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Solstice December 1998 - sky

The Dome Planetarium for June 20 shows the constellations around the center of the galaxy. Clicking on one takes you to a description. Here is an interactive star chart. If you pick Libra and change the FOV (field of view) to 90, you'll see most of the constellations visible around the center of the galaxy.

The celestial equator is really the equator of the earth projected out onto the stars. Its axis runs through earth, between the North Pole and South Pole. The celestial equator runs around the middle of the star map, halfway between bottom and top. The center of the galaxy is at the tip of the pouring spout of the teapot of the constellation Sagittarius. That is if you can visualize a teapot in the stars of Sagittarius. If you see an archer, it is the tip of the arrow. It is on the way to Scorpius. On the zodiac, ecliptic, or path of the sun (drawn in purple), there are also Virgo, Libra, and Capricorn. Bootes is quite visible in summer in the Northern hemisphere. Cygnus, the swan, or Northern Cross, is visible from the Southern hemisphere too. That's where our sun is headed, in it's circular orbit around the center of the galaxy. Crux is the Southern Cross, not visible in the north. Crux saved my life in Peru, when walking at night with no map, roads, or electric lights to follow.

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