Shop Windows to the Universe

Young Voices for the Planet DVD in our online store includes 8 films where students speak out and take action on climate change.
The Constellation Crux, the Southern Cross
Click on image for full size

Crux - The Southern Cross

If you live in the Southern hemisphere, or if you are vacationing in someplace like Hawaii, you can see a small but beautiful constellation with the shape of a cross. Its name is Crux and it is located very close to the constellation of Centaurus.

The brightest star in Crux is called Acrux. Acrux is really two stars going around (orbitting!) each other, but they are so far away that we see them as one star.

Explorers of the Southern hemisphere used Crux to guide them when sailing. By looking at Crux, they could figure out in which direction to sail without getting lost.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

The Summer 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist, available in our online store, includes articles on rivers and snow, classroom planetariums, satellites and oceanography, hands-on astronomy, and global warming.

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Ready, Set, SCIENCE!: Putting Research to Work in K-8 Science Classrooms

What types of instructional experiences help K-8 students learn science with understanding? What do science educators teachers, teacher leaders, science specialists, professional development staff, curriculum designers, school administrators need to know to create and support such experiences?...more

Acrux

What's in a Name: Combination of the Greek letter alpha and the name of the constellation. Claim to Fame: Marks the foot of the Southern Cross. Type of Star: Blue-white Subgiant How Far Away: 200 light...more

Bootes

Bootes, the herdsman, rides through the sky during the late Spring and early Summer. Bootes is fun to look at because it has the shape of a kite, with the bright star Arcturus at the point of the kite...more

Hydra

Hydra, the sea serpent, may be the longest and largest of all constellations, but its stars are very faint. It is so long that four constellations run along its northern side. These are Cancer, Leo, Virgo...more

Leo

Leo, the lion, is easy to find because his head looks like a backward question mark with the bright star Regulus at the bottom. Regulus, Leo's brightest star, means "little king" in Latin. This star is...more

40 Eridani B - Burnt-Out Cinder

What's in a Name: Star designated 40 in the constellation Eridanus. Claim to Fame: One of the first white dwarfs found. A white dwarf is the exposed extremely hot core of a star that has blown off its...more

61 Cygni A & B

What's in a Name: Double Star designated 61 in Cygnus the Swan Claim to Fame: Some of the closest stars to the sun(13th closest). Moving very rapidly through space as seen from Earth at a rate of ~45,...more

Aldebaran - Orange Giant Star

What's in a Name: Arabic for "Follower" because it rises after the Pleiades. The Pleiades is a group of 6 stars traveling together through space. The eye of the constellation Taurus, the bull. Claim to...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF