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    Re: Southern sky CN photo puzzle
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2023 Sep 5, 04:01 -0700

    David McNeice, you wrote:
    "I'm going to suggest a very high latitude, perhaps down on the Antarctic peninsula."

    It may be an even higher latitude. The press caption on the original photo (this is a monochrome version of the original) said something like "at the south pole" but I didn't believe that, both because there's always some latitude less than 90° for any real observer position and because caption-writers tend to exaggerate. For an example, press coverage of the recent Indian moon lander routinely said that it had landed "at the south pole" while its actual latitude is near 70° S. For this photo, I think we can decide this objectively. How close to the pole? Twenty degrees? Five? Maybe even, observationally, less than one degree?

    You added:
    "Is that Sirius bright at bottom right, Canopus above it, Avior above right from Canopus and out to Achernar to the left in the middle?"

    Yes. Good call! I've been able to identify a number of other navigation stars including Alnair (Grus is recognizable, upside-down, of course!) and Fomalhaut. I also found Diphda. It's difficult to pick out in the noise, but I'm confident I've got it. There's a star named Arneb (now IAU-official naming) in the constellation Lepus near Rigel in this photo. It's not an official navigation star, but it's not hard to identify, and it happens to have nearly the same declination as Diphda. Diphda's dec is -18.0°; Arneb is at -17.8°.

    Frank Reed

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