Southern Cross Constellation – Guide to the South Celestial Pole

The Crux Constellation, sometimes referred to as the Southern Cross Constellation, is the faintest of all 88 constellations.

Observable predominantly in the northern hemisphere’s low latitudes and the southern hemisphere. Below a declination of -34 degrees, Crux is considered to be circumpolar (about 34 degrees South latitude).

Crux is quite easy to spot since it has five prominent stars that are particularly bright: alpha, beta, gamma, delta, and epsilon crucis.

These five stars have a magnitude that is at least 3.6 and are located less than 365 light years away from Earth.

If you start at the Gacrux (gamma crucis) at the top of the cross and trace a line south to the Acrux (alpha crucis), then go on for roughly 4.5 times that distance, you will reach close to the celestial south pole.

Crux is a more reliable guidepost because to the fact that Sigma Octantis, the star that marks the southern pole, is not very brilliant.

The neighbouring asterism known as the “false cross.”

Getting To The Crux
Of The Southern Cross Constellation

Right Ascension: 12 hours

Declination: -60 degrees

Visible between latitudes 20 and -90 degrees

Best seen in May (at 9:00 PM)

Named Stars: ACRUX (Alpha 1 Cru) Becrux (Beta Cru) Gacrux (Gamma Cru)

The Kappa Crucis Cluster provides one of the most breathtaking panoramas of the night sky, but it can only be seen from certain locations in the southern hemisphere.

NGC4755 is a stunning open cluster of supergiant stars that consists of red, blue, yellow, and white stars. It is also known as the Jewel Box Cluster.

This cluster of stars is located approximately 7500 light years away and spans approximately 20 square light years. It has an apparent brightness of approximately 4.2 and comprises more than 100 stars.

Observable even with the naked eye, but very breathtaking when viewed via a telescope or binoculars.

A mandatory watch for viewers in the southern hemisphere.

Note that Musca can be seen beneath Crux in the images above, while Carina can be seen to the right.

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