how to find the southern cross in south africa

Note that 4.5 times the length of the main axis from the Southern Cross to the pole is correct. around the south celestial pole. One technique they used to find, say, a small island, was to sail to the correct latitude and then guess whether the island was to their east or west and sail along the latitude until they hit the island. Thank you A and nam95 for pointing out the discrepancy. October 4, 2019 Love, care and treasure the elderly people in the society. You’ll still be lost, but at least you’ll know where south is! Does the method I described return the “exact value” or is there some other method? Why are the pointers useful? I was struggling with how they could take a sight on an invisible point in the sky! by following method 1 at this very moment in Cape Town in South Africa, south is 3.5 times southern cross’ length according to my compass and not 4.5. Find southern cross for sale on bidorbuy. About. 4. How do you find south? The South African Red Cross Society. He has been published on Men's News Daily and Free Republic. Thank you so much Nick. If you are looking for Southern Cross holiday accommodation , SafariNow has a selection of Self-catering, holiday accommodation in Southern Cross and surrounds. Unlike the star known as Polaris in the Northern Hemisphere, there is no polar star indicating south in the night sky of the Southern Hemisphere. If you are a digital subscriber, then please use the following form to login. Unlike the star known as Polaris in the Northern Hemisphere, there is no polar star indicating south in the night sky of the Southern Hemisphere. We are a few short weeks away from welcoming our first guests back to Southern Cross Safaris, in the Eastern Cape South Africa. How do I locate it. The Southern Cross is South Africa's only national Catholic weekly newspaper. Zero light pollution…. Hi Guys, Thanks for the info, it really helped when I was teaching ”Space” for Year 8 students, last term. Take note of the fact that, depending on the time of the year, the shape they form will not always be an upright kite. d. The point where lines a and c intersect is the South Celestial Pole It is worth practicing this from your backyard as such knowledge will be most helpful if you are ever lost in the bush! If you're north of the equator but south of a latitude of about 25 degrees, which is around say Hawaii and parts of northern Africa, you can still see the Southern Cross. Southern Cross takes pride in supplying our customers with excellent products and remarkable customer service. Thank you Nick, them using a nearby star or a catalogue explains it. Thanks, I understand how to find south using the Cross at ground level but can you tell me how a 17th century sailor could establish the altitude of the CSP? Hello Lukas. Are you able to describe it in more simple terms? Even from the far north of the continent it is only missing for a few hours of the day. I have known both these ways and always thought they agreed. Shop online at fixed prices or bid on auctions. The first step is to identify the Southern Cross – it is a compact group of bright stars close together in the sky with the two Pointer stars always pointing to them from nearby. One method was to measure the altitude of a star near the SCP when it was at its highest point and then 12 hours later at its lowest point. In hazy conditions or bright skies it could be easy to miss. Your email address will not be published. Finding south using the Southern Cross – an essential skill. Diagrammatic error? The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference has called on all parishes and the faithful to support The Southern Cross. As the Cross rotates about the South Celestial Pole its major axis always points towards it so that the above diagram applies whatever the orientation. — how do you estimate 4.5x the length of the Southern Cross? Four and a half times the length of the major axis of the Cross is a better approximation to the exact value than four times. The meeting place is the approximate location of the South Celestial Pole. More recently, I’ve been told that south can be determined more simply by extend the major axis by four times its length & now I read here that the method involves measuring four & a half times the length of the major axis. There are a number of methods that 17th century navigators used to establish the height of the South Celestial Pole or latitude. Otherwise, thank you. Crux constellation is also bordered by Musca, the Fly.To find the Southern Cross, first look for the two very bright stars nearby, Alpha and Beta Centauri. I’ll try to attempt locating the Southern Cross from Moorea. The mean of the two measurements would give the latitude. Southern Cross View Gallery. Find the midpoint between the Two Pointers. Lesley asks how do you find north using the Southern Cross? If you're there during southern spring and wish to see the Cross, you have to get up in the small hours of the morning when it is coming out again. In the 17th century navigators could not determine their longitude, that is, how far east or west they were from a particular point like Greenwich. It is a constellation that roughly forms the shape of a Christian cross, and whose "vertical piece," so to speak, always points in the general direction of south when followed from its "top" to its "bottom." If you're there during southern spring and wish to see the Cross, you have to get up in the small hours of the morning when it is coming out again. I find that this is easier than figuring out 3 1/2 times a distance. Crux can be found on the national flags … The Southern Cross, in form of 4 large and 1 small star, is situated in the fly half of the Australian flag. The initial idea was to distribute Australian manufactured products in South Africa. 1/28. Will the longitud axis of the Cross plus its 4.5 times distance to the drop to the horizon rotate around the CSP clockwise? When I was first taught to find south using the Southern Cross, the method involved determining the point of intersection of the line drawn along the major axis of the Cross with a line drawn drawn as the perpendicular bisector of the two pointers & south was determined by dropping a line from the point of that intersection to the horizon. Southern Cross Address: V & A Waterfront, Western Cape, 8001, South Africa City of Cape Town Phone number: 021 418 5806,, Fax: 021 418 5821 Categories: Travel, Required fields are marked *. Where these two “imaginery” lines intersect is South. Latest News . Aren’t these two contradictory? I think I might include this is a novel I am writing…, I suspect Rigil Kent and Hagar are called pointers because they point to the Southern Cross. A grand adventure offering amazing insight into well-known destinations across South Africa. The S celestial pole is at the end of the tail. Note big difference if covering a few kilometres, but considerable when needing to cover a few hundred. This diverse nation is a hub for ministry in the surrounding countries. In the immediate vicinity of the Southern Cross are two very bright "pointer stars," Alpha Centauri and Beta Centauri, which form a line pointing to the "top" point of the true Southern Cross. Mmapadi 2. It doesn’t matter whether the person we are caring for … This leaves me with the following two questions: 1/ The “four” & the “four & a half” methods can’t both be correct – which is it? Wunnerful! That is exactly what my Dad told me when I was a kid. Hi! From a light-polluted area you could use the same approach (less accurate) with Canopus and Achernar in place of the Clouds, but you would need a little familiarity with the sky to point the triangle the correct way! Hello again Michael. If you’re lost in the bush this method will definitely help you find south. Trust the southern cross.It will take you home.. That’s the way they taught us in Army survival training! Where that line meets the line formed by the two most widely separated stars in the Southern Cross is the south point in the sky (the South Celestial Pole). Starting in Pretoria, travel across the imposing Drakensberg … If you don't know which direction you are facing, slowly scan the horizon in a circle from your position in the winter, or scan points high in the sky in the summer. The Southern Cross is not circumpolar in South Africa except the southern tip. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that the MAAS website contains a range of material which may be culturally sensitive including records of people who may have passed away. Midway along this line, extend another line at a right angle to it, until it meets another line drawn down the long axis of the Southern Cross. The first step is to identify the Southern Cross – it is a compact group of bright stars close together in the sky with the two Pointer stars always pointing to them from nearby. One of my colleagues gave me a bad rap over the knuckles about this post. Southern Cross Industries (Pty) Ltd first set foot on African soil as the Southern Cross Windmill and Engine Co. Back then, its regulatory head office and factory, Southern Cross Organisation, was based in Toowoomba, Queensland Australia. I hope that helps. And yes, the method does compensate for the changing orientation of the Cross during a night or during the year. The text has been corrected. 1 hauled New South Wales' first train and is on permanent display at Powerhouse Museum. However, there is a useful celestial marker known as Crux, or the Southern Cross. Then extend the main axis of the Cross from and in the direction of its brightest star by four and a half times its length. I’ll give that a go next time I run a Night Tour and see how it goes. Identify the Southern Cross and the Two Pointers (part of Centaurus), careful to avoid the ‘false cross’. Your health is our top priority and we are ready to address all concerns travellers may have surrounding COVID-19. Still, once you have found the Southern Cross – in August it is leaning on its side in the south-west – in your imagination extend the line between the two furthest apart stars to the left for a distance four and a half times their separation. Your email address will not be published. Could someone clarify that? From “museumvictoria.com.au”……. When using the Pointers to find south, draw a line perpendicular to the line joining the two stars and about halfway between them. Hannah, From WA finding the Cross is just the same as from anywhere else in Australia. With 3 listings in Southern Cross, our handy Southern Cross map search and great low prices, it's easy to book the perfect holiday accommodation for your Southern Cross visit. C This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale. The Southern Cross (South Africa) is within the scope of WikiProject Catholicism, an attempt to better organize and improve the quality of information in articles related to the Catholic Church.For more information, visit the project page. It is easily recognizable for the cross-shaped asterism, the Southern Cross, formed by its five brightest stars. The flag of Samoa has the Southern Cross placed on the upper outer quadrant of the flag. Many people think the cross simply points south, but if you don’t understand that it rotates with the sky you would walk in a big half circle. But if you live south of the equator, it’s not the Big Dipper that people choose as their guide to the night sky. The south you mean is the same thing as south celestial pole? Crux, or the Southern Cross, is a prominent constellation in the southern sky. Imagine if unity, peace, healing, and hope — namely, the gospel — not only spread across tribes and cultures in this country, but extended from here across all of southern Africa! As a frame of reference, the pointer stars in Ursa Major (Merak and Dubhe) are only five degrees apart. The distance from Acrux to the South Celestial Pole is four and a half times the length of the Southern Cross and not three and a half as stated above. If the pic is to scale, then it would include the cross (and a further 3.5 lengths) as you suggest Phil. So you might want to visit a local observatory (Perth Observatory) or a local amateur astronomy club/society. Thanks for your response but I’m still a little in the dark: you mentioned the “exact value” but I’m none the wiser on the method to determine the “exact value” (position?) This is in variation with the New Zealand flag which, on its outer part, contains 4 red stars which are consistent with the Southern Cross. This method also marries up with the Scout method in finding the South Celestial Pole. e. Drop perpendicular as above Offering care means being a companion, not a superior. Interestingly, the Southern Cross has been depicted on the flags of several different antipodean countries. If you have any questions regarding one of our products or need more information concerning a specific service or product, please do not hesitate to contact us … First published on 16 October 1920, it has appeared uninterrupted every week since. b. Discover Kings Cinema, an art deco cinema in the style of the 1930s installed at Powerhouse Museum. Then extend the main axis of the Cross from and in the direction of its brightest star by four and a half times its length. Imagine the Cross is a kite with a tail that extends straight away from the kite and is 4.5 times the length of the kite itself. “Extend the line four and a half times the length of the cross. Not the easiest way! Thx for the info. Another reason to look for the pointer stars is they keep you from getting confused with another grouping nearby called the False Cross (Delta Velorum, Kappa Velorum, Epsilon Carinae, and Iota Carinae). I still cannot figure out how to find south using the southern cross. But “south” is parallel to the ground and “south celestial pole” is up in the sky. Lived in the outback from 1982 to mid 1986. How many degrees in a night? Hopefully, you will find that the diagram will work out with correct number. Draw an imaginary line through the two Pointers Good Hope. Northwards of a latitude of about 33-degrees south the Cross does begin to set but not for long. Matthew Weeks has been a public policy and technology writer since 2003. They grab your attention. The Southern Cross. Hello Robyn. People looking for missing migrants in Southern Africa Hundreds of thousands of migrants lose contact with their family members every year, because of migration, conflict or natural disasters. Another way is to extend the main (long) axis of the cross as one line and a second line is created as a perpendicular bisector of the line joining the two pointers. Weeks holds a bachelor's degree in political science from the College of New Jersey and a master's degree in public policy from Rutgers. Phil, It’s 4.5 times if you start from the brightest star (the closest one to the pole) of the Cross. Finding south using the Southern Cross, drawing Nick Lomb. Face to the south in an area with a clear line of sight and an absence of light pollution. Often its best if another person shows you. Hello Peter. Thank you. Imagine a line connecting the Pointers. This will bring you to the point in the sky called the South Celestial Pole. I’m from wa so I’m so confused. Looking at the night sky around Woomera South Australia in 1983! Luckily, according to my method, south is always south, just to the left of a small tree and in line with my compass bearing. (Actually, they point just a tad north of Crux, but it is close enough.). Draw a line from this midpoint at … Understanding basic Scout’s and Guide’s way to find your direction by the Stars is easy to verify! If you don't see the pointer stars, you are looking at the False Cross. Since learning that method I’ve been very happy to accept that as a reliable technique & have often praised whatever ancient mariner it was who first worked out that combination of stars from all of the others up there. 3. Scratch that, it appears this pic is not to scale and the correct count does not include the cross itself (ie. Is there something opposite the cross in the S hemisphere? Yes, your method of finding south is a good one and it is included in a second blog post on this topic at http://www.sydneyobservatory.com.au/2013/finding-south-using-the-southern-cross/. a. Southern Cross Industries is a diversified manufacturing company. You have now reached the South Celestial Pole – the point about which the Cross and all stars turn in the sky. Locomotive No. Regards The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land and gives respect to the Elders – past and present – and through them to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Thank you for letting people know how to use the southern cross to find south. Nick, maybe a diagram of the second method using the “Pointers” bisected could be included on your web page. Of course, if the navigator knew from a star catalogue how many degrees the observed star was from the SCP then only one observation was necessary. or whether it is 4.5 times along from the base star. The Strasburg Clock model has been one of the most popular exhibits at Powerhouse Museum for over 100 years. I would have thought that the diagram in the post would make it clear. of South. Regarding the method described above, the angular distance from Acrux, the closest star of the Cross to the south celestial pole, is 26°50′ and the distance between Acrux and Gacrux, the star of the Cross furthest from the pole, is 5°59′. As you say, the pole is 4 1/2 times the length of the cross away from it, and I find an easy way is to look for the Small Magellan Cloud (if you can see it) and find the point half way between it and the Cross. The pointer stars are much brighter and much easier to see. Locate south by dropping a vertical line from the South Celestial Pole to the horizon. The confusion here may be that no-one has yet stated whether the 4.5 length includes the actual length of the head and base stars of the cross – plus 3.5 times that length. In place of it you could use the Magellanic Clouds – they form (roughly) an equilateral triangle with the southern celestial pole. Given that the Cross markedly changes its orientation with time, how does the simpler method compensate for this? How do you find S when the cross is below the horizon. See past project information for Southern Cross Industries, Hamilton, Bloemfontein including projects, photos, costs, reviews and more. Draw an imaginery line down along the longest angle of the cross all the way to the ground. The Southern Cross—South Africa’s only Catholic publication since 1920 The Catholic Church in South Africa is a much smaller church than that of the United States. COVID-19 Information (Last updated: January 12, 2021) Country-Specific Information: The South African Ministry of Health has confirmed more than 1,200,000 cases of COVID-19 within its borders. I hope that this clarifies things for you. I think this is why “The Pointers” are called “The Pointers”. Using the pointer method, how do u know where to go perpendicular from the line created through the pointers? Bill, From much of Australia and ll of New Zealand the Cross never sets, it is circumpolar. Better way: are we moving in the galaxy or why has it changed. It compensates for the stars’ rotation. Go to bidorbuy and discover online shopping at its best! A wrong guess could be disastrous as they would miss the island and possibly run out of water and fresh food. Sam, Keep watching it for a few hours and you will see it ‘rotate’ as the Earth spins on its axis. You can use the first two (δ Vel and κ Vel) to get within one degree of true south. Copyright 2021 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. http://www.sydneyobservatory.com.au/2013/finding-south-using-the-southern-cross/. The Digital Southern Cross. Being privileged to be caretakers and wardens at the EyreBird Observatory in the old telegraph station at Eyre back in 2006, observations when the Southern Cross turns over about the south celestial pole still prove to be correct in finding South. Obviously they will then also know where north is. However, there is a useful celestial marker known as Crux, or the Southern Cross. Pepe, Yes, and it rotates at about 15-degrees per hour about the SCP. Anthony in Malawi 4 step’s is how I was taught to do it. From top to bottom (Gacrux to Acrux), it is only about six degrees. Correct measurement is 4.5 lengths starting from the base)… It is important to realise that the cross rotates 180 degrees during the night    Nor is it all that bright. Hence the number of multiples of the angular length of the long axis of the Cross needed to reach the pole is 26°50’/5°59′ = 4.485. My back door in Malawi faces south, and I watch the strange rotations of the Southern Cross every night. > this is also the way I was taught in the navy. The Southern Cross is not circumpolar in South Africa except the southern tip. It's product still reflects the philosophy of solid engineering expertise and consistency. You have now reached the south pole in the sky and if you drop an imaginary line to the horizon from there the point where the line reaches the horizon is due south. Also, with all the questions about 4 vs 4.5, I thot of a way to discribe the process of finding S just with the cross; a way that might resonate with a lot of folks, especially kids. c. Draw an imaginary line perpendicular to this Ensure that you are viewing the Southern Cross and not the "False Cross." Thanks Anthony. ), Repair works and more. Southern Cross Pass (N2) ... Mountain Passes South Africa is a website dedicated to the research, documentation, photographing and filming of the mountain passes of South Africa. i.e. 2/ The method that relies purely on multiples of the length of the major axis doesn’t appear to be able to compensate for the changing orientation of the Cross in the night sky. 10. Search for a group of four bright stars and one faint star that form the shape of a kite. From that point you drop a line directly to the Horizon and that is due South. This panoramic 15-day sojourn winds its way across Southern Africa from the Indian Ocean in the east to the Atlantic … Read More. From Australia or New Zealand – or South America or South Africa – Crux is circumpolar. Crux is not very big. I for many years have successfully found South using the “Crux” in the Victorian high country -fortunately not often as my compass was on a cord around my neck-but there have been a few occasions. Good point Tigersnake, but to use it you need to be lucky enough to be in an area sufficiently far from bright lights so that the Magellanic clouds are visible. why has the southern cross seem to have rotated about 30 – 40 degrees in a anticlockwise position. The tail of a kite? Hello Dave. Southern Cross is a diversified manufacturing company based in Bloemfontein, South Africa. The government of South Africa increased the lockdown alert level for South Africa to level 3 on December 29, 2020, which was reinforced on January 11, 2021. Now, when we are out boating with our boating friends, we won’t get lost – you’ve also settled a long-time debate. They both lie in the same direction. Draw an imaginary line through the Southern Cross, as shown above Method 1: Extend the main axis of the Cross from and in the direction of its brightest star by four and a half times its length (the span of the main axis of the Cross is approximately 6° while the distance from its brightest star to the South Celestial Pole is approximately 27°). There is a discrepancy between the diagram (4 1/2) and the writing 3 1/2. Southern Cross Industries (Pty) Ltd commenced business as the "Southern Cross Windmill And Engine Co" during 1939 in the then Union of South Africa. And they are poised to do so! After locating the Southern Cross and the 2 pointers – bisect the 2 pointers and where this line intersects the long arm of the Cross itself is the south celestial Pole. Yes, that is an excellent alternative way of finding south. It is published independently but with the support of the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference. Thanks. Charity News. From the Pole drop a line straight down to the horizon – that is south. Having said that, this method for me when practiced just now using the stars, seems to give me a South line that is further east of the Scout method (which utilises the Pointers). Draw the 2 lines (right angel center to pointers and through the length of the cross) and where they meet, straight down to horrison is south. On summer evenings (January - March) the Cross is rising in the southeast. On looking at the diagram for the 3 1/2 distance, that does not work out. Regarding the other method that you mention involving the perpendicular bisector of the two pointer stars, please see the later blog post http://www.sydneyobservatory.com.au/2013/finding-south-using-the-southern-cross/. cheers. Southern Cross Accommodation. Our products ranges from Agricultural- & Irrigation Equipment, Garden Care, Castings (Iron, Brass, Al. Honestly, this is much more practical! Hello Jim. Well, you find south as the Cross is in the southern sky and then it is trivial to find north as it is exactly in the opposite direction to south. This is pretty close to spot-on. As you can see the value 4.5 is a good approximation of the more exact value. Jim. Welcome to the digital version of Southern Africa’s Catholic Magazine. The current editor-in-chief is Günther Simmermacher. If you want to see this for yourself, check it out on the Neave planetarium, an on line planetarium you can operate yourself. Hello Michael. Not that the False Cross is of no use. In order to read The Southern Cross online you will need to login using your subscription username and password. In the N we can use Cassiopia which is opposite the dipper. Stargazing from Game Reserves in Southern Africa; Anthony Fairall; 2006. On summer evenings (January - March) the Cross is rising in the southeast. The Southern Cross is located near the larger constellation Centaurus, which surrounds it on three sides. It’s just a point in the sky isn’t it – it’s not like its a star and I believe they needed it to calculate longitude didn’t they? It is the smallest of all 88 constellations. In spite of its size, Crux is one of the best known constellations in the southern hemisphere. There is a "False Cross" constellation in the Southern Hemisphere as well, so knowing how to locate the correct one is vital for purposes of navigation. As long as you remember that the triangle points away from the bright stars Canopus and Achernar it works.

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