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Monday, July 21, 2014


Map image of Crux the Southern Cross constellation
CRUX the Southern Cross may be a small constellation, but it certainly is spectacular! Astronomers and stargazers around the world often consider Crux one of the most wonderful constellations due to its brightness and many cosmic objects. The constellation Centaurus surrounds Crux in the west, north, and east; Musca is south of Crux. The Coal Sack Nebula is by far the largest remarkable object in Crux. Extending into Centaurus and Musca, the Coal Sack Nebula is famous for its dark black appearance amid star-studded surroundings. The Jewel Box Cluster (4755 in the New General Catalog) is truly a cosmic gem, possessing a colorful variety of stars as an open star cluster. Crux is an important cultural element; for example, it is featured on the flags of Australia, Brazil, New Guinea, Papua New Guinea, and Samoa.
Brightest Star: Acrux (Alpha Crucis, α)
Second Brightest Star: Mimosa (Beta Crucis, β)
Nebula: Coal Sack Nebula (Caldwell Catalog 99, C99)
Star Clusters: H5, NGC 4103, NGC 4349, NGC 4439, NGC 4609, and Jewel Box Cluster (NGC 4755); NGC 4463 and NGC 4815 are in Musca
All yellow links above open up to images from the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS).

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Blog Background

The background has three Hubble Space Telescope images, which are accessible at this Hubble webpage:

— LH 95 is a star-forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud, Dorado constellation.

— Ant Nebula (also called Menzel 3) is an aptly-named planetary nebula located in the constellation Norma.
— Egg Nebula (also called CL 2688) is a protoplanetary nebula in the constellation Cygnus.

HubbleSite Image Links: LH 95, Ant Nebula, and Egg Nebula