A Guide to the Stars of the Southern Hemisphere

by Brian Ventrudo, Publisher, One-Minute Astronomer

“All the good stuff is in the southern hemisphere!”
– Bart Bok, former Harvard University astronomer

The Jewel Box Cluster in CruxThere are few sights as beautiful as the skies of the southern hemisphere. The bright stars and exotic constellations.  The mysterious glow of the Magellanic Clouds.  And the graceful arc of the Milky Way overhead, flecked with dozens of silver-white star clusters.

If you’ve arrived at this web page, then you too may wish to know more about the stars of the southern hemisphere.

Perhaps, for one reason or another, you never had the chance.

Or perhaps you already know a few of the brighter stars and constellations, but want to learn the southern sky more intimately.

As you read this page, you’ll discover an astonishing resource that will make it easy to learn the stars and constellations of the southern hemisphere as well as you know the streets of your own home town.

And you won’t just learn a few bright stars. You’ll get a personal tour of hundreds of stars and the major constellations in the southern and near-northern sky, along with an introduction to the brighter galaxies, star clusters, and nebulae visible with the unaided eye or with a simple pair of inexpensive binoculars.

Once you follow the sky tours in this resource, not one person in a thousand will know as much about the night sky as you do.

And you will learn to easily find some of the most spectacular sights in the night sky, including…

• The colourful stars, star clusters, and dark nebulae in and around Crux, the Southern Cross, the most famed of all southern constellations

• The rich star fields towards the center of our galaxy in the constellation Sagittarius, home to dozens of nebulae and star clusters within easy reach of a beginning star gazer with binoculars

• An astonishing star cluster in the constellation Carina, first discovered by John Herschel, that flashes more than 300 stars across a full degree of sky

• Two sparkling globular clusters, visible to the unaided eye (and lovely in binoculars), each of which holds hundreds of thousands of stars, and in a small telescope looks like a cracked-open geode filled with gold dust

• Two dazzling star clusters in Taurus that look better in a $50 pair of binoculars than in a $10,000 telescope

• A glowing blister of interstellar gas in Carina that’s right now giving birth to hot, silver-blue young stars, including one that is on the verge of ending its short life in a catastrophic supernova explosion

• An odd-looking garbled galaxy, easily seen in binoculars, that may actually be two galaxies: a giant elliptical merging with a flat, dusty spiral

• And much more…

A Completely Updated Time-Tested Astronomy Classic

Eta Carinae NebulaThe resource I’m talking about is Stargazing For Beginners: A Binocular Tour of the Southern Night Sky, by the editors of One-Minute Astronomer.

Even if you’ve tried to improve your knowledge of the heavens before, you haven’t tried anything like this. And you haven’t got results like this either.

How can I be so sure?

Because it’s helped countless people learn their way around the night sky… for more than 120 years.

Stargazing For Beginners is based on a classic work of popular astronomy called “Astronomy With An Opera Glass” by Garrett Serviss. First written more than a century ago, Serviss’ book became essential reading for backyard stargazers. Many professional astronomers, as well as accomplished amateurs like Walter Scott Houston first learned the stars with this book. Even modern astronomy experts like Stephen J. O’Meara have a copy of Serviss’s original book in their personal library.

But can a book first written in 1888 still be useful to 21st century stargazers?  And in the southern hemisphere?

The answer is absolutely… yes! That’s because Serviss’ work takes a casual, friendly approach to learning the night sky that remains appealing across the decades. And in this version, we’ve expanded it to include the stars of the deep-southern sky, as seen, for example, from South Africa, Australia, Fiji, and New Zealand.

Of course, the astonishing advances in astronomy over the past century have dated most of the scientific explanations in the original work. But our modern version of Serviss’s book, Stargazing For Beginners: A Binocular Tour of the Night Sky includes a complete update of the science related to the stars and deep-sky sights described in the sky tours.

That means Stargazing For Beginners gives you the best of both worlds… modern scientific explanation combined with the easy charm and fascinating historical tales of the original work.

Stargazing For Beginners also gives you up-to-date advice on choosing and using the optical instrument of choice for these sky tours: a simple pair of binoculars. Whether you already own a pair, borrow from a friend, or invest in a new set, you’ll discover…

Why binoculars are better than a telescope for learning the stars and constellations

• The critical optical specifications of binoculars… what they are, why they matter, and how they affect your view of the stars

• How to test drive a pair of binoculars for astronomy (and which binoculars to avoid at all costs)

• How much to invest in a pair of binoculars for astronomical observing… and why spending more money is not always the best way to go

• Why larger-aperture binoculars may not be the right choice for you, especially if you’re over the age of 40 (this tip alone may save you $100 or more )

• And the truth about image-stabilized binoculars for astronomy… even if you can afford them, are they really worth the extra money?

Get A Glimpse of the Science Behind the Stars

As a stargazer, you’ll discover the greatest reward in observing the night sky lies in your imagination, as you reflect upon the the astonishing forces at work in the cosmos. That’s why we make sure you get a taste of the science behind what you see in the southern night sky, including…

• How newly-born stars create shimmering nebulae out of the very gas and dust from which they were born

• A type of variable star that rises and falls in brightness by a factor of 1000x (you can see many of these with the simplest of binoculars).

• The “end-game” of stars like our sun, and how they expire by throwing off their outer layers as a beautiful planetary nebula

• Dense remnants of dead stars as massive our sun yet only as small as the Earth

Tightly-bound clusters of stars that are almost as old as the universe itself (you can see many of these clusters with binoculars from your backyard, once you know where to find them)

Plus you’ll learn about two key motions of the Earth, and how and understanding of these motions help you accurately read a simple star map over the course of a season. After just a few nights, you’ll understand how the sky changes from hour to hour and month to month, and you’ll be able to read the sky like a pro.

A Tour of the Lava Seas, Mountains, and Craters of the Moon

Of course, the Moon is one the most spectacular sight in the sky. Even the most modest binoculars reveal dozens of fascinating features on the ancient surface of Earth’s only natural satellite.

That’s why we’ve included a free supplementary report called Observing The Moon And Planets With Binoculars to help you discover the most prominent craters, mountains, and dark-grey lava seas. You get a tour of the major surface features of the Moon and a full lunar map to help you easily find the features.

And you’ll learn…

• The absolutely best time to see features on the lunar surface, and why the full Moon is just about the worst time to see anything

• A relatively new crater in the southern lunar highlands that sprayed ejected material over the surface of the Moon as far as 2,000 km away

• Where to find the ranges of rugged mountains that tower more than 20,000 feet over the lunar surface

• An east-to-west tour of the main “seas” of the Moon, including maps of the locations of the six Apollo lunar landings of 1969-1972

• Why one side of the Moon is forever hidden from Earth-bound observers

And while binoculars aren’t the best tool for seeing the other planets in our solar system, you’ll also discover how to see the periodic dance of the four largest moons of Jupiter around the giant planet. It’s like seeing a miniature solar system changing night-to-night (even hour-to-hour), right in the field of view of your binoculars.

The Easiest Way To Know The Southern Night Sky

Stargazing For Beginners: A Binocular Tour of the Southern Night Sky is available as an immediate download from Stargazer University in PDF format so you can start learning your way around the southern night sky right away. It’s illustrated with more than thirty maps and images to help you find your way around the sky each month of the year. And once you have your user name and password to Stargazer U, you can access the course from any computer with an internet connection, any time you like.

But we want to make it as easy as possible for you to learn the night sky.

That’s why, when you purchase Stargazing For Beginners, you also get a special bonus set of star maps you can print out separately to bring out under the stars with your binoculars as you learn the sky. You can even have them laminated, if you like, to keep them from wrinkling in the damp night air.

And to save you the trouble of juggling maps, a book, and binoculars, you also get a free audio version of Stargazing For Beginners. Organized into five MP3 files, you can load each file onto your iPod or favorite MP3 player and follow along in real time while you look at the sky with binoculars or your unaided eye.

Or you can listen to the audio version of the book in your car, on the bus, or while walking to work. It will help you learn the southern skies that much faster.

You will not find a more comprehensive package to help you learn the the night sky.

See the Wonders of Deep Space From Your Backyard

You came to this web page because you want to learn the stars and constellations. This is your opportunity. Stargazing For Beginners gives you everything you need to know to identify many dozens of stars in the major constellations of the southern hemisphere. With friendly, easy-to-follow tours and custom-made star maps for all four seasons, you will acquire expertise of the night sky that few people will ever enjoy.

And you’ll most certainly be ready to acquire a deeper knowledge of astronomy, and to effectively use a telescope to see further into the heavens.

When you order Stargazing For Beginners, you get…

• The complete course notes (114-pages), in PDF format, with the complete tours of the northern and near-southern sky in all four seasons, along with highlights of the brightest and most fascinating sights in the deep sky.

• A set of 31 custom star maps, for use outside, in real time, as you learn your way around the sky

• The bonus supplementary report called Observing The Moon And Planets With Binoculars to help you discover surface features of the Moon and get fine views of the bright planets, including Jupiter and its four brightest moons, and…

• An audio version of Stargazing For Beginners to load onto your favorite audio player to listen to at your convenience, or when you’re actually touring the sky with your maps and binoculars.

You can access and download the course from Stargazer University with any computer, and enjoy the course with any PDF viewer and MP3 player.  It also looks and sounds great on an iPad!

You need only supply a pair of binoculars, your own restless intellect, and a determination to know more about the universe.

How much will this cost?

Look around the big bookstores and you’ll quickly see that a beginner’s book on basic astronomy runs $15 or $20, at a minimum. (And that’s if you can even find a detailed guide on the southern stars).  A set of basic star maps from a specialty website might go for another $10-$15. And most science audio books on a site like Audible.com will set you back $20 or even $30. That’s as much as $65 for the basic information in Stargazing For Beginners and its free bonuses.

But you won’t pay $65 or this information. You won’t even pay $35. We’re making the entire package available to you for only US$27. I’m sure you’ll agree, that’s an extremely affordable price for making a lifelong acquaintance with the wonders of the deep southern sky.

Simply click here to get started. You’ll be out under the southern stars on the next clear night, beginning your lifelong journey exploring the fathomless depths of deep space from your backyard.


Dr. Brian F. Ventrudo
Publisher, One-Minute Astronomer

P.S. You can try Stargazing For Beginners at absolutely no risk to you. If, at any time after ordering, you don’t think it’s the right tool to help you learn your way around the sky, simply send for a full refund. No questions asked. No hassles. So, with nothing to risk, you can get started right away…

P.P.S. If you’re looking for a guide to the stars of the northern hemisphere, click here…