. Gegenschein has also been seen on some nights.
- AIRGLOW and AURORA:
Airglow can be seen near the horizons on clear nights and it often shows up in widefield photos. The southern horizon occasionally features aurora australis.
- On clear nights we get Sky Quality Meter readings of 21.8 or better. Unless we point the meter at the Milky Way :-)
Also keep an eye out (or an ear out) for the local bandicoots, bats, owls and curlews.
Geographical coordinates for the main observing area are 36° 27' 16" S 141° 40' 07" E, and it is about 160 metres above sea level.