20 January 2023 – Stargazing at Star Safari

20th of January was a great night stargazing, here is what we did on this particular night.

The 20th of January was a great night despite the clouds’ threat. In the end, the skies cleared out, and we saw all of our stargazing targets. We were also fortunate to have Ian Cooper with us. Ian is a walking encyclopedia of astronomical objects, so he helped us find a few new objects to delight our visitors.

The sky on the 20th of January – map made with Carte du Ciel.

Writing down the things you look at during stargazing is a great idea. So we have observing lists and write the atmospherical conditions we encountered during the observing session. We had two sessions, one from 9 PM to 10:30 PM and the other from 11:00 PM to 12:30 AM.

For the 20th of January, these were

  • Bortle Scale: 3
  • Transparency: 3 out of 5 (clouds kept coming on and off)
  • Seeing: poor (lots of high clouds)

We observed many objects, among which the Fornax Clusters of galaxies, the Cigar Galaxy, the 6752 Peacock Globular Cluster and the Black Arrow cluster.

Saturn and Jupiter were the delight of the earlier session and have set by 11 PM when the second session started. Mars was visible throughout the night.

The last couple of objects we looked at were NGC2070 (the Tarantula Nebula) and 47 Tuncanae. At Ian’s suggestion, we popped the OIII filter on for the view of Tarantula. What a treat! With the position of Tarantula being nice and high and the conditions having improved, we were wooed by the astonishing filaments terminating out of the spider shape and the well-defined dark bubbles of long since past supernovae.

What's in the sky in January - Tarantula nebula.

On our Milky-Way.Kiwi site, you can learn more about what is in the sky in January.

Would you like to help looking after our night sky? Join Globe at Night, our Citizen Scientist network and become a citizen scientist yourself. 

All you have to do is count the number of stars on your street on a moonless night and report it online. We can show you how.

Star Safari Observatory

41º 08′ 32.57” S
175º 31′ 03.98” E

Elevation 180m

Venture with us beyond earth

More To Explore

Terms and conditions for Star Safari

On purchasing a ticket for Star Safari you agree to our terms and conditions and our cancellation policy as outlined below. You also agree to follow the instructions of Milky-Way.Kiwi Ltd staff and adhere to our safety directions and procedures at all times.

A Moon Garden for you

I grew up in an enchanted garden where the sky descended upon the world every night, bringing ripe heavenly summer fragrances, as the stars were watching from above. There was no border to separate the sky from the Earth. To simply to create that magic, is the only reason you need to have a Moon Garden.

The Sky at Star Safari as the centre of our galaxy is rising and the head of the Emu is visible in the Southern Cross region

Wairarapa Dark Sky Reserve

Our sky is exceptionally dark, which is one of the reasons why Wairarapa was awarded the status of Dark Sky Reserve.