the southern sky received the names used today
only with the journeys of the famous explorers. Due to the important role that
technical progress and new explorations played during that time names like
»Air Pump«, »Furnace« or »Bird of Paradise« were chosen. Mapping the sky the
sailors and astronomers paid little respect to the cultures of the native peoples,
so most of their astronomical knowledge was lost.
Today the sky is divided up in 88 constellations that were laid down internationally
in 1925 and 1928. Being some kind of map, they help orientating in the sky and break
it down to smaller and more recognisable sections.
The Southern Sky holds many of the most beautiful astronomical objects that
can be watched with an amateur telescope or the naked eye: Alpha Centauri,
the Magellanic Clouds,
the Southern Cross,
to only name a few,
shine bright in front of the Milky Way that stretches like a silver band
across the sky. Knowing only the northern stars so far, many constellations
will be new, as they are not visible from the northern hemisphere. But also
some of the familiar can be spotted, strangely rotated or upside down.
In contrast to the northern constellations and stars that got their names
in classical antiquity already and therefore mainly tell of scenes and stories
from ancient myths and fables,