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.
Note that this version of the Southern Cross finder is optimised for residents of South East Queensland (Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and Gold Coast regions).
You will need to download and print out the following files (Adobe Acrobat format).
Please note that that you are free to reproduce one copy of this resource for personal use (at home). If you wish to use this resource in an institutional setting (including at school), you must have purchased a reproduction license through Copyright Agency Australia before you can use this resources in any way.