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The Southern Cross on a Texas Beach

Reid Hope King, TX, United States
23 Kudos
Here it is - the moment that you have been waiting for! You knew it was coming! I am finally uploading a photograph of the Southern Cross in Texas. If you have been reading my stories about my recent trip to Brownsville, Texas then you know that one of the main reasons that I visited was to see the Southern Cross. Brownsville is just about the northernmost limit for viewing the Southern Cross. Thus, the cross barely rises above the horizon. It is only visible for a few moments on a few nights of the year in this location. I was one of the lucky few stargazers who can claim to have seen the Southern Cross from Texas soil...or perhaps you could say Texas sand in this case.

Did you know that the Southern Cross is the smallest Constellation in the sky? It is so small that it would fit inside the bowl of the Big Dipper. Yet despite its tiny size, it consists of four bright stars. Clockwise from top, the stars are Gamma Crucis (Gacrux), Delta Crucis, Alpha Crucis (Acrux) and Beta Crucis (Becrux or Mimosa). Sadly, Acrux is not visible in this photograph because it is so close to the horizon. It would be near the beacon that can be seen on the horizon. (I think that this beacon might actually be in Mexico).

There is something truly mesmerizing about the Southern Cross. It is so tiny, so bright, and so far out of sight for many viewers. This gorgeous little constellation cannot be seen from anywhere in Europe or Canada. It is also invisible from parts of the Middle East, most of Asia, far northern Africa, and almost all of the United States. To see the Cross in the United States, you must get as far south as Brownsville, Texas or Miami, Florida. The State of Hawaii offers a better view, as does Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the US Virgin Islands. Of course, the Cross also has strong religions connotations as well. Aside from the obvious Christian reference, the Southern Cross is featured prominently in many Southern Hemisphere religions and traditions.

The Southern Cross is also known by its scientific name, "Crux". Due to space limitations, I have labeled it as Crux in this photograph - much shorter than Southern Cross. For your convenience, I have labeled some surrounding constellations as well. Enjoy!
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Points of interest

Boca Chica Beach
Boca Chica Beach is a relatively quiet beach, but it has no facilities. It is great for tourists who want some quiet time on the beach.

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