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South Celestial Pole
on Aug 31, on Rumor Mill

Polaris is said to represent the position of North Celestial Pole. A drunk Ozzie can always find his way home if he knows how to find terrestrial south. He does that by first determining the position of the South Celestial Pole; he then 'drops' an imaginary line, perpendicular to the horizon. I live near the 37degree lattitude; that means the South Celestial Pole is supposed to be about 37 degrees off the horizon. I am observing the South Celestial Pole to vary in both evening and morning skies. I have observed it to be an additional 25 degrees higher off the horizon (total of 50 degree) and I have observed it to be up to 20 degree to the left of terrestrial south. One of several things might explain these anomalies. The Earth is tilting in a gentle rocking motion. The Earth might be pivoting alternately on one or the other axis.

The South Celestial Pole normally remains within 5 degrees. This evening here in the southern hemisphere the Sun appeared to set, maybe, 5 degrees further south. I reasoned if the Earth is tilting, this 5 degree apparent change might be confimed by checking left/right positions of the South Celestial Pole. At 7:30 PM I observed the South Celestial Pole to be 12 degree higher off the horizon. Normally my left/right evening observation positions of the South Celestial Pole aligns within 2 degrees of my terrestrial target. Tonight it appeared to be about 5-7 degrees to the left of my terrestrial target.

I have been observing the position of the South Celestial Pole to be moving around from evening to evening and morning to morning and evening to morning [Sep 5]. It has not been a unidirectional, progressive movement, but erratic: it has been higher then lower and higher off the horizon. It moves left of terrestrial target, then back on target, then to the left again during subsequent observations. Once it may have been slightly to the right. My method of determining position, while satisfactory for centuries by travellers to determine directions, is not instrument-perfect: It is human eyesight and outstretched arm and hand-spanning for degrees.

This degree of offset, 20 degrees, is consistent with what has been reported recently in Quebec for Polaris, the North Celestrial Pole.