What’s up in Space

Each week we give you a heads up of what is appearing in the night sky.


At a glance:

The Sun is in Sagittarius, very close to Saturn, Mercury and Pluto. It sets around 8:55 PM and rises around 6 AM. The Moon appears high in the sky at sunset and sets in the west at around midnight (Moon at First Quarter). Mars is still the only planet in the early night sky that, visible low in the west with the naked eye. Unless you have a very dark sky and can’t spot Uranus (in Pisces), which is also in the sky and you will need a telescope to see Neptune

Milky Way’s centre has now sunk beyond the horizon but the edge of our galaxy, towards the constellation Orion is rising on the eastern horizon. 

The morning sky features two brilliant planets, Venus is very bright and high and Jupiter just below Venus to the right. 

Deep Sky stargazing  

Is great for the second part of the night, as the Moon is setting and there are some beautiful objects there, some are circumpolar and some are seasonal. Milky Way sank towards the western horizon and the centre of the Galaxy is now behind the glare of the Sun. On the eastern horizon, Orion is climbing the sky and with it the Pleiades, the Hyades and famous Orion objects, such as M42. 47 Tucanae globular cluster is still going strong. You can also look at the Magellanic Clouds with the famous Tarantula Nebula or try and find the Sculptor Galaxy. 

The Moon – First Quarter on Monday  

In average, the Moon rises or, if it’s already in the sky, sets about 50 minutes later than the previous day, every day.

Next New Moon: Tuesday 5 February

Next First Quarter: Wednesday 13 February

Next Full Moon: Monday 21 January

Next Last Quarter: Monday 28 January

Next Lunar Eclipse: 17 July 2019


The News in space for this time of the year are here. Check out our monthly what’s up in space section in collaboration with RadioActive.fm 

What’s hot:

How to find Sculptor Galaxy NGC 253.

Check here for our telescope viewing schedule at Space Place if the weather is good and definitely come see all these jewels in our planetarium and make sure to let us know how it went either on Facebook, twitter or Instagram or by sending me an email haritinam@experiencewellington.org.nz

Clear skies for the week ahead,



Normal Opening Hours

Tuesday:  4pm – 11pm
Friday: 4pm – 11pm
Saturday: 10am –  11pm
Sunday: 10am – 5:30pm

Last entry at 5pm and 10pm

Closed Monday, Wednesday, Thursday

School bookings available Monday-Friday during school hours.

Closed on Christmas day

7 July – 22 July 2018

(The school holiday period gets very busy so it pays to book well in advance for viewings).

Mon:     10am – 5:30pm
Tues:     10am – 11pm
Wed:     10am – 5:30pm
Thurs:   10am – 5:30pm
Fri:        10am – 11pm
Sat:        10am – 11pm
Sun:       10am – 5:30pm


Adult $12.50

Senior/student $10

Child (4-16 years) $8

Under four years: free

Family (two adults and up to three children) $39

Bookings are essential for all schools and tour groups


Parking is available at Skyline car park, located on Upland Road (charges apply). There are limited parking spaces outside Space Place reserved especially for mobility permit holders.



40 Salamanca Rd, Kelburn, Wellington 6012 located at the top of the Cable Car, just a short stroll from the terminus.

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