Navigation Using the Night Sky
It is thought that the Vikings were able to navigate their way around the globe discovering Iceland, Greenland and America by using the stars, possibly the oldest use of astronomy. The Vikings then used polarisation and the mineral sunstone to navigate in completely overcast skies. By the end of the 13th century, nautical charts were being drawn and the skies were no longer the only means of navigation. In the modern world, we have the compass and GPS technology but if these ever fail you, there’s always the night sky for leading the way just as the Vikings did thousands of years ago.
Star NavigationIn the northern hemisphere, a star called Polaris or North Star remains in the same place and marks the north celestial pole. Finding the Polaris allows you to determine your latitude depending on how high the Polaris is in the sky. With no star near the south celestial pole, we southerners use the Southern Cross to find south. With the Southern Cross, you will be able to find the south direction at any time of night all year round because it never sets in the sky, when viewed from the southern part of Australia. All stars in a constellation are named based on that constellation. The naming goes from brightest to dimmest star and is designated by the Greek alphabet. For example, Beta Ori is the second brightest star in Orion. Spend a little time learning about the stars and constellations and you will always know where you are in the world. email@example.com or visit us in-store.
Categories: boating news Posted on: Feb 14, 2017