Southern Cross, or Crux (cross in Latin), a southern constellation that lies in the Milky Way. It is below the visible horizon of most of North America, although it can be seen in the spring as far north as southern Florida and the southern tip of Texas. Four bright stars form a small, but distinct, cross whose long axis points almost exactly to the south celestial pole. The brightest star of the Southern Cross and the 14th brightest star in the sky is Alpha Crucis, or Acrux, a navigational star. Another star of this constellation, Beta Crucis (Mimosa), is the 20th brightest star.

Midway between Alpha Crucis and Delta Crucis is a fainter star, spoiling the symmetry of the cross. This star, Epsilon Crucis, distinguishes the Southern Cross from a nearby group of stars (in Vela and Carina) that form the False Cross.