Betelgeuze
Betelgeuze
Have you ever been late up and watched the sky above you ? Did you ever wondered whats all about There ? Well with my little telescope I’ve (picture below) been many times awake during several nights, even with temperatures like this (-15 degrees below zero). Yes, perhaps I am a dreamer, but it does not harm anyone. So a few days ago I spotted Orion in all its beauty….You guessed it already, my favorite constellation is Orion, with the mighty Betelgeuze. The giant red star Betelguese – the red star in the shoulder of the constellation Orion – is 700 million km across, about 800 times larger than the Sun. Light takes 1 hour to travel from one side of the giant star to the other. The name of this star means “The Armpit of the Central One” in Arabic, which shows that like many other constellations, Orion was recognized across many cultures. Ever wondered how to pronounce it? This is how: Be7tel7geuse (btl-jz, btl-jz). Betelgeuse is the 12th brightest star in the sky. It is called Alpha Orionis even though it is fainter than Beta Orionis (Rigel). This is because Betelgeuse, a variable star, was misclassified.
Betelgeuse is also known as:
@ Betelguex; Betelgeuze; Beteiguex; Al Mankib.
@ Alpha Orionis
@ HR 2061
@ HD 39801

So, you have problably heard of the Southern Cross, but this constellation is not to be seen at this side of the northern hemisphere. Its a pitty. Two years ago, my daughther and I where in the Namibian desert called “Sosusvlei” where we had the privilege to adore the milkyway in al its enourmus beauty , and within it the constellation very faint the Southern Cros. The Southern Cross constellation is eagerly sought by travellers from the North, visiting the Southern Hemisphere. The cross has four main stars marking the tips (alpha, beta, gamma and delta). These four stars are also on the New Zealand flag. A smaller star (epsilon), separate from the cross, is included on the Australian flag. Two bright stars, alpha and beta Centauri, are pointers to the head of the cross. Do not be confused by three crosses in the Southern sky. Only the smallest and brightest, with two pointers aimed at the head of the cross, is the true cross. The brightest star (alpha Crucis) is at the foot of the true cross. The pointers lie to the east. The diamond cross has no pointers and is fainter than the other two. The head of the diamond cross is just below (north of) a very bright part of the milky way, which includes numerous star clusters and the amazing eta carina nebula. Many clusters and the nebula are visible in binoculars. The head of the diamond cross (theta carina) is actually in a star cluster, which makes the head look fuzzy to the naked eye. In binoculars you can see many of the cluster stars around theta carina. So its a very stange constellation.

Telescope Maza
Telescope Maza

“A star’s primary source of energy, during its lifetime, is the fusion of hydrogen occurring in its core. As the hydrogen is used up, the helium which is produced fills up the core. But the temperature is not high enough for helium fusion to occur, so core energy production slows down, its outward pressure decreases, and the gravitational forces cause the core to contract. As the core contracts the atoms bunch closer together causing an increase in density and temperature. When the core temperature is high enough, helium fusion begins. At the same time as the helium core is contracting and heating up, an outer hydrogen shell expands and begins fusing to form more helium. It is this expansion and fusion reaction in the hydrogen shell which pushes the star’s envelope out into space. The surface of the now giant star is so far away from the hot core that it cools down and turns red (hence the name red giant).”
So enough talked abouth stars, and go on reading and listening to a personal favourite of mine with this poem and song about the Southern Cross by Jason Webly, just click on the player below and enjoy……..:

Southern Cross (c)2002 by Jason Webley

Jason Webly

Hey, do you know where you’re going?
Have you noticed its snowing,
Although it is June?
They, said your weakness was growing,
That your rapture was showing,
Just a little too soon.
But under these mountains,
The nights and the shadows grow long.
The stars up above you feel wrong.
This is not your sky.
Pray, to a strange constellation.
Thank God for your isolation,
This forever goodbye.
Dawn, throws its light on the covers.
In this bed there’s another,
Asleep at your side.
Gone, the embrace of a lover,
And the fire you discovered,
Already has died.
Her body recoils,
As your hand goes to touch her again.
She’s a temple that won’t let you in.
At her side you’re alone.
On her back is the same constellation,
Confirming your alienation.
No this flesh is not home.
You, carry a vague conviction,
This life rose from an eviction,
Out of your homeland.
True, but it’s also addiction,
To this soft crucifixion,
Under these foreign hands.
And like all Christs before you,
You kneel down beneath the night sky,
To look into your father’s eyes,
And only feel lost.
Crucified to a strange constellation,
A new king awaits coronation,
But there will be no great revelation,
Your journey is your destination,
And discomfort could be your salvation,
Here, under the Southern Cross.



So, you have problably heard of the Southern Cross, but this constellation is not to be seen at this side of the northern hemisphere. Its a pitty. Two years ago, my daughther and I where in the Namibian desert called “Sosusvlei” where we had the privilege to adore the milkyway in al its enourmus beauty , and within it the constellation very faint the Southern Cros. The Southern Cross constellation is eagerly sought by travellers from the North, visiting the Southern Hemisphere. The cross has four main stars marking the tips (alpha, beta, gamma and delta). These four stars are also on the New Zealand flag. A smaller star (epsilon), separate from the cross, is included on the Australian flag. Two bright stars, alpha and beta Centauri, are pointers to the head of the cross. Do not be confused by three crosses in the Southern sky. Only the smallest and brightest, with two pointers aimed at the head of the cross, is the true cross. The brightest star (alpha Crucis) is at the foot of the true cross. The pointers lie to the east. The diamond cross has no pointers and is fainter than the other two. The head of the diamond cross is just below (north of) a very bright part of the milky way, which includes numerous star clusters and the amazing eta carina nebula. Many clusters and the nebula are visible in binoculars. The head of the diamond cross (theta carina) is actually in a star cluster, which makes the head look fuzzy to the naked eye. In binoculars you can see many of the cluster stars around theta carina. So its a very stange constellation. This is one of the first constellations learnt by children in Australia. If you can find the Southern Cross in the night sky then you know your are looking towards the south. The vertical axis of this constellation points towards the South Celestial Pole. It is usually way up there with Orion and Scorpio in terms of the constellations initially picked up by kids in the Southern Hemisphere. This is of course before the advent of the Simpsons, Playstations and the Internet.

Just as if they had been dotted on top of the myriads of glowing suns in the Milky Way, this image depicts some of the brightest stars of the southern sky: on the right, in a rhomboidal shape reminding that of a kite, are the four stars of the constellation Crux, the Southern cross; in the lower left part, instead, shine the two most brilliant stars of the constellation Centaurus, the Centaur.

‘Crux’, being Latin for ‘cross’, commonly known as the ‘Southern Cross’ (in contrast to the Cygnus (constellation) Northern Cross), is the smallest of the 88 modern constellations, but nevertheless one of the most distinctive. It is surrounded on three sides by the constellation Centaurus while to the south lies the ‘Fly’ (Musca). Crux was originally thought of by ancient Greeks as part of Centaurus, but was defined as a separate asterism in the 16th Century after Amerigo Vespucci’s expedition to South America in 1501. Vespucci mapped the two stars, Alpha Centauri and Beta Centauri as well as the stars of the Crux. Although these stars were known to the ancient Greeks, gradual precession had lowered them below the European skyline so that they were forgotten.

Book of the week; week 8, 2005 Wolfgang Pauli

12 Comments

  1. a student-starwatcher

    Hello mr. StarWatcher :ster57:,
    You’ve made me curious for learning something more about (constellation of) stars :unsure12:.
    I wonder, is it possible to take a course ‘astronomy’ from you, preferably ‘on location’.:idee1:
    For example in a far away desert, on a high mountain, on a huge saltlake. Name the place, pick a date and I’ll be there.

  2. I read that at some places during our appointment we can see the milkyway very clearly. So I could point out some constellations to you….. if you like :unsure5:

  3. the student-starwatcher

    Of course!
    Joepieee !! :unsure11::unsure3:
    PS Do I have to have to bring something special with me for our appointment ? For example study-books, telescope, glasses, wine, wodka??
    Just name it …. You’re the expert :ster57:, I’m just the blond one. :malef:

  4. Dear webmaster: I still vividly remember you pointing out the exact location of the Southern Cross on the clear dark sky, not spoiled by any lightpollution above Sucre BOLIVIA last Summer, after we visited Joyride for a superb diner and some good wine, not to forget the perfect company :angel1::unsure8:

  5. I absolutely agree with you, Hanny.:danc76:
    I think you can imagine that I’m looking forward to my ‘star-watching’-course.:ster57:

  6. one of the few pleasures of being alive is looking at the night sky adorned with millions of twinkling stars. sit on the lush green grass or on a bench in the park, light a cigarette and stare wistfully above. how inviting those stars are! i am not that scientifically inquisitve as you are but i never get tired of the sight of those stars. inexplicable beauty. pure heaven.
    thanks for the jason webly song. cheers.

  7. :yay_wp:i love jason webly he is a inspiration to me because i to can play the accordian and it feels so cool to know your not the only one around who can still play and does it willingly :lol_ee:

  8. i would like to know that in what atmosphere we can clearly see the stars. I mean that i have noticed that in many countries we can see lots of them at night and in some countries we can hardly see one or two whay is this so? can please u reply my mail and answer this question that comes to my mind all the time i will be very thankful to you. and i must write that ur information about stars is very good and i really appreciate the way u were curious to see the stars even in winters:)

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