The Southern Cross constellation can always be seen from the southern hemisphere but never from where I live in Maryland (39 degree latitude). It can only be seen at all from below the 25 degree latitude.
San Juan, Puerto Rico is about 18.5 N latitude so the Cross (Crux) is visible just above the southern horizon in the middle of the night (around 3:45 a.m.)
In San Juan Charlie and I happened to be staying on Calle de la Cruz (Street of the Cross) which runs north and south. So at 3:30 on Thursday morning we got up and dressed and headed down the street to the harbor. Unfortunately the sky was covered with clouds so we could not see a star or planet.
Not very hopeful we tried again the next morning which was still cloudy but intermittently so. We walked to an overlook near the harbor which is polluted with light: unfortunate for stargazing but great for safety.
It was a windy morning so the clouds kept moving, I knew Crux would not be high in the sky but would be positioned almost due south above the horizon. I also knew Alpha and Beta Centauri point to Crux and that the topmost start is red.
Just to be sure I used a compass app on my phone to check that I was facing south. One more pointer was the early morning rising of Jupiter in the south-southeast sky. I see Jupiter every morning at home so I am familiar with its positioning which also points to Crux in line which the Centauris.
We both spotted the Southern Cross from San Juan at a break in the clouds. It didn’t last long but we waited for a time until we could see it yet again, just to confirm.
I am so excited to check another item off my list of 101 tasks in 1001 days.
My inspiration to see the Southern Cross.
Do you do crazy stuff?