Talk:Crux

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Pointers[edit]

What about\the yytytgh"? (i.e. the two stars that point towards Crux that you use to estimate which direction is south) -- SJK

The pointers are Alpha and Beta Centauri, and thus a part of the constellation of Centaurus. --  B.d.mills  (T, C) 28 June 2005 12:23 (UTC)

This article needs a diagram that show how the pointers are used with crux to find the pole. Roger (talk) 08:21, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

There's a very good diagram already in Wikimedia Commons, in use at the Celestial Pole page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celestial_pole . If there are no objections, I will place this diagram here, as well. I agree that a diagram is needed, as the text description doesn't make it clear where to find the Pointer Stars. rowley (talk) 17:35, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

flags[edit]

There are several countries which have the Southern Cross on their flags, such as New Zealand and Australia. Prehaps a reference to that could be made? --Gregstephens 08:12, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I agree. Maybe I'll add something about that this weekend or so. JYolkowski 23:34, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Krux

Move to "Southern Cross"[edit]

I think we should move Southern Cross to Southern Cross (disambiguation) and move Crux to Southern Cross. If there are no objections in a week I will do it myself.

My rationale is that it is in keeping with English Wikipedia policy to use the common English name as the name of the article. Southern Cross is already a disambiguation page, so there is no need to change any content (except put a link to the disambiguation page at the top of the new Southern Cross page). Are there any objections?


Ben Arnold 01:55, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Just one: all other constellations are in Latin, so it's not really in keeping with Wikipedia usage. kwami 06:57, 2005 Jun 25 (UTC)

I object as well. ~~~~ 08:56, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I also object for the reasons stated above. --  B.d.mills  (T, C) 09:33, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Well then how about making Southern Cross redirect here, and move the existing Southern Cross page to Southern Cross (disambiguation)? At least that way if we do decide later on to change Crux to Southern Cross we don't have to merge two pages. Ben Arnold 11:39, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Because then this page would say "for other uses of Southern cross, see Southern cross (disambiguation)", but the page title would be "crux", so the phrase would be obscure. ~~~~ 12:22, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

This is done elsewhere in Wikipedia, the phrasing is usually along the lines of Southern Cross redirects here, for other uses of Southern Cross, see Southern Cross (disambiguation). There's probably a template for this. Ben Arnold 2 July 2005 02:14 (UTC)

I've found it: {{Redirect|Southern Cross}}

Ben Arnold 2 July 2005 03:29 (UTC)

Since when is "Crux" the most common name for the constellation? I for one have never heard it called anything other than the Southern Cross. 75.76.213.106 (talk) 02:46, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm failing to see how this shouldn't fall under WP:COMMONNAME, The Southern Cross is what it's overwhelmingly referred to in English sources. There's no explicit convention cited here so that argument would fall under WP:OSE, and even then as per commonname it should only be applied if it produces clear benefits outweighing the use of common names, which there isn't here as far as I can see, and no one has presented any arguments for there being one. Number36 (talk) 08:28, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
"Southern Cross" can be interpreted as the name for the pattern of five stars whereas Crux is the name for the constellation which has more, fainter stars, borders etc. So we lose accuracy and exactness. Also, all 88 constellations are at their Latin names. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 19:08, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Actually I read this before I noticed that Ben Arnold's suggestion in the comments above to have 'Southern Cross' redirect here had been applied, that seems fine.Number36 (talk) 23:29, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Why not call it "Crux (Southern Cross)"...or similar? No one outside of the very small sphere of astronomy acolytes calls it "Crux." Common name should have better placement at a minimum. --2602:306:BC24:8C00:8826:9C9B:F7F4:4793 (talk) 13:21, 19 June 2016 (UTC)

Using Britain's sky?[edit]

"Although these stars were known to the ancient Greeks, gradual precession of the equinoxes had lowered them below the European skyline so that they were forgotten. For example at the latitude of Britain in 5000 BC the constellation still was completely visible at springtime midnight. [1]"

Since the article was talking about the ancient Greeks, wouldn't it be better if we use the latitude of Athens rather than the latitude of Britain to generate the sky chart? Also, 5000 B.C. seems a bit too early. Maybe we could use 1000 B.C., the start of the ancient Greek civilization? --Bowlhover 03:00, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Wikiproject Brazil?[edit]

What's so special about Brazil vis-a-vis Crux that qualifies this linkage? Might as well then link it to all southern hemisphere countries. Roger 17:55, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. The only difference between their Southern Cross is the 5th star placement, it's opposite the other versions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.124.38.231 (talk) 23:25, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Upload an image?[edit]

I got a good photo of crux last night, would it be ok if i uploaded it, it is of better quality than the current image of crux that is hosted. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Alphamone (talkcontribs) 02:40, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Just do it.. the current one is TERRIBLE.. I have a few as well but I'd have to scan them in first. schroding79 (talk) 00:26, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Ok, picture replaced, feel free to rewrite the caption if you wish, as I am not that good at writing descriptions. --Alphamone (talk) 11:17, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Isn't it similar?[edit]

Isn't this cross too similar to the cross where Jesus was supposedly crucified? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.126.1.209 (talk) 22:45, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

No. --24.57.151.98 (talk) 20:19, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
The text in the "History" section associating the constellation with the crucifiction of Jesus is totally spurious. Unless someone can come up with a citation written by a contemporary commentator who made the association. None of the gospels or later biblical texts mention it at all. Roger (talk) 20:54, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Visible only from southern hemisphere?[edit]

The introduction states that Crux is "today visible only from the southern hemisphere." Surely this is incorrect? At declination -60 it should be partially or wholly visible in the northern hemisphere in springtime at latitudes south of 30N. Perhaps this sentence is a leftover from some edit about visibility in Athens, referred to in the previous sentence?KiwiDave (talk) 10:04, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Dnheff, you are completely correct. At the various Star Parties in Florida - indisputably a Northern Hemsiphere location - it is well visible, and has been imaged from there numerous times. Old_Wombat (talk) 09:29, 9 January 2012 (UTC) Lets get generalized on that some more to help other- Not Just the Florida Peninsula, BUT nearly all of Florida - Includes the Panhandle - and therefore also Southern coast line of Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, & Texas. At these latitudes will take more effort research and planning to see it. I expect at these latitudes Also must to be on the water- Gulf Mexico as horizon (otherwise blocked view by )a Although offshore I have sighted it myself from northern edges of Gulf of Mexico. Not only incorrect - but we should modify main page. Maybe event BP should add this fact into their Gulf Mexico Tourism advertising! Wfoj2 (talk) 21:14, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

"Upside down"[edit]

Perhaps it should be mentioned that the cross as it is popularly known, ie. with Alpha-Crucis at the "bottom" and Gamma-Crucis at the "top" (ie. as it appears on the Australia/New Zealand flags, etc) is in fact NOT the way it appears in the southern sky, where Acrux is actually at the top and Gacrux bottom, appearing more like an anchor (hence the Maori name) than a cross.

Perhaps the popular image of the "upright" cross comes a) from the point of view of European explorers who first saw it the "correct" way up as they came over the equator before eventually reaching the southern lands and seeing it from their perspective; and b) due to the fact that it might be considered sacriligious/un-christian if its true nature of an upside-down cross is popularized and used in the flags and popular culture in general? BigSteve (talk) 15:11, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

  • Fellows, this is not correct. The main axis (the "longer" axis) of the southern cross points approximately in the direction of the south pole. Therefore, between the Equator and the tropics, the southern cross appears either laying "horizontal" or in the "correct" upright form over the horizon (depending the time of the night and the time of the year). This is what the first Europeans saw. In fact, on latitudes just north of the Equator you can see it over the horizon only in the "normal" cross shape. Further south, for most of Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Chile, the southern cross is nearly circumpolar. As you find it every night on the sky, it can appear to you on all possible orientations. (The same happens in the Northern hemisphere with the Big Dipper and Cassiopeia if you are in Canada, Scandinavia or Northern Russia.) Seeing the Southern Cross "upside down" is the harder as you go north, because it would be below your horizon. Check this link for further comments: [[1]] On the other hand, if you were at the south pole, every time you face the Southern Cross it will appear as an upside down cross (of course, only in the six-month winter night). Note that the apparent latitude of the Southern Cross is approximately 60-South, therefore it will be over your head near Tierra del Fuego at some time of the year or the day. That is, it will appear to you in all possible orientations you want by just turning on your spot!.Nordisk varg (talk) 16:56, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Nice explanation - especially on the many different angles it can assume. i simply meant that perhaps the article should note that, as you also say, the vertical position of Crux with GaCrux at the top is very uncommon from places as far south as Southern Australia, NZ etc, and that perhaps the popular gamma-top vertical representation is largely religion-based, considering its rarity in southern skies? it is such an iconic constellation that it comes as a surprise to many people to see how differently it is positioned as seen from the places that use it as their symbol. BigSteve (talk) 17:43, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
I would leave it as it is. I don't think it represents much of a bias, religious or otherwise. As I said, the "upright" shape becomes uncommon only to the south of Tierra del Fuego (an area where basically nobody lives, as it is much more southern than New Zealand's south island). Whereas all configurations are visible south of the tropic of Capricorn, the mainly "upright-like" ones (say, a 60-degree rotation to the left and right of the upright) are the ones that you are more likely going to see any night north of 40-South, say, north of Sidney, Buenos Aires, or Cape Town. In northern Australia, the "upside-down" configuration is usually too close to the horizon for sharp visibility, and thus is, so-to-speak, "the least common configuration." The Flag of Santa Cruz (southern Patagonia, Argentina)[[2]] makes this point very well as they display a 120-degree-rotation of the "upright" cross over the horizon (or 60-degree from the "upside-down" shape), which is a configuration that you can see that clearly (on most nights) only if you are quite south (in this case, about 50-south which is farther south of all of Australia!). So, unless we want to include all these long explanations in the main text, any other revision would be a bit misleading. Let's leave it as it is? Nordisk varg (talk) 20:59, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
ok! :-) BigSteve (talk) 16:12, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

I looked this article up because of my own questions regarding the actual polar orientation of crux. I can view crux from the island of Cebu in the Philippines. Predawn in November it is lying on it's side, and around 10pm in April it sets itself upright to the horizon. Therefore I would deduce that when the Southern Cross is "upright" then due south is slightly to the right or left of the constellation, at the horizon. It's easy to see how the "upright" cross would be an easy help to mariners, especially when you can look behind you at Ursa Major, and find Polaris, too. Where I am is about 10 degrees North Latitude. I'm looking for a skychart marking the actual point of the celestial south pole in relation to Crux, so I can know the answer. That would help. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 121.1.37.171 (talk) 21:34, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Up to a good approximation, the South Pole lies on the line that continues the major axis of the Southern Cross, at a distance of ca. 3.5 axis lengths. In other words, regardless of how Crux appears (lying on the side or upright), the major axis of Crux indicates the direction pointing to the south pole (with a small correction to the left). Two better approximations are usually quoted: (i) One finds the south pole as the midpoint between the Acrux (the "bottom" of the upright cross) and Achernar, the brightest star on "the other side" of the pole with respect to Crux. This will not help you however in the Philippines, because you must be quite south to see all these stars simultaneously, at least 35 S latitude. (ii) Take a straight line at right angles on the middle of alpha-beta Centauri line (the "pointers"). Then find where that line crosses the continuation of the major axis of Crux. That's the south pole. This option may be more useful if you live near the equator, because you can see the pointers and the upright cross at the same time, though not quite the intersection of the lines I mentioned before. I hope this helps!Nordisk varg (talk) 18:06, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
This discussion is one demonstration of why I think this is the single-most overrated constellation in the sky. A cross? Huh--it's just four corners of a quadrilateral, one of hundreds in the sky. Without so much as a star marking the intersection of the two bars of the cross, it's hopeless. The crux of the matter is that this article fails because it doesn't reference the fact that this constellation epitomizes the arbitrary nature of constellations, and it should be changed so that it does so. 76.106.149.108 (talk) 09:27, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

Possible Popular Culture Referance[edit]

The Southern Cross is referenced heavily in the NES game Star Tropics. Could this be mentioned in the main page under a Popular Culture heading? Legionaireb (talk) 17:23, 28 August 2009 (UTC)


The Australian Cricket team's victory song is not 'Beneath' The Southern Cross.

It has its own entry here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Under_the_Southern_Cross_I_Stand 124.185.11.208 (talk) 10:20, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Dante reference to Crux[edit]

Though the constellation was no longer visible from the Mediterranean in the Middle Ages, Dante makes an unmistakable allusion to it in the first canto of Purgatory. In Dante's cosmos, Mt Purgatory is situated in the south seas, approximately at the antipode of Jerusalem, and as Dante approaches the shore he sees four bright stars which, he specifies, have never been visible from Europe or roughly from the northern hemisphere. Dante had an above average knowledge of the stars, the Comedy has a large number of references to the sun, moon, planets and stars and their positions and these are orderly set out, so there isn't much doubt that he is really referring to the Southern Cross. The reference is widely discussed in the comment literature to the Comedy and also by Björn Landström, prominent historian of old ships and journeys of exploration and artist, in his The Road to India, see also [[3]].

Both Landström and the web page suggest that Dante may have heard about the constellation from someone who had been near or south of the equator; probably a merchant or a missionary. We know at least one European missionary who had been to sub-equatorial Africa at the time and returned to Western Europe; you needed roughly to have been at least as far south as Abessinia or soutnern India. Marco Polo might also have seen it, at least on his return home from China by way of the Malacca Sound, though it's unknown whether Dante had ever read or met Polo (who was. of course, his contemporary) Strausszek (talk) 20:45, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Portuguese discovery[edit]

Crux was not re-discovered by Amerigo Vespucci in an expedition to South America in 1501. Nor was it "unmistakably" described by Dante. The constellation and it nautical use was described by the Portuguese sailors while rounding Africa in the 15th century. There are documents about it, I'll later upload their description. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 96.250.167.253 (talk) 05:08, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, your ref to a letter by that captain doesn't prove in any way that he was the first to note the constellation. I left your image in but deleted the claim that the Portuguese "discovered" it or that it was unknown prior to around that time. National pride doesn't count as a reason in an encyclopaedia, and Dante's reference is plain, and widely discussed in the literature about his poem.Strausszek (talk) 14:45, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

"... In other astronomical systems ... "[edit]

For completeness, the Australian Aboriginal section needs a bit of editing. I suggest the following:

There are several different interpretations of the Southern Cross by various Australian aboriginal groups. The most common one is that Crux and the Coalsack mark the head of the 'Emu in the Sky'. Others have Crux itself as a possum sitting in a tree and a representation of the sky deity Mirrabooka, and in still other Aboriginal cultures it is seen as a fish, commonly a shark or a stingray. The 'Emu in the Sky' is significantly different from almost all other interpretations of constellations in that it is a true outline figure, in sillhouette (that is, a black Emu against a bright background); whereas virtually all other constellations are simple stick figures made from joining stars with straight lines. Old_Wombat (talk) 09:39, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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'Cultural Significance' Section[edit]

@Talland: In the Section "Cultural significance", there are many problems with how this text is presented. Significantly, there is no / no acceptable citations within this text, and much of it fails necessary WP:NPOV, WP:Notability, WP:Balance. I have also removed the following text[4]:

"The first poetic reference to the Southern Cross appears to be by Thomas Bracken of Dunedin (ref: Broughton, W.S (22 June 2007). "Bracken, Thomas 1843 – 1898". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 9 November 2010.) in his poem "God Defend New Zealand" (Ref: Broughton., W. S. (30 October 2012). "Bracken, Thomas". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 26 Jan 2018.</ref> which was later adopted as the national anthem of New Zealand) (Ref: Max Cryer. "Hear Our Voices, We Entreat: The Extraordinary Story of New Zealand's National Anthems". Exisle Publishing. Archived from the original on 17 May 2015.) It was set to the music of John Joseph Woods of Lawrence, New Zealand and first performed in Dunedin on Christmas Day 1876. In it Bracken wrote of a triple star which corresponds to the predominant first-magnitude blue-white star of Alpha Crucis or Acrux. That triple star is the southern-most member of the constellation and poetically corresponds to New Zealand's own deep southern position in the Pacific Ocean. It is also suggested that it further plays on the fact that New Zealand herself was made up of three main islands (Ref: "National anthems: History of God Defend New Zealand". Ministry for Culture and Heritage. 23 March 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2018.). Bracken did not state his specific meaning and it is open to debate [Folksong.org.nz. ("E Ihowa atua: "Triple Star""].
Guard Pacific's triple star. From the shafts of strife and war, Make her praises heard afar, God defend New Zealand. (Ref:National hymn, God defend New Zealand. 1876; ID: GNZMS 6, Grey New Zealand manuscripts, Auckland Council)
  • This text is probably better placed under articles Flag of New Zealand God Defend New Zealand or National anthems of New Zealand (but nothing like this is mentioned in them.)
  • References are dubious or not relevant. Particularly stating: "In it Bracken wrote of a triple star which corresponds to the predominant first-magnitude blue-white star of Alpha Crucis or Acrux." then follow by saying "Bracken did not state his specific meaning and it is open to debate." defies WP:Verifiable. Neither of the sources really say this, and is clearly opinion. (The three island story is more likely, being North, South and Stewart Island, with saying "It is also suggested that it further plays on the fact that New Zealand herself was made up of three main islands" further weakening the argument.) None is really relevant to Crux, with too man degrees of freedom. Therefore, it was right to delete.
  • The Nation Anthem is trivial information. Mentioning the Southern Cross is in both Australian and New Zealand is all that is required here. e.g. "In the national anthems of Australia and New Zealand both mention the Southern Cross in their songs."
  • Cited material should be accessible to read and back-up the statements.
  • "The first poetic reference to the Southern Cross appears to be..." is merely opinion and is based on what actual evidence. It is clearly text designed for WP:Peacock
  • The references are badly formatted, and I have modified them here for readability in this Talkpage.

I have also removed this uncited / poorly written or structured / unsupported text here: [5]

"In Australia, the Southern Cross played a crucial role as symbol of the Eureka Stockade. In the Eureka Oath from Peter Lalor's famous speech in 1854 under the Eureka Flag he proclaimed: "We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties."[citation needed] Of the Australian national flag, the Australian poet Banjo Paterson wrote in 1893[citation needed] (before Australia designed and adopted a national flag): The English flag may flutter and wave, where the world wide oceans toss, but the flag the Australian dies to save, is the flag of the Southern Cross.[citation needed]"
"The Southern Cross was written[by whom?] into the lyrics of "Advance Australia Fair" in 1901: "Beneath our radiant Southern Cross"; Australia adopted this song as its national anthem in 1984. The victory song of the Australian national cricket team is entitled "Under the Southern Cross I Stand".

Other unjustified text is like; Beginning in the colonial age,", (ambiguous meaning) "...whose pioneers were colloquially referred to as sons and daughters of the Southern Cross.[6]"[7] (The linked cite does not say this at all.)

Please first consider discussing all this deleted text before re-adding this back in the article. Thanks. Arianewiki1 (talk) 01:12, 28 January 2018 (UTC)