Go south, young man

I think most of my readers live in the northern hemisphere, and I’m sure most of you (being the sort of chaps and chapesses of whom Baden Powell would approve) will know how to find the Pole Star at night, and hence know which way is north.

But if one finds oneself in the southern hemisphere, looking up at the Southern Cross instead of Ursa Major, how does one find south? Here’s the answer. So now you know.

Here’s the real thing, from my balcony tonight. The Cross is lying on its side in the top half of the image and the pointer stars are in the lower half. So south is probably somewhere near your scrollbar.

Southern Cross

And, incidentally, if you want to explore the night sky in a little more detail, you could do a lot worse than install Stellarium

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© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser