Observe the Southern Hemisphere's greatest deep-sky gems
The southern Milky Way arcs across the sky at the Paranal Observatory in Chile. The Large and Small Magellanic Clouds are visible below the band of our galaxy.
A popular old saying claims, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” For me, this describes my love of the southern sky. I’ve spent maybe 50 nights total under it, but each one has been filled with discovery and fascination.
For this story, I’ve chosen deep-sky objects in the far south — within 30° of the South Celestial Pole. Once you point a telescope toward that region, you’ll encounter constellations you may not be familiar with: Apus, Ara, Carina, Centaurus, Circinus, Crux, Dorado, Horologium, Hydrus, Indus, Mensa, Musca, Octans, Pictor, Reticulum, Triangulum Australe, Tucana, and Volans. And although Carina, Centaurus, and Crux contain bright stars you can navigate by, luminaries in the other groups are few and far be...