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The Northern Cross Setting in the Northwest

Willow City, TX, United States
31 Kudos
Stargazing trips to the Southern half of Texas can allow one to see some southern stars that are not visible in most areas of the United States. Thus, Texas is one of my favorite places to go stargazing. This story, however, features constellation that belongs to the Northern Hemisphere (although still visible in much of the Southern Hemisphere at times. If you look closely to the left (proper right) of the tree and directly above the red lights, you can see the Northern Cross (part of Cygnes the Swan) standing almost upright on the northwestern horizon. I drew some lines to allow it to be seen easier. From our perspective, the Northern Cross appears to lie directly on the Milky Way, which can also been seen in this photograph.

During a recent stargazing trip, I realized that the Northern Cross was very close to the horizon and that it was about to set. I immediately set my camera up on the tripod and snapped this photograph while I had the chance. Moments later, the cross began to set. For viewers in the far northern Hemisphere, the Northern Cross is Circumpolar - that is it never rises or sets. Thus people in most areas of Alaska and the Scandinavian Countries can see the Northern Cross year-round.
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