For some reason, this week there have been some visits to my blog from American people, who have googled "Can you see Beta Pictoris from Earth?" Just to get the poor buggers right, the short answer is yes. You just need to be in the Southern Hemisphere.
Beta Pictoris is not very bright star, but it's very easy to find, since it's located very close to Canopus - the second brightest star in our skies. When I was guiding the people during the astronomy tours in New Zealand, I often pointed Beta Pictoris out to explain how stellar systems are formed. With Epsilon Eridani, Beta Pictoris is my favourite when it comes to known planetary systems. (Well, Beta Pictoris pretty much only has a disk of dust, so far, but apparently also some exoplanets might have already formed from it.)
Here is Wikipedia's chart link to Pictor.
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