Saturday, 15 March 2008

Southern cross

At 7am the dark clouds have disappeared to make room for a blue sky. I am ready to have a cup of coffee and then work in the garden while it is still nice and cool.

Many birds are revisiting my garden after an absence over summer. The butcher birds are back and their melodious notes are very distinctive and familiar. The whip birds are still around sometimes in our garden and sometimes in the neighbours gardens. Here where I live it is parklike with lots of big trees. It is hard to fotograph the birds as they mostly choose the highest trees. The Currawongs, are back with their singsong. They appear in autumn and stay until spring. I haven't seen or heard the black cockatoos for a while. Rainbow Loris are sticking around through the year.

The sky in the east 6am this morning. Clouds are hanging around and the sun makes a shy appearance. It looks like we had some rain over night.

I was up early this morning. The clock was just 10 to 5 am when I let Billy out. The daylight comes already a bit later. The sky was still dark and brilliant with stars. I looked up and said hello to the Southern Cross, my favorite stars. I can see them so well they are sort of just sitting above my house! It always gives me a little thrill and a reminder that I am walking on my head!

“We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by eachother and fight to defend our rights and liberties.”— The Eureka rebels’ oath

The separation of Crux to be a separate constellation is generally attributed to the French astronomer Augustin Royer in 1679. Other historians attribute the invention of Crux to Petrus Plancius in 1613, and that the constellation was later published by Jakob Bartsch in 1624. However, Crux had already been a well known southern asterism at least four centuries before it was promoted to an official constellation and published in the Seventeenth Century.
The five brightest stars of Crux (α, β, γ, δ, and ε Crucis) appear on the flags of Australia, Brazil, New Zealand (epsilon omitted), Papua New Guinea, and Samoa, and also the Australian States and Territories of Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory, the Northern Territory, as well as the flag of Magallanes Region of Chile, and several Argentine provincial flags and emblems. The flag of the Mercosur trading zone displays the four brightest stars (epsilon omitted). Crux also appears on the Brazilian coat of arms. The five stars are also in the logo of an Brazilian soccer team called Cruzeiro Esporte Clube. A stylized version of Crux appears on the Eureka Flag. The constellation was also used on the dark blue, shield-like patch worn by personnel of the U.S. Army's Americal Division, which was organized in the Southern Hemisphere, on the island of New Caledonia, and also the blue diamond of the U.S. 1st Marine Division, which fought on the Southern Hemisphere islands of Guadalcanal and New Britain.
Crux is important in Australian Aboriginal Astronomy. It, and the Coalsack, mark the head of the Emu in the sky in several Aboriginal cultures, while Crux itself is said to be a possum sitting in a tree.
A stone image of the constellation has also been left at the archaeological site of Machu Picchu, Peru.
In 1893, Australian Poet Banjo Paterson wrote : The English flag may flutter and wave, where the world wide oceans toss, but the flag the Australian dies to save, is the flag of the Southern Cross.

[edit] National Flags that incorporate Crux
Main article: Southern Cross Flag
Papua New Guinea
New Zealand

[edit] Other names for Crux

In ancient Hindu astrology, the modern Crux is referred to as "trishanku".
The Māori name for Crux is "Te Punga" - "the anchor". It is thought of as anchor of Tama-rereti's waka (the Milky Way), where the Pointers are its rope.
In Tonga it is known as Toloa — duck; it is a duck flying over, heading south, and one of his wings (δ) is wounded because Ongo tangata — 2 men — α and Β Centauri threw a stone at it. The Coalsack is known as Humutriggerfish, because of its shape.[5]
Among Tuaregs, the 4 most visible stars of Crux are considered iggaren, i.e. four Maerua crassifolia trees.
In Indonesia and Malaysia, it is known as Buruj Pari (The Stingray).
In Mapudungun, the language of Patagonian Mapuches, the name of Crux is Melipal, which means "four stars".
In Quechua, the language of the the Inca civilization, Crux is known as "Chakana"[6][7] [8].

(exerpts from Wikipedia)

Books I read: Beyond the Pale by John Hooker.

1 comment:

Gorden & Planten said...

Thanks for visiting and bookmarking my blog. Greetings from Germany.