May 22, 2022 — Also titled: Kilauea at night. Want to get your glow on, go see Kilauea’s nighttime glow. You can’t see the molten lava in the crater (only because you’re not allowed to get that close to look over the rim), but the glow of it below a star studded indigo sky is utterly thrilling to behold. Get your glow on tours run daily. Just hop in your car and bring super warm clothes as it is 4000 feet elevation and you will freeze your butts off otherwise (this we know from personal experience). It was a dream come true for this former geologist.
Get your glow on in other ways, too. At one point the orange of the sunset was mirroring the orange glow from the crater while lone Venus sat in the western sky. Once the sunset was fully extinguished, the entire half dome above us transformed into a sea of diamonds on blue-black velvet. Penni knew all the constellations, though we especially focused on the Southern Cross and Scorpio which you could see right above the fire pit.
Since the Artful Gents talked about Kilauea yesterday, and the constellations get my glow going as well, today they’ll talk about the Southern Cross, see it right above Pele’s glow? Scorpio, whose tail hadn’t quite risen when we finally left the crater, was to the immediate left (not pictured).
The southern cross star system is one of the most recognisable patterns of stars in the Southern Hemisphere. The Southern Cross asterism can be used to locate the location of the Southern celestial pole, much as bright stars in Ursa Major are used to locate the North. The Southern Cross asterism is composed of five bright stars, namely, Acrux, the brightest star in Crux, Mimosa, second, Gacrux, Jinan, and Imai. Acrux, the brightest star in Crux, Mimosa, second, Gacrux, Jinan, and Imai. Show Source Texts
Acrux, is the thirteenth-brightest star in the sky, which is in fact a multi-star system. Acrux is a multiple star system, and its main star is a blue-white subgiant star located about 321 light-years away from the sun. Acrux, being the closest megastar of class M to the Sun, is located around 88.6 light-years away. Show Source Texts
Gacrux is the brightest star in its class in the sky, as well as the closest red giant star to the Solar System. Acrux, also designated Alpha Crucis, is the brightest star in the constellation Crux, and is the 13th-brightest star in the night sky, however, due to variability of its brightness, Acrux may as well be 12th. Gacrux is the third-brightest star in the constellation Crux, and the 25th-brightest star in the night sky. Show Source Texts
The constellation Cruxthe Cross (also called the Southern Cross) is the smallest constellation in the sky, but has held a significant place in southern hemisphere history. A Northern observer would see things topsy-turvy looking up into the Southern skies — familiar constellations appear to have been reversed — but getting a glimpse of Crux, the Southern Cross, which is the smallest and best-known constellation of the southern hemisphere (it is displayed on New Zealand, Australia, and Brazils flags), is an exciting sight, reminding one how reliant we once were on stars for navigation across the globe. Show Source Texts
The bright cross is formed from brilliant stars, making it one of the most familiar views for Southern Hemisphere observers. The southern cross is close to the middle in this image; it is sideways as this image was taken when the setting was approaching. As described below, the real Southern Cross stands straight up when over the southern horizon. The Southern Cross is low to the horizon, with the lowest stars of the cross just one to two fingers above the mountains. Show Source Texts
To the left of the Hanaiakamalama, a bright pair of stars, Kamailemua and Kamailemua (Beta and Alpha Centauri), known as the Na Kuhikuhi, The Pointers, as they point forward toward the Cross, has emerged from the horizon, in SSE. Show Source Texts
Look up at the top three fists of the North Star to find Cassiopeia, an asterism of five bright stars that forms the letter M. The second-highest star to the left is Shedar. When you find Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, look for Canopus, the second-brightest star, far below Sirius at near-horizon level. From Sirius, head for Procyon in the constellation Canis Major, and then to the stars Pollux and Castor in the constellation Geminus. Once you have found Sirius, you can proceed in a clockwise direction around the famed constellation of Winter Circle 6. Show Source Texts
The three stars of the Belt of Orion from Greek mythology are pointed downwards toward Sirius in the constellation Canis Major, and upwards to Aldebaran in Taurus Bull. Look up high to the south for Orion in Greek mythology. The red giant star Betelgeuse (top left) together with bright blue-white star Rigel (bottom right) along with the three similarly sized stars that make up Orions belt, makes Orion easily identifiable. Show Source Texts
The Long Bar of the Cross points almost precisely towards the southern polar region of the sky, which some aviators and navigators called a southern polar pockmark, as unfortunately, no bright stars marked it. From top to bottom, the cross measures only six degrees – only slightly higher than the distance between the pointed stars in the Big Dipper. Crux definitely looks like an almost-perfect small cross, maybe slightly spoiled by the faint, extraneous fifth star. Show Source Texts
It is true that Crux is far from being the prettiest of all the constellations; indeed, it lacks the prettiest aspect of the much larger northern cross, known also as Cygnus, the Swan. The constellation Crux is easiest to locate using starhopping with try-and-test, as nearby is the false cross too. Show Source Texts
- https://skyandtelescope.org/observing/beginners-guide-to-the-southern-hemisphere-sky/ 0
- https://www.theventanaview.com/baja-night-sky/ 1
- https://spu.edu/ddowning/constell.htm 2
- https://www.globeatnight.org/mythology/crux 3
- https://www.space.com/29445-southern-cross-constellation-skywatching.html 4
- https://futurism.com/the-dark-constellations-of-the-incas 5
- https://archive.hokulea.com/ike/hookele/meridian_pairs_s.html 6
- https://nineplanets.org/the-southern-cross/ 7