Looking Up At Two Crosses

Did you know there are two crosses in Earth’s sky? This image from Astronomy Picture of the Day today captures both of them. But you have to get as far south as Hawaii.

We talked about one of the crosses years ago.

As for the other, it’s one of the smallest constellations in the sky. It’s a very compact four stars. It’s interesting to read about how southern hemisphere non-Christian cultures viewed this asterism so differently: opossum, anchor, triggerfish, two trees, two giraffes, a swarm of bees, and even a duck. That last one makes an interesting comparison to the animal associated with the Northern Cross: a swan, Cygnus.

Wikipedia published this long-exposure image, above. The dark patch is an unlit dust cloud–the Coal Sack. Native Brazilians from Mato Grosso State saw the dark nebula as a beehive and the broght stars the swarm emerging from it. That’s an interesting piece of mythology that’s actually scientifically possible. Bright new stars do emerge from nebulas. The stars of the constellation Crux are in the foreground–between Earth and the Coal Sack.

Meanwhile, keep your eyes on the skies whenever you can this Holy Week. Look for one of the two crosses above.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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