Southern Cross from Orchid Island
In a winter night of Orchid Island or Lan Yu in Taiwan stars of the Southern Cross or constellation Crux appear above the southern horizon. Crux (Latin for Cross) is the smallest constellation, but is one of the most distinctive. While it is easily visible from the southern hemisphere at practically any time of year, it is also visible near the horizon from tropical latitudes of the northern hemisphere, for a few hours every night, during the winter and spring months. For instance, from Taiwan or any other place at latitude 25º N or less, with unobstructed view to the South its possible to spot the Southern Cross. The beautiful volcanic island of Lan Yu is located off the southeastern coast of Taiwan. Crux is Latin word for cross, and the constellation is dominated by a cross-shaped asterism that is commonly known as the Southern Cross. © P.K. Chen.