Make a Southern Cross finder and demonstrate how the stars move due to the Earth’s rotation

August 19, 2011 | By | Add a Comment
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One of the first things that most people learn to do when they are getting started in astronomy is to learn where the Southern Cross is. Being able to identify the Southern Cross is interesting as well as useful if you happen to be out bush walking and get lost without a compass. You can use the Southern Cross to find South which may help you get home.

Using this resource with your students would also be an ideal way of demonstrating one of the effects of the ‘Earth’s rotation on its axis’ (quote from The Australian Curriculum, Science / Year 3 / Science Understanding / Earth and space sciences (ACSSU048))). The reason that the stars of the Southern Cross rotate in the sky is that the Earth is rotating. The point around which the Southern Cross rotates is called the South Celestial Pole by astronomers. It is the point directly above the Earth’s South Pole. Stand at the South Pole all night and you will see the stars rotate around a point directly above your head.

You will need to download and print out the following files (Adobe Acrobat format).


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