Thursday, November 19, 2009

Looking to the Stars

So I grew up in the Southern Hemisphere. It was a small suburb just outside of Johannesburg in South Africa. I miss a lot of the things that I grew up with from the mild winters to the backyard pools.

As I woke up this morning, and went outside to clear the ice from the windows of my car, I realized one of the things I miss the most.

The sky was clear and the stars stood out brilliantly against the dark black of night. High above my head Orion's belt stood out clearly. I looked south, wondering if perhaps there was some way I could see the Southern Cross.

I don't think I can, although I've been wondering about it in recent months, since there is a key part of the cross over between paganism and christianity which involves the Southern Cross, and since both appear to have originated predominantly in the Northern Hemisphere, they had to have been able to see it.

I think of all the things I miss. Looking up and see the Southern Cross with her two pointers, ranks really high on the list.


  1. Ahh, the southern cross, beautiful, no? You should come visit it.

  2. In the late 1980s there was an astronomy club which made a big deal about seeing Crux in Texas. People would drive to Brownsville, the southernmost point in the U.S. for an unobstructed view of it. Brownsville is about 25° N Latitude.

    In the spring of 1989 I saw it on Mustang Island, about 27° N, hugging the horizon over the water, but only for about an hour in the middle of the night. I'd guess that's the terminator for it. San Antonio is at 29° N and it definitely wasn't visible there.

    I always looked for it also. I remember seeing it in Luanda, Montevideo and Buenos Aires. There isn't a pole star in the south so people used that as their makeshift waypoint in the old days.

  3. Thanks Gregoire - Perhaps I'll have to plan a trip down that way at some point, or as Ms. Mouse pointed out, perhaps down under!!

  4. I say let's all meet down under for a viewing!

  5. I'm In!! Just need to win the lottery in order to purchase tickets for the tribe, and if anyone has any kids valium for me, I'm sure everyone else on the plane will be most appreciative!