Symbol of the Southern Hemisphere - constellation Southern Cross

Constellation Southern Cross, as he says itname, is available to residents of the southern half of our planet. From the Russian territory you will not see it. Nevertheless, the name of this cluster of stars is known to many "northern" inhabitants by literature, it was mentioned also by the great romantic traveler Jules Verne, and the epic Dante. In addition to literary sources, many know the constellation Southern Cross on the Australian flag, where it symbolizes the state of Victoria.
constellation south cross

Earthly history of the celestial phenomenon

To begin with, the constellation Southern Cross -rather young. In ancient times, it has not yet taken shape exactly in the form that we see now, has not received a name and, accordingly, has not been mythologized.

However, the Romans understood the constellation of the SouthCross asterism, that is, a cluster of stars, which was called the Throne of the Emperor. That is, it can be said that the earthly history of this group of luminaries began earlier than the group received its modern name. Ancient Arabian astronomers also knew the star cluster on the site where the constellation Southern Cross is now located, although they called it differently.

Australians who have "free access" toconstellation, have their own myth. In their opinion, the cross is two cockatoo, behind which the evil spirit is chased (his role is played by the Carbon Bag, which is quite symbolic, because where else will you stow the stolen one).under the constellation of the Southern Cross

The European Middle Ages gave birth to a beautifula legend associated with the fall of the first people. It was believed that Adam and Eve in tears watched the removal of the Southern Cross, which blamed the deed of our forefathers. It is since then, they say, and this constellation for the eyes of the inhabitants of the northern hemisphere is inaccessible.

Until the seventeenth century this cluster did notwas allocated to a separate constellation, its stars were considered part of the constellation Centauri. According to various sources, "isolated" the Southern Cross either Bayer (in this case it happened in 1603), or Frenchman Royer (then it happened three quarters of a century later, in 1679).

The familiar name came fromMagellanic swimming around the world, but it was finally fixed only in the 18th century. The goal of assigning the name to the four stars with the indication "Southern" was the need to distinguish them from the constellation Cygnus, which in that era was often also called the Cross.

The dimensions of the constellation

Because of the excessive romanticization of the Southern Cross,far from astronomy, believe that this is a large and bright constellation. However, for a person who is not armed with a telescope, this star cluster looks like a combination of four stars, really depicting a somewhat sloping cross. This is explained by the fact that the remaining stars entering the constellation are rather dim, and the unaided eye distinguishes them weakly. In fact, the Southern Cross is a constellation (the photo shows it clearly), consisting of more stars (there are about 30 of them). However, for the constellations, this is very little. For example, the Great Bear, beloved by the Northern Hemisphere, includes 125 luminaries, and in size this cluster exceeds the so-called "big" Southern Cross almost twenty times.southern cross constellation photo

Name mismatch

If we take the name strictly, then the constellationThe Southern Cross is called the cross by the fifth "star" that is comparable in brightness to the four main ones and is visible therefore even without a telescope. It will be more correct to say that it is perceived as a single luminary with no gain of vision, since in reality it is dozens of stars of various colors. And if in a telescope the spectacle is simply bewitching, then to a simple person it makes it somewhat difficult for the constellation to perceive it in the form of a cross.

The Importance of the Southern Cross for Orientation

However, the romanticization of this constellation is explainedquite simply. In the southern part of the globe it is comparable to the North Star Polaris. Only if our native "index" helps to determine where the north is, then the Cross indicates to the traveler, where the south.Great Southern Cross

The main clarification is to determine the southern directionThis constellation is much more complicated than the north along the Polar Star. In the Cross to the south, only two stars indicate: Alpha and Gamma, otherwise called Akruks and Gakruks. They form a longer diamond axis. In principle, in the direction of the traveler is oriented. But if you need a more accurate indication, then this diagonal should be extended four and a half times and find there a small star with the trivial name of Sigma Octane, which is located almost above the south pole. So for all these calculations you need to be almost a professional astronomer. However, the sailors of antiquity and they were, and managed to do without modern sophisticated, but accurate instruments.

Another difficulty

In addition to all these complexities, orientation, inwhich helps the constellation Southern Cross, makes it difficult to have another similar star cluster. It is nearby and belongs at once to two constellations: Kiel and Sail. At the same time, the outlines of this asterism are like a southern "signpost" to disgust, for which it was called the False Southern Cross. The eye can see that the diameter of the deceiver has an angle of inclination in the wrong direction, but those who swam in the old days in these waters for the first time, were mistaken and moved in the wrong direction.

Related news

Symbol of the Southern Hemisphere - constellation Southern Cross

Symbol of the Southern Hemisphere - constellation Southern Cross

Symbol of the Southern Hemisphere - constellation Southern Cross

Symbol of the Southern Hemisphere - constellation Southern Cross

Symbol of the Southern Hemisphere - constellation Southern Cross

Symbol of the Southern Hemisphere - constellation Southern Cross

Symbol of the Southern Hemisphere - constellation Southern Cross

Symbol of the Southern Hemisphere - constellation Southern Cross

Symbol of the Southern Hemisphere - constellation Southern Cross

Symbol of the Southern Hemisphere - constellation Southern Cross

Symbol of the Southern Hemisphere - constellation Southern Cross Symbol of the Southern Hemisphere - constellation Southern Cross Symbol of the Southern Hemisphere - constellation Southern Cross Symbol of the Southern Hemisphere - constellation Southern Cross Symbol of the Southern Hemisphere - constellation Southern Cross Symbol of the Southern Hemisphere - constellation Southern Cross Symbol of the Southern Hemisphere - constellation Southern Cross Symbol of the Southern Hemisphere - constellation Southern Cross Symbol of the Southern Hemisphere - constellation Southern Cross Symbol of the Southern Hemisphere - constellation Southern Cross Symbol of the Southern Hemisphere - constellation Southern Cross Symbol of the Southern Hemisphere - constellation Southern Cross Symbol of the Southern Hemisphere - constellation Southern Cross Symbol of the Southern Hemisphere - constellation Southern Cross Symbol of the Southern Hemisphere - constellation Southern Cross Symbol of the Southern Hemisphere - constellation Southern Cross Symbol of the Southern Hemisphere - constellation Southern Cross Symbol of the Southern Hemisphere - constellation Southern Cross Symbol of the Southern Hemisphere - constellation Southern Cross Symbol of the Southern Hemisphere - constellation Southern Cross Symbol of the Southern Hemisphere - constellation Southern Cross