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Under the Southern Cross

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We’re playing our part to protect our communities during this time and minimise the spread of Coronavirus. Astrotourism WA stargazing events are postponed for now. But we will be back under the stars as soon as we can!

The great thing about stargazing is that it can never be cancelled and you can do it freely from your own backyard. In regional WA, we’re luckier still! Away from bright city lights, we have access to an amazing world-class dark night sky full of stars. The night sky is more important than ever and it’s easy to be in your back or front yard to experience some wonderful views. You don’t even need a telescope.
April is a great time to start viewing the famous Australian constellation of the Southern Cross. You can track it over mid-autumn and winter evenings.

When and where to look: From 7.30 pm look to the south east.
When you head outside to stargaze, you will first notice two bright stars on a diagonal. The brighter of the two, Alpha Centauri, is closer to the horizon. Together, the two stars are commonly known as the “Pointers”. That’s because they seem to point towards the Southern Cross.
The Southern Cross itself is above and a little to the left of the Pointers. It looks like a diamond lying on its side and is actually made up of five stars.

Something Interesting:
Did you know you can find south using the Southern Cross? First, imagine a line extended out from the long axis of the Southern Cross. At the same time imagine another perpendicular line extending from between the Pointers. Roughly, where these two lines intersect, marks our South Celestial Pole. Drop a line straight down to the horizon to find due south!

Receive a fortnightly Stargazing Forecast email when you join Stargazers Club WA as a free Bronze Planet Member. www.stargazersclubwa.com.au.