Southern Hemisphere resources
For an annual guide, the ASV Astronomical Yearbook provides me a pile of information. Being the astrophotographer I'm always looking up rise and set times for the Moon.
But there are other very useful and more regularly-updated resources. I get a daily email from EarthSky News, which updates me on anything topical. I also use SpaceWeather.com for solar and aurora updates and Heavens-above.com for satellite information. For maps, my go-to app is Stellarium. This shows me planets, other solar system objects, satellites, deep sky objects and a heap more.
However, I was talking with an astronomer the other day, who said she was a bit dismayed at the lack of resources specifically for Southern-hemisphere residents.
Most of the stuff we see is mainly for the Northern hemisphere. Because of the different angle, what we see down south is often very different to what people in the USA see. Typically, we’ll get news of an occultation or eclipse or something, only to find you need to be in the USA or Europe to see it. Sometimes they won’t mention Southern hemisphere events at all.
Thankfully, there are sites that provide this.
Adelaide's Astroblog (astroblogger.blogspot.com) isn’t too far from Melbourne. This really provides everything I need. There are others, and you can find more:
- The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (maas.museum) in Sydney
- NightSky online (www.nightskyonline.info) in Canberra
- Scitech (www.scitech.org.au) in Perth
Finally, I like podcasts. MAAS does a monthly podcast called Sky Guide. It’s a bit wordy, and definitely best to listen to while you've got maps you can consult while listening.
It doesn't need much, but just a couple of sites from Australia added to the bunch coming from the Northern hemisphere can give you a good, locally-relevant feed of information for astronomy.