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Sunset and the Southern Cross

Reid Hope King, TX, United States
25 Kudos
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One of my primary reasons for visiting Brownsville, Texas was to attempt to see the Southern Cross from Texas soil. Yes, you read that correctly the Southern Cross in Texas. Brownsville is far enough South that the entire Southern Cross comes above the horizon for a few moments on a few nights out of the year.

I drove out to the Palmito Hill Battlefield to watch the sunset and to view the Southern Cross. First however, I got to experience a very beautiful sunset over the battlefield. This was a very nice precursor to the Southern Cross.

As twilight turned in to night, more and more stars became visible. I was then treated with a beautiful view of the Southern Cross.

Did you know that the Southern Cross is the smallest constellation in the sky? When most Northerners see it for the first time, they are undoubtedly surprised but how small it really is. The Southern Cross would fit in the bowl of the Big Dipper. Despite its small size, the Southern Cross features 4 very bright stars. I can confirm that I did see three of the four main stars on this night. I might have seen the fourth main star through my binoculars, but I cannot confirm it. The Southern Cross is very low in the sky here and hard to find. When you do find it however, it will definitely take your breath away. As a bonus, the Southern Cross is surrounded by the much larger constellation known as Centaurus. Centaurus is an extremely bright constellation as well. This is a gorgeous part of the sky and it is a shame that it is so far south that many Northern Hemisphere dwellers cannot see it.
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