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Old 05-29-2014, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,367,851 times
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Wherever you go in the Northern Hemisphere, the sky is always the same, and you can find the Big Dipper to assure you that at least one familiar friend has come with you on your travels. But if you ever travel to the south, especially beyond the Tropic of Capricorn, it's a whole new sky you've never seen before.

Of the 30 or 40 brightest stars, there are quite a few more of them visible in the southern sky than in the north, And you won't want to return home and tell people that No, you did not see the Southern Cross -- the most important tourist attraction in the Southern Hemisphere.

So if you plan a trip south, pick up a southern star chart, and spend at least a few minutes exploring the sky. Try to download one online before you go, they are not that easy to find when you get there. In fact, I had to make my own, when I lived in Chile. I found an old copy of the World Almanac in a used bookstore, which had a list of about 100 stars with their magnitude, ascension and declension. I got out a sheet of paper and my trusty compass and protractor from a school supply store, and drew my own star chart, which amazed me by being usefully accurate. I was hooked, and spent the year going out and following the movement of the stars around the southern sky.
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Old 05-30-2014, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
16,411 posts, read 26,273,842 times
Reputation: 16497
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Wherever you go in the Northern Hemisphere, the sky is always the same, and you can find the Big Dipper to assure you that at least one familiar friend has come with you on your travels. But if you ever travel to the south, especially beyond the Tropic of Capricorn, it's a whole new sky you've never seen before.

Of the 30 or 40 brightest stars, there are quite a few more of them visible in the southern sky than in the north, And you won't want to return home and tell people that No, you did not see the Southern Cross -- the most important tourist attraction in the Southern Hemisphere.

So if you plan a trip south, pick up a southern star chart, and spend at least a few minutes exploring the sky. Try to download one online before you go, they are not that easy to find when you get there. In fact, I had to make my own, when I lived in Chile. I found an old copy of the World Almanac in a used bookstore, which had a list of about 100 stars with their magnitude, ascension and declension. I got out a sheet of paper and my trusty compass and protractor from a school supply store, and drew my own star chart, which amazed me by being usefully accurate. I was hooked, and spent the year going out and following the movement of the stars around the southern sky.
How do you spot it?
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Old 05-30-2014, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,367,851 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burgler09 View Post
How do you spot it?
Can you reword your question?
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Old 05-31-2014, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
16,411 posts, read 26,273,842 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Can you reword your question?
How do you spot the Southern Cross?
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Old 05-31-2014, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,367,851 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burgler09 View Post
How do you spot the Southern Cross?
Well, one way is to ask somebody. Just like anybody in the northern hemisphere would be able to point out the Big Dipper / Ursa Major to you. Or, if you have a star chart, you can identify it's appearance and location. But even without help, you know that must always be directly south of you, so just find a point on the horizon that is exactly south, and look above that point for a four-star pattern shaped like the ends of a cross or the corners of a kite. (it might be upside down or sideways). It is not as conspicuous as the Big Dipper, but all four stars are fairly bright. The further south you are, the higher it will be in the sky.

http://en.es-static.us/upl/2009/06/S...4-29-2012.jpeg

Last edited by jtur88; 05-31-2014 at 08:00 PM..
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Old 05-31-2014, 07:57 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,367,851 times
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(Inadvertent repetition)
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Old 06-02-2014, 10:08 PM
 
Location: New Zealand
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Agreed that the southern hemisphere has some great celestial objects to see. Another thing is that it is generally easy to get away from a lot of light pollution in the south, and therefore to get a great view of the stars. The northern hemisphere has a lot more large cities with lots of light pollution.

Took some pictures with a standard DSLR on a tripod (45-second exposure)...

The Milky Way here in NZ is an awesome sight:


Besides the Milky Way itself, the two most prominent objects are the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds (actually galaxies), quite easily visible as "cloudy" patches.


Many objects, including the Omega Centauri globular cluster, and several nebluae (e.g. Lagoon) are visible with the naked eye. Even modest binoculars yield a lot of objects/details.
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Old 06-02-2014, 10:13 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,367,851 times
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Awesome photos. Thanks.
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