Crux commonly known as the Southern Cross (Crux Australis, in contrast to the Northern Cross), is the smallest of the 88 modern constellations, but nevertheless one of the most distinctive.
Location: Southern Constellation 12.5h RA -60° Dec
With the lack of a significant pole star in the southern sky (Sigma Octantis is closest to the pole, but is too faint to be useful for the purpose), two of the stars of Crux (Alpha and Gamma, Acrux and Gacrux respectively) are commonly used to mark south. Following the line defined by the two stars for approximately 4.5 times the distance between them leads to a point close to the Southern Celestial Pole.
Crux is important in Australian Aboriginal Astronomy. It, and the Coalsack, mark the head of the Emu in the sky in several Aboriginal cultures, while Crux itself is said to be a possum sitting in a tree. A stone image of the constellation has also been left at the archaeological site of Machu Picchu, Peru.
Crux Deep Space Objects
|Auriga||Canes Venatici||Canis Major||Canis Minor||Cetus||Eridanus|
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