In southern skies may be seen a star constellation called CRUX, or the SOUTHERN CROSS, in Australia, it is simply, the CROSS.
In wartime, and during troubled times in the Northern Hemisphere, many a Royal Australian Navy ship and their crews have left home to serve north of the equator.
After a long stint away, at last their ship is steering a southerly course, it crosses the equator. When the sun sets, and dusk falls, the stars will slowly become visible, the sailors will look for two old friends, two of the brightest stars to be seen in the heavens above.
Alpha and Beta Centauri, or better known, as the Pointers to the Southern Cross.
As their eyes scan along these pointers, they will come to the stars forming the Southern Cross, they now know, that at last, they are truly heading for their home port.
The Australian Flag
Take a look at this copy of the National Flag of Australia, the group of stars in the right hand half of the flag are those that form the Southern Cross, but without the two Pointers.
Alpha and Beta Centauri have been used for centuries by the world's mariners to fix their ship's position within the Southern Hemisphere.
In these days of the Global Positioning System and Satellites, there is much less need for the skill of using a sextant for navigational purposes, none the less, these two bright stars remain ever ready to serve the sailor at sea, should there be such a need.
Click here to visit the Southern Cross Site. Click on this link to:
- View the Southern Cross.
- Look at Akira Fuji's photograph of the Southern Cross.
- Find the Southern Cross in Sydney's skies.
- Find South by use of the Southern Cross.
- Find the time by use of the Southern Cross.
This constellation in Southern skies, is one of the marvels of the Star World above us.