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Southern Gems at the Horizon

By: Jeff Dai

 

Region: Asia

Site: Yunnan - China

Date: 2014 February 2

Have you ever seen these southern gems from northern hemisphere? This fascinating sky scenery was recorded at Dashanbao in southwest China, which is located at latitude 27 degrees north, about the northernmost limit to observe these object (for a short period of time at the horizon). 
The full Southern Cross, including the lower star Acrux appears on the left. Theoretically the star Acrux (alpha Crux) at declination -63 10' never appears over the horizon of this place. However, due to atmospheric refraction and the high altitude (3100m), the star is visible only for a short time. The red cloud at the right side is the Great Carina Nebula, an iconic southern sky object. To its left is bright open star cluster NGC 3532, known as the Wishing Well Cluster.

Note these gems never rises above the horizon further north of latitude 30 degrees North. Jeff Dai

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