b Crucis

Beta Crucis, at a visual magnitude of 1.3, is nearly as bright as alpha. It forms the eastern tip of the cross.

With beta Crucis at the top of your glasses you can see much of the Coal Sack: binoculars.
    Dark nebulae such as The Coal Sack are vast regions of interstellar gases and dust thick enough to block out any starlight from penetrating. The Coal Sack is even more dramatic as it is found in the centre of the Milky Way.

In the same region, southeast of beta, is the remarkable Jewel Box star cluster (NGC 4755), one of the finest in all the heavens: binoculars.

While you can get a glimpse of its brilliance in binoculars, small telescopes reveal fifty or so multi-coloured stars (mostly reds and blues). The brightest member is kappa Crucis, and its distance of 7500 light years gives us a good idea of the distance of the cluster in general.

All files associated with The Constellations Web Page are
1999-2000 by Richard Dibon-Smith.