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Which is better in terms of night sky objects? The Northern hemisphere sky or the Southern hemisphere sky?


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Hello there! :hello: I just wanted to know from you guys which is your favorite hemisphere in terms of objects to see? As you are probably aware, depending on how far North or South you are on Earth determines what stars or constellations you can see. For example, up here in the Northern hemisphere us observers have such sights as the giant Ursa Major constellation, the dusty nebula filled constellations such as Cygnus and Cassiopeia and Cepheus with its many open clusters on show. While down South, observers are treated with the beautiful and breathtaking Sagittarius and Scorpius constellations, Centaurus with the Alpha Centauri binary star and the incredible Omega Centauri globular cluster and the renowned Crux with its Coalsack Nebula and Jewel Box open cluster which may not be possible to observe in the North.

Each hemisphere has its own set of beautiful and unique objects on show, but I will have to go with the Southern Hemisphere as my favorite. Sagittarius and the area around it is such a fantastic area to explore with a telescope that can not be seen well from the North as well as the fact it contains some other great objects such as the Magellanic clouds and magnificant globular and open clusters that are awesome to observe.

What do you guys think? :)

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Southern Hemisphere in my opinion, but only because I live in the northern hemisphere and I can't have it :happy8:

But seriously the Large Magellanic Cloud is awesome, about fist sized at arm's length and is it's own little "Milky Way" fuzzy cloud in the sky, easily identifiable with the naked eye, the Small Magellanic Cloud is not as impressive but still nice to see. Plus you get a much better view of the galactic centre (well not strictly from the southern hemisphere but definitely much further south than we are located).

The only thing I don't like about the Southern Hemisphere is Orion is "upside down"...oh and everything rotates the wrong way as well, or does it.....?:wink2:

That is all speaking as an imager, for an observer I am sure that all the Messier objects are more important than anything located in the South.

 

Edited by StuartJPP
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I am new to all of this so have not even had the chance to really cover the sky above my own head yet, but I do have to say that when I got my first star chart and discovered those southern skies that are on the wrong side of the world for me, I got really jealous :happy6:  What a treat it must be to gaze upon southern skies.  It definitely brought another item to my bucket list, that's for sure!

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I'm blessed by living in the middle North latitudes (35*45'), so I can see down to about 50*S, maybe a tad higher due to LP and horizon obstruction. I cannot see the Magellanic Clouds, Crux, Carina or the 'bottom' of Centaurus, about the only areas south of the CE that I'd really like to view.

I suppose if I lived around 10* N to 10* S, most of the best things would be visible. I'm happy where I am, I never run out of things to look at.

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Looking at the Pocket Sky Atlas, there's a load of interesting stuff in the SH.  But if that was all I could see, I'd say the same about the NH.

I'm very happy with what I've got - but the dense starfields around Crux, Carina, and Vela look really exciting!

Doug.

 

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How about going to live on (or near) the equator and having both?

And as a nice side-effect, have just as many hours of darkness in the "summer" as in the "winter".

Edited by pete_l
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9 hours ago, pete_l said:

How about going to live on (or near) the equator and having both?

Been there, done that, not as great as it sounds... :icon_biggrin: (at least not from Western Africa).

Counterweights hit tripod, polar alignment is a pain, shallow cloud rolling in almost every night, mosquitos everywhere and elephants sneaking up  and scaring the **** out of you - no thanks! Nice and dark though!

Edited by AngryDonkey
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I have been down south a few times but sadly to large cities where light always spoilt anything that was on offer. I have to say though seeing Scorpius overhead is a fine sight and can only imagine what it would have been like had I have had a decent scope with me.

Alan

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On 10/22/2017 at 16:25, Peter Drew said:

I've never been further South than Tenerife but I would have thought that the Southern hemisphere would be best as a majority of our good objects are still observable from there.  :icon_biggrin:

I was lucky to have 10 days/nights at the site of the S.A.L.T. at Sutherland in the Karoo, South Africa.  The south is definitely the best, by far!  If you are not too far south you also get most of the good northern sights.

I usually observe from northern England.  I can recommend La Palma in the Canaries to get great views.

Cheers

Paul

  

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As a southerner, I dream of what it must be like to have a bright pole star, to see the big dipper, having M31 nearly going overhead, the full glory of Cygnus, the W or M  of Cassiopeia and those wonderful meteor showers you northerners have.

I guess the point is you wish for what you can't have. We do have a lot of treasures down here and probably take them for granted but the northern sky has its share as well. Does seem that the equator is the place to be!

Cheers Patrick 

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2 hours ago, kiwigazer said:

As a southerner, I dream of what it must be like to have a bright pole star, to see the big dipper, having M31 nearly going overhead, the full glory of Cygnus, the W or M  of Cassiopeia and those wonderful meteor showers you northerners have.

I guess the point is you wish for what you can't have. We do have a lot of treasures down here and probably take them for granted but the northern sky has its share as well. Does seem that the equator is the place to be!

Cheers Patrick 

Definitely! - the best of both worlds :earth:...sorry! - hemispheres. :evil62:  

Edited by Philip R
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 22/10/2017 at 16:25, Peter Drew said:

I've never been further South than Tenerife but I would have thought that the Southern hemisphere would be best as a majority of our good objects are still observable from there.  :icon_biggrin:

Me too - Tenerife is the furthest south I've taken a decent telescope - I have no doubt though that the Southern Hemisphere has the edge in dsos (and rugby nations) - though us northerners are working on the latter.

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On 02/11/2017 at 19:33, kiwigazer said:

As a southerner, I dream of what it must be like to have a bright pole star, to see the big dipper, having M31 nearly going overhead, the full glory of Cygnus, the W or M  of Cassiopeia and those wonderful meteor showers you northerners have.

I know just what you mean. I lived in Australia for a time and the south celestial pole is so devoid of bright stars it's actually quite difficult to locate manually! The south has some fantastic objects like eta carinae and 47 Tucanae but I think my favourite hemisphere is the north - possibly because it holds fond memories of observing it as a kid :)

 

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11 hours ago, TheMightyKong said:

South! Though I'd miss cygnus, M31 and the pleiades.

From where I am (41S) the Pleiades get a respectable altitude and are still glorious.

Have only spotted M31 as a smudge in binos and Deneb only gets about 3 degrees above the horizon.

Love watching out for both Deneb and Capella, something almost mysterious seeing these 2 far northern beacons

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