Interestingly, the Southern Cross has been depicted on the flags of several different antipodean countries. I think this is why “The Pointers” are called “The Pointers”. Hello Peter. Weeks holds a bachelor's degree in political science from the College of New Jersey and a master's degree in public policy from Rutgers. 3. It's product still reflects the philosophy of solid engineering expertise and consistency. A wrong guess could be disastrous as they would miss the island and possibly run out of water and fresh food. The text has been corrected. The distance from Acrux to the South Celestial Pole is four and a half times the length of the Southern Cross and not three and a half as stated above. In place of it you could use the Magellanic Clouds – they form (roughly) an equilateral triangle with the southern celestial pole. However, there is a useful celestial marker known as Crux, or the Southern Cross. As the Cross rotates about the South Celestial Pole its major axis always points towards it so that the above diagram applies whatever the orientation. There is a "False Cross" constellation in the Southern Hemisphere as well, so knowing how to locate the correct one is vital for purposes of navigation. Thank you A and nam95 for pointing out the discrepancy. Your email address will not be published. Draw the 2 lines (right angel center to pointers and through the length of the cross) and where they meet, straight down to horrison is south. Offering care means being a companion, not a superior. Nor is it all that bright. Crux constellation is also bordered by Musca, the Fly.To find the Southern Cross, first look for the two very bright stars nearby, Alpha and Beta Centauri. Mmapadi 2. Lesley asks how do you find north using the Southern Cross? Yes, your method of finding south is a good one and it is included in a second blog post on this topic at http://www.sydneyobservatory.com.au/2013/finding-south-using-the-southern-cross/. The Southern Cross—South Africa’s only Catholic publication since 1920 The Catholic Church in South Africa is a much smaller church than that of the United States. “Extend the line four and a half times the length of the cross. But if you live south of the equator, it’s not the Big Dipper that people choose as their guide to the night sky. Method 1: Extend the main axis of the Cross from and in the direction of its brightest star by four and a half times its length (the span of the main axis of the Cross is approximately 6° while the distance from its brightest star to the South Celestial Pole is approximately 27°). Hello Michael. Sam, Keep watching it for a few hours and you will see it ‘rotate’ as the Earth spins on its axis. How do I locate it. Finding south using the Southern Cross, drawing Nick Lomb. This diverse nation is a hub for ministry in the surrounding countries. Southern Cross Industries (Pty) Ltd first set foot on African soil as the Southern Cross Windmill and Engine Co. Back then, its regulatory head office and factory, Southern Cross Organisation, was based in Toowoomba, Queensland Australia. Welcome to the digital version of Southern Africa’s Catholic Magazine. One method was to measure the altitude of a star near the SCP when it was at its highest point and then 12 hours later at its lowest point. Honestly, this is much more practical! Thank you for letting people know how to use the southern cross to find south. So you might want to visit a local observatory (Perth Observatory) or a local amateur astronomy club/society. The S celestial pole is at the end of the tail. Identify the Southern Cross and the Two Pointers (part of Centaurus), careful to avoid the ‘false cross’. It is easily recognizable for the cross-shaped asterism, the Southern Cross, formed by its five brightest stars. Thanks Anthony. My back door in Malawi faces south, and I watch the strange rotations of the Southern Cross every night. If you have any questions regarding one of our products or need more information concerning a specific service or product, please do not hesitate to contact us … The tail of a kite? c. Draw an imaginary line perpendicular to this are we moving in the galaxy or why has it changed. It’s just a point in the sky isn’t it – it’s not like its a star and I believe they needed it to calculate longitude didn’t they? The south you mean is the same thing as south celestial pole? why has the southern cross seem to have rotated about 30 – 40 degrees in a anticlockwise position. It is published independently but with the support of the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference. (Actually, they point just a tad north of Crux, but it is close enough.). This leaves me with the following two questions: 1/ The “four” & the “four & a half” methods can’t both be correct – which is it? The meeting place is the approximate location of the South Celestial Pole. Now, when we are out boating with our boating friends, we won’t get lost – you’ve also settled a long-time debate. Often its best if another person shows you. 1 hauled New South Wales' first train and is on permanent display at Powerhouse Museum. I for many years have successfully found South using the “Crux” in the Victorian high country -fortunately not often as my compass was on a cord around my neck-but there have been a few occasions. The Southern Cross is South Africa's only national Catholic weekly newspaper. Note big difference if covering a few kilometres, but considerable when needing to cover a few hundred. From a light-polluted area you could use the same approach (less accurate) with Canopus and Achernar in place of the Clouds, but you would need a little familiarity with the sky to point the triangle the correct way! a. Well, you find south as the Cross is in the southern sky and then it is trivial to find north as it is exactly in the opposite direction to south. Unlike the star known as Polaris in the Northern Hemisphere, there is no polar star indicating south in the night sky of the Southern Hemisphere. 4. About. Thank you so much Nick. I think I might include this is a novel I am writing…, I suspect Rigil Kent and Hagar are called pointers because they point to the Southern Cross. Find the midpoint between the Two Pointers. Lived in the outback from 1982 to mid 1986. I would have thought that the diagram in the post would make it clear. The mean of the two measurements would give the latitude. Thx for the info. ), Repair works and more. If you’re lost in the bush this method will definitely help you find south. From that point you drop a line directly to the Horizon and that is due South. Where these two “imaginery” lines intersect is South. The pointer stars are much brighter and much easier to see. How many degrees in a night? The initial idea was to distribute Australian manufactured products in South Africa. More recently, I’ve been told that south can be determined more simply by extend the major axis by four times its length & now I read here that the method involves measuring four & a half times the length of the major axis. Thanks for your response but I’m still a little in the dark: you mentioned the “exact value” but I’m none the wiser on the method to determine the “exact value” (position?) of South. Thanks. by following method 1 at this very moment in Cape Town in South Africa, south is 3.5 times southern cross’ length according to my compass and not 4.5. 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