See the animation below. By late August it will look like this in the early evening, and in December it will be upside down. Therefore, the Southern Cross never rises as seen from northerly latitudes. Because the Southern Cross can be seen all year round, people use it for navigation. At temperate latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere, where it’s now late autumn, we astronomers say the Southern Cross swings to upper meridian transit – its high point in the sky – at early evening, or somewhere around 7 to 8 p.m. local time. It shows constellations you can see from mid-southern latitudes such as Sydney, Cape Town or Wellington in mid-month, at 10pm local time. That’s because the late autumn season in the Southern Hemisphere ushers in an earlier sunset time than at comparable latitudes in the northern tropics, where it is now late spring. Also look at the chart above. He's a sundial aficionado, whose love for the heavens has taken him to Lake Titicaca in Bolivia and sailing in the North Atlantic, where he earned his celestial navigation certificate through the School of Ocean Sailing and Navigation. Are there guide stars to the Southern Cross? New Zealand stargazers will find that it contains features unique to viewers in the southern hemisphere – the Southern Cross, Coal Sack and Jewel Box twinkle only here. Meanwhile, Cassiopeia lodges at the Milky Way’s northern terminus in our sky. But if you live south of the equator, it’s not the Big Dipper that people choose as their guide to the night sky. However, if you live in the tropics, there are times when you can actually see the Big Dipper and the Southern Cross in the same sky together. He wrote: “Alpha and Beta Centauri are the bright stars on the left. The Southern Cross is upright in May/June but it changes position throughout the year. Are you south of Hawaii’s latitude? Where is the Southern Cross? All of you at this latitude will be able to see the Southern Cross before dawn for at least another month. Look at the photo at the top of this post, by Jv Noriega in the Philippines. These simple star charts will help beginners recognise the major landmarks of the night sky and follow the motions of the bright planets. How else can I know if the Southern Cross is visible in my sky? Because the Southern Cross is circumpolar – always above the horizon – at all places south of 35 degrees south latitude, people at mid-southern latitudes can count on seeing the Southern Cross all night long, every night of the year. Bottom line: A tribute to the Southern Cross, also known as the constellation Crux. How far south do I have to be to see the Southern Cross? They make great gifts. Check our website each month to download free star charts for night sky exploring. This month’s guide is presented by Geoffrey Wyatt, Sydney Observatory’s Astronomy Programs Producer. The photo below is from the Philippines also. Meanwhile, for latitudes north of Hawaii (for example, most of the continental U.S. – except for southern Florida and Texas), Cassiopeia is circumpolar. Crosby, Stills and Nash on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1987. Order now. For locations south of 34°S, Crux is circumpolar and thus always visible in the night sky. From Australia or New Zealand – or South America or South Africa – Crux is circumpolar. Thank you, Jv! Notice the two stars, Rigel Kentaurus and Hadar, in the constellation Centaurus. In any given night it will rotate clockwise, starting from this position at … Watch for the Southern Cross to move like a great big hour hand, circling around the south celestial pole in a clockwise direction throughout the night. The Southern Cross is easily visible in the Southern Hemisphere and not visible at all, north of +20° in the northern hemisphere. The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson (guest Mel Brooks).June 23, 1987 Bruce McClure has served as lead writer for EarthSky's popular Tonight pages since 2004. When the easy-to-find constellation Cassiopeia the Queen is visible in your sky, the Southern Cross is below your horizon. If you haven't stared at the night sky since winter you'll notice a big difference. It is the 14th brightest star in the night sky. He's a sundial aficionado, whose love for the heavens has taken him to Lake Titicaca in Bolivia and sailing in the North Atlantic, where he earned his celestial navigation certificate through the School of Ocean Sailing and Navigation. TONIGHT FOR DECEMBER 29, 2012. It isn’t as famous as its counterpart – the Southern Cross – visible from the Southern Hemisphere or the northern tropics. Select an option below to see step-by-step directions and to compare ticket prices and travel times in Rome2rio's travel planner. 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