How to navigate by the stars: the most popular ways

Each traveler can be caught in such a moment when there is neither a compass nor a GPS at hand, and it is necessary to move precisely at night in search of a suitable place to sleep, or in the desert when comfortable movement is possible only at night. The moon is not always visible, but in the event of such situations you can be guided by night lights, the trajectory of which is always the same. Orientation of the stars will help not only to find the right side of the world, but sometimes even survive.

Of course, one can correctly orient oneself only with the necessary experience, therefore, before setting off to travel in the wild, it does not interfere with practicing how to navigate through the stars, first in the night city.

  • Orientation methods by stars
    • 1.1 Method applied to the Northern Hemisphere
    • 1.2How to navigate by the stars in the southern hemisphere
    • 1.3 Finding other parts of the horizon
  • 2 Orientation instructions with two pegs

Orientation methods by stars

There are several methods by which you can navigate by the stars.

The method used for the Northern Hemisphere

Using the main night landmark – the Polar Star. This celestial body is the main and only night luminary that never changes its position in the sky. It is an accurate reference point, since it always indicates the direction of the north, deviating from the trajectory with minimal errors (1.5 degrees).

It should be remembered that, mistakenly focusing on the brightest star, it can be confused with the planet Venus, because it is brighter than the Polar Star. Therefore, to find this heavenly body, it is necessary navigate according to the constellations of the Little and Big Dipper, popularly known as the “big” and “small bucket”.

The Polar Star is at the extreme end of the Little Dipper “Bucket”. Since the Big Dipper constellation is always more noticeable than the Minor, to search for the Polar Star, you can navigate along it: you need to find two stars on the edges of the “bucket”, draw a straight line ahead, equal to five distances between them, and stumble upon the same “ the tail of the dipper of the Little Dipper, which is the Polar Star.

How can I navigate by the starsIn addition, you can find the constellation Cassiopeia, which looks like the letter “M” or “W”. If you draw an imaginary straight line through the star next to the central one, you can also stumble upon the desired Polaris. Thus, when the search will be crowned with success, the orientation on the terrain is not difficult: looking directly at the Polar Star, you will find the south behind you, the east to the right, and the west to the left.

How can you navigate by the stars in the southern hemisphere

Orientation by the stars for the southern hemisphere occurs along the constellation Southern Cross, indicating the southern direction. This constellation consists of four celestial bodies located in the form of a cross. It is important not to confuse it with the False Cross, located on the right, whose luminaries are located at some distance from each other. To find an indication of the southern direction, you need to draw a line along the luminaries, forming a vertical part of the cross. In order not to be mistaken, you can wait until the Southern Cross takes a vertical position perpendicular to the horizon line, then the south will be directly under this constellation.

Finding other parts of the horizon

In addition to the above, there are additional methods, as in the starry sky, you can navigate the nature, wilderness:

  • With the help of the constellation of Orion
  • Ways of orientation by the stars of any constellation.

Star orientationOrienteering on the terrain by the stars will help you find an indication of the east or west direction. This can be done with the help of the constellation Orion, which resembles a curved hourglass. In the summer it can not be seen, because the constellation is in the sky during the day. In winter, he can be found by the stars that form his belt in any hemisphere, Orion is located directly above the equator. The right stellar body in his belt, called Mintaka, rises to the east at any point on Earth, and descends to the west.

Another way is the following: it is necessary to determine the central star in the Orion belt, and also to find the star body located to the right below it. If from this star we draw an imaginary straight line to its adjacent left, and then connect the middle of this distance with the central stellar body and continue straight, it will indicate the southern direction.

Instructions for orientation with the help of two pegs

Orientation by the stars can be carried out not only relying on those constellations that were named above. You should use the following tips:

  1. You need to choose any star, most noticeable in the night sky.
  2. Next, you should plug two pegs into the ground at a distance of one meter from each other and align their tops in accordance with the selected star.
  3. It is worth waiting a little while until the selected reference point has moved some distance from an imaginary line.

Since the stars move along a trajectory from east to west, the following conclusions can be made from the movement of a landmark along an imaginary line:

  • If the stellar body has risen up from the line formed by two pegs, then east is in front of us.
  • If the light fell down from the line drawn, we look to the west.
  • If moved to the right side, then to the south.
  • When moving to the left, we look to the north.

In addition, you can navigate along the Milky Way, visible on a clear night: it is necessary to remember that it runs from north to south.

Thus, if you know the methods of how to navigate through the stars at night, you can not only easily find the right place without using a compass, but also in an extreme situation, go into civilization.

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