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Southern Cross constellation of the southern sky, invisible in our latitudes, formed by four bright stars arranged in the shape of a Latin cross. The Southern Cross, is the smallest of the 88 modern constellations, but also one of the most famous and flashy. It is surrounded on three sides by the Centaur, while to the south is the small constellation of Moscow. Because of its brightness and its distinctive shape, it is often depicted in the flags of the nations situated in the southern hemisphere, such as Australia, Brazil and New Zealand, which have taken it as a symbol of their southern geographical location. The constellation of the Southern Cross is one of the brightest and characteristics of the southern sky: the arrangement of its stars perfectly reminiscent of a cross and is easily recognizable; its main star, Acrux, is also the thirteenth brightest star in the sky. The constellation is observed in whole south of the 27th parallel north, while southern hemisphere is circumpolar in its temperate regions: in these areas it can be said that the Southern Cross serves as to asterism southern counterpart of the Big Dipper, as it is visible in all nights of the year and allows you to locate the south celestial pole. In fact, since the South Celestial Pole lacks a shining star that marks, as does the Polaris the North Pole, two of the stars of the Southern Cross are normally used to find it: in fact, the easiest way to trace the south celestial pole is, once known the Southern Cross, in tracing a line which starts from the northern star of the Cross, come down to the southernmost, according to the major axis, and extending it in the same direction and orientation for about five times. The constellation lies in the southern Milky Way, in a very bright tract, on which is superimposed on the south-east, a dark nebula known as the Coal Sack; its brightest stars are part of an association known as stellar Association of Scorpius-Centaurus.