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Astro Bob

Stuck At Home? Let’s Spend Some Time Under The Southern Stars

25 Mar 2020, 18:55 UTC
Stuck At Home? Let’s Spend Some Time Under The Southern Stars
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The sky as you’d see it from Sydney, Australia (latitude 34° south) around 9 o’clock in late March. Fall began in the southern hemisphere on March 19. Stellarium
Hanging out at home might feel nice for a day or two during this time of social distancing. But then it’s time to get moving. Since the coronavirus has restricted travel I’ve noticed lots of people walking outdoors. I hope you’re stretching your legs, too. Today we’ll also stretch our imaginations and leave the northern hemisphere behind for a taste of the southern sky. Our destination is Sydney, Australia but central South America or southern Africa would work just as well. Take your pick.
To the lower left of Crux there’s an inky patch of interstellar dust dubbed the Coalsack Nebula. The dust cloud blocks the light of the stars behind leaving a “hole” in the Milky Way. Stellarium
From the map you can see that several spectacular sights adorn the early fall sky including the bright, kite-shaped constellation Crux, better known as the Southern Cross. Crux is only about 5.5° tall, about the same as the distance between the two end stars in the bucket of the Big Dipper. What makes ...

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