The Southern Cross and the Southern Sky in Austral Spring

May 22, 2024


PhotographerCarlos Di Nallo  
Summary AuthorCarlos Di Nallo  

The image above shows details in the southern sky as observed during austral spring from Clachaquies Valleys in Argentina. In the photograph, we see at the top the Southern Cross. Just below the cross is the Coalsack Nebula. Further below are the bright stars Hadar and Alpha Centauri. Towards the lower middle, in the direction of the galactic center, the constellation of Scorpio can be seen. Its brightest star is the red supergiant, Antares, at left center.  The constellation of Corona Australis is at lower right. 

The celestial South Pole is a point in the sky where the South Pole of the Earth's axis points. During the night you can see the stars rotating around both the South and North Celestial Poles. In the northern hemisphere, Polaris (the Pole Star) is in proximity to the North Celestial Pole. However, finding this same point in the southern sky is more challenging. It can be approximated by extending the mainmast of the Southern Cross about 4 times to the right, near the Octantis asterism. This asterism is used to station telescopes with motorized mounts so that they can monitor the southern sky throughout the night. Photo taken on May 27, 2023.

Photo Details: Canon 6D Camera; Canon 17/40 lens; 40 mm; ISO 6400; f4.5; 20 seconds exposure. Stars were highlighted for educational purposes.

Clachaquies Valleys, Tucuman, Argentina Coordinates: -26.6152778, -65.7258333333

Related Links:
Shadow of the Cross
Southern Cross