This event is now over and it was a great success with over 7000 participants from more than 80 countries.

Here are some reports on Big Dipper to Southern Cross:

Report by Johannes Stubler in Austria

Michael White's blog

Julio Vanini's report from Nicaragua (Spanish)

A souvenir of the event - images from both north and south







The southern Milky Way can be so bright that on a clear moonless night it will cause shadows, yet it is something people living in the northern hemisphere only hear stories of. In the same way, the beauty and objects of the northern sky are a mystery to southern residents.

“Big Dipper to Southern Cross” brings these two hemispheres -- truly “One People, One Sky.”

For this project there will be two telescopes -- one in the northern hemisphere and one in the south -- on two different nights. No experience is needed. This is a chance to watch as an experienced telescope operator and guide show how they capture the wonders of the night sky.

Join other members of AWB Affiliates around the world. Chat will be available between participants and with the telescope operator. Join in or just watch.



This photographic panorama from the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii, shows stars of both the northern and southern skies. The Big Dipper is behind the dome of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope on the left, with Polaris and the Little Dipper visible just to the dome's right. The Southern Cross is just to the left of the Gemini North Telescope, seen on the photo's right. The central bulge of our Milky Way galaxy dominates the view between them. Click the image above for a larger version and more information.
Photo by Wally Pacholka /

To take part in the observing sessions:

How: All you need is a computer connected to the Internet, with loudspeakers or headphones.

You need to have the free Flash plugin installed. If you can see and hear videos on YouTube then your system is ready. You can test this as well by going to the Virtual Telescope page -- if you can see the small video in the upper left corner then your system is ready to use. More than 95% of computers already have Flash installed.

Where: Go to the Virtual Telescope's Big Dipper to Southern Cross page at the dates and times of the event (see times and dates below).

When: See the times of the two session below. Not sure when that is in your time zone? Go to the World Clock Time Zone Converter to convert these times to your local time zone.

In case of bad weather at the observing stations the event will be run using backup images or rescheduled. Watch this page for updates.

Alternative web site: If you experience any problems participating in this event please go to the mirror site.


Northern Hemisphere – Virtual Telescope (Italy)

Virtual Telescope from Italy will broadcast imges and narrative live, allowing people around the world to share in viewing and imaging the best northern celestial objects.

Date - Friday 8th of January 2010

Time – 20:00 UT – 22:00 UT

Southern Hemisphere – GRAS (Australia)

The brilliance and special objects of the southern sky will be captured by the GRAS Remote Telescope in Southern Australia.

Date – Sunday 10th of January 2010

Time – 12:30UT – 14:30 UT


Northern Hemisphere – Virtual Telescope (Italy)

Telescope: C14-f/8.7

Aperture/focal length (in mm) and f/d - 356/3100; f/8.7

Mount - Paramount ME robotic mount


Scale 0.62"/pixel

Filters – LRGB, H-alpha 6nm, BVRI (Bessel)


Southern Hemisphere – GRAS (Australia)

Telescope: Deep Space - RCOS 12.5" - FL 1950 @ f/6.3

Design: Ritchey-Chrétien Cassegrain

Camera: SBIG ST-8 NABG

FOV Arc mins: 24.1 x 16.8

Resolution (Arc secs/pixels): 0.95

Pixel Array: 1530 x 1020

Megapixels: 1.5

Pixel Size: 9um

Filters: L, UBVRI, Ha, SII, OIII, Blue


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