The Southern Cross

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Views of the earth from geostationary orbit. Design and draw your own satellite beam coverage. Focal length of parabolic dish. This page is only applicable if you are in the southern hemisphere, which means you are to the south of the equator, such as in South America, Southern Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Southern Pacific. There is no clearly identifiable star to indicate south so some skill and judgement is needed.

You need to learn a pattern of stars and remember where is the direction of south in this pattern. The four pictures below each show the same pattern, but at different times during the night.

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In each case due south is in the centre. View 1: The constellation called "Southern cross" or "Crux" is low down. Follow the line to south, which is more or less straight up. If you see the cross upright or upside down, like above, you are approximately facing south.

There are a pair of bright stars, the one on the right Alpha Centauri. Go half way between them and proceed at right angles.

Where the Southern Cross the Dog - Moorhead

Canopus is the bright star on the left. View 2. During the night the whole pattern appears to rotate slowly around the due south direction in the centre. In fact the earth is rotating under the stars, but you get the idea. Canopus is now high up.

If you had a fixed camera with the shutter open for a long time, the stars would make circular arcs. After a further 6 hours it will look like this. The stars that form the cross asterism are just the brightest ones located in the constellation. The cross-shaped pattern can easily be seen from the southern latitudes at any time of year.

Observers in the tropical latitudes of the northern hemisphere can see it near the horizon in winter and spring, but only for a few hours every night.

SOUTHERN CROSS DIAMOND AND TANZANITE

Two of the brightest stars that form the cross, Alpha Crucis and Beta Crucis, are among the brightest stars in the sky and easily visible from the southern hemisphere. The stars Alpha, Beta and Delta Crucis are co-moving members of the Scorpius-Centaurus Association, a young association of stars in the constellations Scorpius and Centaurus that belong to the spectral class O and B, have common proper motion, and are believed to have formed inside the same giant molecular cloud. It is the brightest star in the constellation Crux.

It is really a multiple star system with a combined apparent magnitude of 0. Alpha Crucis is the southernmost first magnitude star, lying just a bit more to the south than the bright Alpha Centauri in Centaurus constellation. Acrux lies at a distance of light years from Earth. It has an absolute magnitude of The stars of the Southern Cross, image: Alain r at wikipedia.


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The two stars are separated by four seconds of arc. Alpha-1 Crucis has a visual magnitude of 1.


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Both components are hot class B stars on the verge of becoming class O. They belong to the spectral classes B0. Their surface temperatures are 28, and 26, K, and luminosities 25, and 16, times solar respectively. The name Acrux is an abbreviation for the Bayer designation Alpha Crucis, which entered common use by the midth century.

The Southern Cross, Watford

It was coined by the American cartographer Elijah Hinsdale Burritt around It is the second brightest star of the Southern Cross asterism. The star is about light years distant from the solar system. Beta Crucis has an apparent magnitude of 1.

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Mimosa is the 19th brightest star in the sky and Deneb , the 20th. Mimosa is thought to be the hottest first magnitude star. The star is classified as a Beta Cephei variable with three different pulsation periods. The stars orbit each other every five years. The Coalsack Nebula is located approximately light-years away from Earth in the southern part of the constellation of Crux the Southern Cross.

This seemingly starless dark patch is actually an opaque interstellar dust cloud that obscures the light of the background Milky Way stars. The first European to see this remarkable object was probably the Spanish navigator and explorer Vincente Yanez Pinzon when he sailed to the South American coast in The Incas tell that the god Ataguchu, in a fit of temper, kicked the Milky Way and a fragment flew off, forming the Small Magellanic Cloud where it landed on the sky, and leaving the black mark of the Coalsack behind.

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Beware of Inca gods in a bad mood! Another famous sight seen from southern latitudes — though it can creep into view in tropical northern latitudes — is the Southern Cross, or Crux. This cross-shaped constellation has assumed great significance in the cultures of the Southern Hemisphere, even as far back as prehistoric times. The European Southern Observatory ESO has also acknowledged the significance of Crux as the foremost constellation of the southern skies, and has proudly incorporated the cross-shaped symbol into the ESO logo.

The system is a relatively young one, with an estimated age of 8 to 11 million years. The primary component belongs to the spectral class B0. The companion is believed to be a main sequence star belonging to the spectral class B2.

How to find the North Star and Southern Cross | New Scientist

A third star was discovered in , which may be a pre-main sequence star, and there are two other stars nearby which are believed to be optical companions, lying in the same line of sight but not physically associated with the Beta Crucis system. It belongs to the spectral class B2 IV. It is a hot, massive blue-white subgiant star currently in the process of becoming a red giant. It has a mass 8. It has an apparent magnitude of 1. It is the nearest red giant star to the Sun. Gamma Crucis is also sometimes called Rubidea, or Ruby-like, because of its colour.