Over the next 11 months, during 110 observing sessions of 8 hours each and another 16 dusk-to-dawn marathons, and despite suffering headaches, rheumatism, and fevers, Lacaille mapped 9,766 stars to 1 as faint as 8th magnitude between the Tropic of Capricorn (declination -23.4[degrees]) and the south celestial pole
. It was an astonishing feat of personal industry and endurance.
Finding the south celestial pole
is a bit trickier, requiring you to use (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celestial_pole#Finding_the_south_celestial_pole) one of three methods involving southern constellations.
The south celestial pole
(SCP) is the point in the sky where the Earth's axis of rotation, extended southward, intersects the celestial sphere.
Kilimanjaro is only 3[degrees] south of the equator; thus, the south celestial pole
is very near the horizon and, unlike the northern sky, there is no bright pole star to help with the alignment process.
If you a draw a line from Alpha Hydri to Beta Centauri, it is neatly bisected by the south celestial pole
. With no Polaris-equivalent polestar in the south, it's a handy guide.
It has an illuminated reticule that you use to sight Polaris and two nearby stars (there are also stars marked for aligning on the south celestial pole
The star chart below can be used for checking the limiting magnitude around the south celestial pole
with the naked eye.
On the other side of Earth, however, the south celestial pole
(SCP) has no complementary beacon to mark its position.
Just a bit more than 1[degrees] to its south is the south celestial pole
, the point of the sky that sits directly above Earth's South Pole.
THE TINY CONSTELLATION of Chamaeleon lies in the far-southern sky between Musca, the Fly, and the south celestial pole
. True to its chameleon nature, the grouping's faint stars blend effectively into their nondescript surroundings.
The star chart above can be used for checking the limiting magnitude around the South celestial pole
with the naked eye.
I found this kite-like figure a significant star pattern when seen high in the Southern Hemisphere sky, especially when I viewed it in relation to old friends like Pegasus rising in the far northeast, and the circumpolar Southern Cross beneath the south celestial pole