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Extra info for 2012 Australasian Sky Guide
To use the diagram, face south and hold it in front of you with the arrow pointing down. It shows the position of the cross and the pointers for each month at about 8:00 pm (or 9:00 pm summer time). MAY JUNE APRIL JULY MARCH AUGUST SOUTH CELESTIAL POLE FEBRUARY SEPTEMBER JANUARY OCTOBER NOVEMBER DECEMBER SOUTH How to find south using the Southern Cross: the diagram shows how the long axis of the cross always points to the same point in the sky. This point is known as the South Celestial Pole. To find it extend the long axis of the cross by four and a half times its length.
The Alpha star of the constellation is the reddish star Betelgeuse, at the bottom and right or east of the constellation. Betelgeuse, one of the few stars in the sky with an obvious red colour, is a giant star that is so big that if it replaced the Sun it would engulf Mercury, Venus, the Earth and even Mars. Extending an imaginary line through the three stars of Orion’s belt to the right or east we reach Sirius, the brightest star in the sky and the brightest star in the constellation of Canis Major, the Great Dog.
It is easily recognisable, consisting of a line of bright stars, including the bright red star Antares. Scorpius rises as Orion is setting, recalling the ancient Greek story of the Scorpion chasing the giant Orion. The Southern Cross is well placed for observation as it is now high in the south-east. The brightest star of the Cross, Acrux, is the closest to the horizon, while the next brightest, Beta Crucis or Mimosa, is to the left or east. Meteor shower The Eta Aquarids occur this month. Associated with Halley's Comet, this meteor shower is one of the best to be seen from the southern hemisphere.
2012 Australasian Sky Guide by LOMB