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Three gifts I bring to my fellow-Australians, all of whom are making a new homeland out of courage and determination, anger and self-control, mutual recognition and care.

australia-day-rise-galactic-north-pole-box-hill-2017The Milky Way, bridging northwest and southeast in a dark sky (limiting magnitude 5-6) at the rising of the galactic north pole, with the Emu rising too, is a celebration of your gratitude, those of you who plan to spend the national holiday asleep. Just keep your lights down and your cat inside.

australia-day-crux-box-hill-2017Looking south, it’s 12 o’clock Southern Cross time as nautical twilight begins. These stars are now yours, and the Emu too. Alpha and Beta Muscae are what martyrs see on the cross. [Pi Puppis, the watchful creator of this timeless place, is (perhaps mis-) appropriated to honour its transit at nautical twilight on my Mother’s birthday.]

australia-day-dawn-box-hill-2017The Moon offers you a signpost to Mercury. The sign of Sagittarius is ours in the Southern Hemisphere (if we but feel like it).

My heartfelt thanks to the descendants of the traditional owners of this part of the world: the Wathaurong, Wurundjeri and Bunurong people: please keep showing us how to care for your new homeland. Continuing gratitude to the developers of free astronomy software, Stellarium, for Aussie Rules, and for any happy faces.