Crux, the four-star Southern Cross, toward the upper right, lies
southwest of Centaurus, and precedes the two bright stars of the
Centaur across the southern sky. The smallest constellation in the sky, it
just beats Equuleus (the smallest ancient
constellation) for the
record. Rigel Kentaurus, Alpha Centauri,
the closest star to the Earth, lies at far lower left. Beta Centauri, Hadar,
lies between Alpha and the Cross. Epsilon Centauri, toward upper left,
links this photo to one of northern
Centaurus. The stars near the far right edge also belong
to Centaurus. Acrux, Crux's brightest star,
is at the bottom (the southern end) of the Cross, Mimosa (Beta
Crucis) is on the left side, Gacrux (Gamma Crucis) is on top, and
Delta Crucis is on the right. Mu Cru is the brighter star up and to the left
of Mimosa, while Epsilon is tucked into the lower right
quadrant of the Cross between Delta and Acrux.
Alpha Circini (of Circinus)
lies near the lower left edge, while Alpha
Muscae (of Musca)is near the lower right edge.
Photo by Greg Dimijian.