Acrux, brightest star in Southern Cross | Brightest Stars | EarthSky
By late August it will look like this in the early evening, and in December it will be upside down. Source: Astro Photography Australia. How far north of the equator can you see the Southern Cross group of stars?
It may be as iconic as meat pies, lawnmowers and lamingtons, but the Southern Cross is not uniquely Australian. In fact, the Southern Cross appears on the flag of at least four other nations in the Southern Hemisphere. And it can be seen in some parts of the Northern Hemisphere as well, says astronomer Fred Watson from the Anglo-Australian telescope.
The Southern Cross
If you're north of the equator but south of a latitude of about 25 degrees, which is around say Hawaii and parts of northern Africa, you can still see the Southern Cross. In fact it was by watching the constellations move across the sky as the ancient Greeks travelled across the Earth, that they came to realise that the Earth was spherical and not flat. Precession, that is the motion of the Earth's north and south poles around the sky, will also change the way we see the Southern Cross, says Watson. Worsening light pollution is making it more and more difficult to see the Cross from our cities, says Watson who fears we may not see it at all in the future.
Finding south using the Southern Cross – an essential skill
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